As The MacArthur Center for Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary opens its doors, season one of its flagship podcast will tell the surprising, providential, compelling story of how John MacArthur became synonymous with expository preaching. From his first sermon at Grace Community Church on February 9, 1969, through his 52 years of relentless, verse-by-verse exposition from the New Testament, John has modeled a simple idea: that the Bible is clear and the preacher’s task is to patiently explain that meaning to his audience. This documentary-style season will look at Grace Community Church, which during John’s 52-year ministry has grown from a small, nondescript church in the middle of the San Fernando Valley into one of the largest, most influential churches in the United States. These eight episodes will tell the story of John’s calling into pastoral ministry and explain why, and how, he preaches the way he does. It will also trace his involvement in controversies and look at how he preaches during cultural upheaval and personal suffering. Don’t miss season one of The MacArthur Center podcast.
Episode 8: Faithful
For 52 years and counting, John MacArthur has pastored Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Today, he is an example to all of us—particularly pastors—of perseverance. How has he remained in the arena for all those years? And why hasn’t he thought of retirement? In this final episode of season one, we’ll consider the sum of it all: the portrait of faithful endurance. And we’re going to find out how each of us can have a life and ministry of faithfulness, no matter the length of our days.
Episode 7: The Cellar of Affliction
John Donne called them Job's sick days. They are days of unexpected, and often unimaginable, suffering. They are part of life in a fallen world, both for believers and nonbelievers. And they are a constant reality in the life of a preacher. John MacArthur is certainly no stranger to suffering. This episode describes a dark day in the MacArthur family, and how that suffering shaped his life and ministry. And it looks at how John's life and preaching have cared for those in what Samuel Rutherford called "the cellar of affliction."
Episode 6: The Sheepdog
Pastor as shepherd. It’s the most common motif for men in the ministry. But pastors are also sheepdogs. They guard the flock that the Chief Shepherd entrusts to them. Throughout his 50 plus years of pastoral ministry, John MacArthur has taken on the role of sheepdog, defending the truth against those who oppose it and protecting God’s people from those who would harm them. This episode focuses on the years 2007-2013, when the flock faced a particular threat, and John defended it in a public way. In this story, pastors will see when, and how, they must take on the role of sheepdog in service of their Master.
Episode 5: When Terrorists Attack
Most Sundays, a faithful expositor preaches the next verse. He doesn’t respond to the headlines or the latest scandal in the Christian world. But every so often, a tragedy in the world—or the church— occupies all the space inside his people’s heads. How does a pastor respond in those crises? This episode looks at sermons John preached after two of the worst calamities of his lifetime. The first was the September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks. The second was the downfall of an evangelical celebrity that rocked the church in 1988. In these stories, John shows pastors everywhere how to help their people navigate through crisis.
Episode 4: The Quest for Cool
What is the MacArthur style? When John stands in the pulpit, what is he trying to do? Is he projecting an image or making himself relevant? Is he trying to be personable, funny, or cool? This episode looks at what preoccupies MacArthur—and what should preoccupy all expositors—in the pulpit. And in the process, it explains what David and Goliath has to do with $800 sneakers, the meaning of the word glib, and the quest for cool that defines many of America’s most prominent pastors.
Episode 3: The Origin Story
Why did John MacArthur become a preacher? You’ll find the answer on a two-lane Alabama highway, in the pastor’s home where he grew up, in the stern, loving counsel of a mentor named Charles Feinberg, and on the sports fields of John’s youth. As this episode looks at the MacArthur origin story, it will show you how God equipped John, and it will describe the character, gifting, passion, and grit that make a man effective in the pulpit. If you’ve ever wondered if God is preparing you for a lifetime of ministry, this episode tells a story that can clarify that calling.
What a great history on Johnny Mac, the church, and his preaching! We are blessed to be able to learn from this man.
Thank you for your faithful preaching of God’s word! Excited for more episodes!!
What a great series, thank you for the background info. This solidified what I think of this faithful preacher of Gods word!