Dr. Mike Bullmore delivered the annual Rom lectures on October 7-9, 2008 at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on “The Heart of Preaching and the Preacher’s Heart.” Q & A followed each of his three outstanding lectures:
- Session 1: The Functional Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching | 42:56
- Session 1: Q & A (beginning with responses from an M.Div. student, a Ph.D. student, and Pastor Lee Eclov) | 58:32
- Session 2: The Five Greatest Heart Challenges in Preaching | 41:18
- Session 2: Q & A (beginning with responses from Andy Naselli and Dr. Dick Averbeck) | 42:24
- Session 3: A Passion for the Gospel (Philippians 1) | 38:15
- Session 3: Q & A | 36:03
I was humbled that Dr. Scharf asked me to respond to Mike’s second lecture. (And Dr. Scharf was pleasantly surprised to learn during the Q & A that Mike is my pastor!) I posed three questions, and Mike’s humble wisdom served us well:
- May a commitment to gospel-centered preaching become so committed that it is guilty of manipulating Scripture? In other words, may a preacher be guilty of manipulating Scripture by fitting the gospel into every sermon regardless of the text at hand? Is it necessary to include the gospel in every sermon?
- Would you mind sharing with us your rhythm of weekly preparation? How do you typically prepare to preach a Sunday morning sermon?
- Would you mind sharing your testimony regarding your struggle with a desire for recognition? What has this battle been like in your life as a preacher and pastor?
About Mike Bullmore
I introduced Mike this way on Josh Harris’s blog in mid-August:
Mike Bullmore has pastored CrossWay Community Church since planting it in 1998, and he unselfishly gives himself single-mindedly and whole-heartedly to shepherding his sheep. In addition to being a exemplary husband to his wife and father to his three children, he humbly pastors CrossWay with prayerful, earnest intensity, and the church is characterized by a deliberate, God-glorifying gospel-centeredness.
Before planting CrossWay, Mike was a professor of homiletics and pastoral theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for fifteen years. He also chaired the practical theology department. Prior to that, he studied at Moody Bible Institute (diploma in Bible), Wheaton College (B.A. in biblical studies), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.Div., Th.M.), and Northwestern University (Ph.D. in rhetorical history and criticism). His dissertation is published as St. Paul’s Theology of Rhetorical Style: An Examination of 1 Corinthians 2.1-5 in Light of First Century Graeco-Roman Rhetorical Culture (San Francisco: International Scholars Publications, 1995).
He has diligently cultivated his God-given gifts, and put simply, the man can preach! I tend to think of him as a combination of John Piper and C. J. Mahaney: warmly devotional, richly theological, pastorally practical, genuinely humble. Here are some resources:
And here are three lectures by Mike on the subject of preaching:
- Five Convictions About Preaching, Without Which One Should Not Preach
- Things I’ve Learned About Preaching After Having Taught It for 15 Years
- Watch Your Preaching: Effective Sermon Preparation
His method of sermon preparation is pretty simple. He studies in a library with the text, a few commentaries, and a pad of paper on which to write his thoughts and final sermon manuscript. He typically reviews the manuscript Saturday night and preaches it in his barn in his backyard early Sunday morning, making additional notes on the manuscript along the way.
When I was a sports fanatic in my childhood, I used to sing along to the Gatorade commercial about Michael Jordan: “I wanna be, I wanna be like Mike, if I could be like Mike!” That idolatrous jingle still pops into my every now and then, but I’ve redeemed it by changing its referent in a non-idolatrous way. No joke. Paul was worthy of imitation, and so is Mike.
Josh Harris then posted a PDF sample of Mike’s preaching notes.
See also six short videos recorded at The Gospel Coalition’s Pastors Colloquium in May 2008:
- Can a person come to saving knowledge of God without hearing or believing in Jesus Christ?
- What is the role of discipleship in the church?
- What are the purposes of the Lord’s Supper?
- What are the powers and authorities described in Ephesians 6:12? Are Demons real?
- How should Christians respond to contemporary environmental issues?
- How are we to interpret natural disasters? Are they necessarily a sign of God’s judgment?
Past Rom Lectures
- 1981 Dr. David Maclagin of Scotland, “Expository Preaching”
- 1982 Dr. Haddon Robinson, “Preaching Today”
- 1983 Dr. Richard Longnecker, “New Testament Interpretation”
- 1984 Dr. James Earl Massey, “The Pulpit Experience”
- 1985 Dr. Ronald A. Ward, “Preaching and Worship”
- 1986 Dr. Joel Nederhood, “Is Preaching Still Possible”
- 1987 Dr. Donald R. Sunukjian, “Increasing Relevance in Your Speaking”
- 1988 Dr. Lewis A. Drummond, “Evangelistic Preaching”
- 1989 Dr. J. I. Packer, “From Scriptures to the Sermon: Theological Perspectives on Preaching”
- 1990 Dr. J. Daniel Baumann, “The American Pulpit: A Contemporary Typology”
- 1991 Dr. Warren Wiersbe, “Spiritual Preparation for Ministry”
- 1992 Dr. Joel Gregory, “How to Make Your Preaching More Interesting”
- 1993 Dr. Jim Rose, “The First Person Sermon”
- 1994 Dr. John Piper, “Preaching as Worship” (cf. “The Place of Preaching in Worship” and “Preaching: With Confidence That It Belongs in Worship“)
- 1995 Dr. Bryan Chapell (Sinclair Ferguson canceled)
- 1996 Dr. Calvin Miller, “Creativity in Biblical Preaching”
- 1997 Dr. Duane Litfin, “Preaching and the Formation of the Modern Mind”
- 1998 Dr. Ravi Zacharias, “Preaching the Eternal Word to the Modern Mind”
- 1999 Dr. Allistair Begg, “The Reformed Preacher”
- 2000 Dr. John Piper, “The Preacher’s Personal Pursuit of God”
- 2001 C. J. Mahaney, “The Cross, Preaching and Pastoral Leadership”
- 2002 Dr. David Larsen, “The Preacher and Great Literature”
- 2003 Dr. Dan Doriani, “The U in Hermeneutics: Biblical Preaching from Life to Life”
- 2004 Steve Mathewson, “Strategies for Reflecting the glory of God in 21st-Century Expository Preaching”
- 2005 Dr. R. Kent Hughes, “A Personal Prolegonemon for Expository Preaching”
- 2006 Dr. Crawford Loritts, “Preaching: Supernatural Communication”
- 2007 Rev. David Jackman, “Preaching that Connects: How the Ministry of the Preacher Determines the Health and Impact of the Church”
- 2008 Dr. Mike Bullmore, “The Heart of Preaching and the Preacher’s Heart”