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Peter Grainger

November 4, 2008

Peter Grainger (1992-date) is the current Senior Pastor of Charlotte Baptist Chapel, the 18th in its history. It has been an immense blessing for me to work under him for almost six years. Peter’s preaching has not only taught me many biblical truths. Sitting under his expository messages has probably been more influential in developing my own preaching style than anything else.


(Photo by Andrew Robertson, Charlotte Chapel)

Let me mention six highlights of Peter’s preaching which mirror the six years I’ve been listening to it!

1. A commitment to systematic Scriptural exposition. Peter Grainger is evidently committed to the faithful exposition of whole books of the bible. Since I began attending the Chapel (in 2003) Peter has preached through the entirety of Mark and Luke’s gospels, the books of Acts, Philippians, 1 Corinthians, James, Jeremiah and the Minor Prophets (overview sermons). This is not to mention Peter’s topical exposition – for example, he dedicated a whole year to looking at the subject of prayer throughout the bible.

2. Sermon introductions. Peter claims that one day he may write a book entitled: “If you don’t strike oil in the first five minutes; stop boring!” I hope he does, because Peter exemplifies how to deliver a gripping introduction that immediately connects with the Scriptural theme.

3. Clear, memorable headings. It is obvious when listening to Peter’s sermons that he has spent a considerable period of time working out the sermon structure. Both the main and sub-headings are invariably clear and tend to be memorable.

4. Heartfelt pleading. Apparently it was quite an event when Peter Grainger first shed tears in the pulpit in CBC. These days it is neither expected, nor on the other hand is it unusual. I have been challenged by Peter’s example to have a heart that feels the truth preached, not least feeling the eternal plight of hardened unbelievers.

5. Twin-focus. Peter’s sermons have modeled the importance of having ‘double-vision’ when preaching. We must have one eye on applying the text to non-Christians; the other upon applying the Word to believers. Though Christians are rightly the focus of Sunday edification, sermons are never preached as if unbelievers are ‘not in the room.’

6. Christ-crucified. Never, never, never have I heard a sermon of Peter Grainger’s where the cross is absent. Taking us again and again to the old rugged cross is expected at the Chapel, and rightly so. The foolishness of preaching the cross continues to save sinners and sanctify saints.

8 comments

  1. Your report and summary of your pastors preaching encouraged me. I am doing my D.Min. and would love top listen to his sermons. can you give me a link?
    Tom Shuck
    Satsung.wordpress.com


  2. A hearty “Amen!” to that list, Colin. I would add this one:

    7. A consistent concern to apply biblical truth. Peter doesn’t wait to the end of the sermon to gather the probing, life-connecting bits together. They are an integral part of exposition throughout the sermon.

    And, if it doesn’t lower the tone too much, on could also note….

    8. Peter’s fine taste in neck-ties, as your photo amply demonstrates.
    🙂

    David Reimer


  3. Wow! This is the kind of preacher I’d like to hear. I assume I can find his sermons through the church website. You are blessed to be able to serve with and learn from a preacher like that, Colin.

    I should also take this opportunity to let you know that I enjoy the resources and encouragement and exhortation your blog offers to pastors like myself. I’m a long-time lurker, but have never commented.


  4. Tom & Dan,

    You can find Peter’s sermons on http://www.charlottechapel.org, under resources/services. We have about 4 years worth to download.

    Tom, I appreciate it when long-term lurkers appear from the shadows; its an encouragement that people are reading!


  5. Yes, I am truly thankful for Peter’s preaching. Thanks for the post.

    Tim


  6. Thanks Colin, I whole-heartedly agree.

    I’d like to underline the ‘heart-felt pleading’. It is rare to find someone committed to expository preaching who will break down in tears over the fate of the lost. This is something that cannot be copied, it can only be caught.

    Here’s one more:

    – An ability to pull something ‘new’ out of a pssage. I don’t mean that he chases wild rabbits (he always explains the whole passage). I also don’t mean that he intentionally seeks to be novel or clever. But so often preachers explain passages and yield no greater insight than came to mind in the Bible reading 5 minutes beforehand! Peter will always make you see something glistening in the text that you hadn’t noticed before!?

    I thank God for him regularly.


  7. In nearly 11 years at CBC, my wife and I have benefitted greatly from sitting under PG’s preaching.

    2 specifics stand out, firstly, his introductions (point 2) are amazing. They may be old or new, weighty or trivial, popular or obscure, but always relevant. They set the listener off in the right direction and it means we are primed to hear the Truth.
    Secondly, in those 11 years, very few sermons stand out as being “great”, or “poor”. The consistency of PG’s teaching has been the most striking feature of his pulpit ministry.
    May we continue to be blessed by his preaching.


  8. […] website. For a fascinating description of Grainger’s preaching and ministry impact, see this post at Unashamed Workman. To see Peter Grainger preaching, watch this video clip of his Narrative […]



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