Peter GraingerNovember 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.
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.