Is there one or two contemporary Christian leaders who you CURRENTLY model yourself after/ look up to above the pack?

Yes, there is one or two leaders who influence me a lot
10% (2 votes)
5% (1 vote)
No, I respect many but do not really model myself after any particular one
76% (16 votes)
10% (2 votes)
Total votes: 21
1854 reads

There are 6 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

As believers in Jesus, we seek to model ourselves after  his godly character.  Many friends I know are greatly influenced by one or two Christian leaders, be they MacArthur or Piper or Keller or Rick Warren or whoever.  I cannot think of any particular author/speaker/leader who is clearly the head of my personal pack.  What about you?  Do you model your ministry or Christian life after a particular individual apart from Biblical persons?  If so, whom and how has it helped you?  What dangers (if any) do you perceive in doing this?

Share your thoughts with us.


"The Midrash Detective"

josh p's picture

I make a concerted effort to never approve of anyone as the ideal to be followed. There are a lot of people that I respect greatly but I generally appreciate different men for different things. For example: I read J. Gresham Machen's "The Importance of Christian Scholarship" this morning and loved it. Machen is great for that type of thing but I am not going to look to him in Eschatology or baptism. Actually some of the men that I have learned the most from frequent this site. I will spare them their names being posted but I have been really challenged and have grown in my understanding.

The "celebrity pastor" model is really scary to me. I have a friend who measures every pastor by their similarity to John MacArthur. His approval of them coincides with their agreement with JMac. That is really unfortunate. I believe it was Spurgeon who said the cause of Christ is advanced most by the faithful men in small churches who few have ever heard of. Not the big name guys (paraphrased). Quite a statement from a guy that pastored a church with many thousand members.

Ed Vasicek's picture

I know a lot of lay people who love a certain speaker/leader and they want to become clones, and force their pastor to adopt the celebrity's emphasis, rather than learn from many.  On the other hand, I have known a number of pastors who more or less (not completely) model themselves after a key individual.  In moderation, I don't know how bad that is, but it is not something I do.

"The Midrash Detective"

Dave Gilbert's picture

I have no wish to emulate any of the popular teachers, and can't understand why anyone would...but that's just me. Smile


I have to confess that I consider many of the ones I see on TV or hear about in the media as either compromising the truth of God's word, or are outright false teachers. Many of the ones with relatively sound preaching are either gone from this world, or are being shoved out of view by the modernists and ecumenists that seem to be fast taking over everything. If I had to pick one I really liked ( back in the day ), it would be Adrian Rogers...but even the ones I admired for the truth in their doctrine and preaching , I would not seek to model myself after.


As a humble ( well, not near as humble as I ought to be, and downright idiotic to some on this forum ) child of God, I am consistently aware that I am being conformed to the image of His dear Son, and to me, modeling someone else would seem to be almost an insult.


My two cents, and zinc at not worth much.  Biggrin

Pastor Rob V's picture

difficult situation,then I ask their advice. It is funny though, I listen to Steve Brown a lot, and have adopted some of his sayings without really trying to. Steve sometimes says, "that's from the pit of Hell and it smells like smoke." Every once in a while I say this in church. It just comes out in my preaching.

Don't be a great pastor, just be a pastor and let history judge for itself.

Greg Linscott's picture

I think that there are things that it can be appropriate to observe and incorporate. I appreciate, for example, listening to Mark Dever preach in his church, and take the time to explain things to the uninitiated, such as explaining the significance of chapter and verse markings, or giving the page number of the Scripture text in the pew bibles. I don't necessarily follow that, but the sensitivity is something worth emulating, in my thinking.

Serving here in Minnesota, I have seen how Kevin Bauder has been a significant influence to many pastors serving Baptist churches in this state who are 40 and under. I wouldn't say that everyone in that age category models everything in his ministry philosophy and practice, but there is no doubt that he has prompted many to consider matters in areas such as worship, preaching, and establishing ministry relationships/partnerships. I think that his presence has been a good influence, even as there is a range of practice among those who would count Bauder as an influence.

I have learned from every pastor I have sat under or served under since I was a teenager, and carried something away from them that has shaped my ministry. Gene Davis of Faith Baptist Church in North Charleston, SC, was an example of compassion, loyalty, and faithfulness when I was a young and impressionable teenager. Buddy Frankland of Bangor (ME) Baptist Church taught me that ambition unchecked can make you vulnerable and have devastating, unanticipated effects. Harold Blackorby of Landmark Baptist Church of Bangor, Maine modeled courage and conviction in difficult times. Ross Hodsdon, later of the same church, was the most significant influence, modeling for me expositional preaching, dedicated service, and what it means to leave everything out there for the Lord, in the face of significant opposition. To this day, I consider him a second father figure, and love him dearly. Ron Bean, who floats around these parts at SI, followed him. A friend of mine who pastors in Santa Monica, CA and I had the chance to visit last week. We both grew up under Ron's ministry, and were recalling some things, and it occurred to me that no one was more influential in my understanding and practice of separation than Pastor Bean. Ron was a committed Baptist, but understood the idea of limited fellowship, and would occasionally invite a Free Presbyterian in to preach in a Bible conference setting. Dr. John Polson of Wealthy Park Baptist in Grand Rapids, MI showed me the importance of leading quietly, sharing responsibility, and gave me advice on caring for your family from his own personal experience that I will never forget. Peter Van Kleeck, who followed Polson, introduced me to the formal study of theology, and ingrained in me a love for Calvin's Institutes. He showed me that Calvinists could and should have a heart for evangelism. Chris Humburg of Altoona (IA) Regular Baptist Church showed me the importance of hard work in ministry, and modeled a willingness to serve in a variety of capacities as a pastor. I will never forget him serving in nursery for a week of VBS, and how he gloated when he was able to get my infant daughter to sleep on his shoulder when my wife and I couldn't! He was a faithful and studious preacher, who at the same time wasn't afraid to shoot baskets with the teens behind the building after Sunday night services. Sam Hendrickson, my most recent pastor as I was between churches a few years ago and is planting Westside Baptist Church in Jenison, MI, has more than anything shown to me what transparency and humility looks like.

I wouldn't be the man I am today without these men. I unapologetically have modeled myself to some degree after each of them. I hope, as I do so, that those who sit under my ministry will be able to look at me and glean examples for how they should serve in this role. My role models may not be well-known, but I am thankful for how each of them invested in me.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN