Apart from the impact it has on my credit card balances, I love to travel.
For the preacher, travel offers an opportunity for exposure to new places, new people, new ideas. And great sermon illustrations.
Laura and I recently returned from our first visit to England and Scotland. We had a delightful time — at least until MasterCard caught up with us. A few observations:
As an American evangelical, a trip to Great Britain is a tremendous way to dig deeply into one’s spiritual roots. So much of what developed in American religious life was born in the towns and cities of England and Scotland — John Wesley and Methodism, John Smythe and the first Baptists, John Knox and Presbyterianism.
It does raise one question: Is it a requirement of all great church leaders to have the name John?
Every preacher should have the chance to visit Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park. Every Sunday afternoon, a host of would-be orators make their way to the Park and begin to address any topic of their choosing: politics, economics, what women think about men (this speaker was particularly interesting). Listeners crowd around to hear any speaker that interests them — if one doesn’t satisfy, they step a few feet away to join a new audience. (Sounds like church-hopping, doesn’t it?) And frequently members of the audience will call out questions or disagreements with a speaker.
The Sunday we stopped by, two-thirds of the speakers were talking religion. Several were Christian street preachers, talking about the Gospel (in some cases, haranguing may be a more accurate description). What interested me was that an almost equal number of speakers were promoting Islam; Muslims were also joining the crowds around the Christian speakers and voicing their disagreement with the Gospel message.
I had read about the growing influence of Islam in Great Britain (primarily through immigration), but here was a vivid illustration of the emerging conflict between these two faiths in a historically Christian nation (though today overwhelmingly secular).
It is perhaps a foreshadowing of future developments in our own nation, as Islam and other world religions increasingly seek their place in the American religious scene. As Christian preachers, we had better “be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
In the midst of an increasingly secular nation — where few claim any serious religious ties — it is encouraging to see committed Christian men and women serving faithfully and standing fast for Christ.
On Sunday morning we worshipped at Westminster Chapel, the historic church where both G. Campbell Morgan and Martin Lloyd-Jones preached. Today, R. T. Kendall continues to offer an outstanding ministry of expository preaching. In addition, the church has a commitment to reach out to London through personal evangelism.
Like most tourists, we made the rounds of great Cathedrals and marvelled at their massive architecture and beautiful stained glass. We also attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey and were inspired by the marvelous music of choir and organ.
But gathered at the Lord’s table with our British brothers and sisters at Westminster Chapel, it was like going home.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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