At age 17, he pastored his first church which grew in two years from 40 to 400. At age 19, he was preaching every Sunday to 5000+ people. By the age of 21, he had preached over 1000 times.
When he became pastor of New Park Street Baptist Church in London at age 19, the congregation had 232 members. Thirty-eight years later the church had over 14,500 members. He pastored the world’s first mega-church.
Occasionally he would ask members of his congregation not to attend the next Sunday’s service so that newcomers might find a seat. During one such service in 1879, the regular congregation left so that visitors waiting outside might get in. The building immediately filled to capacity.
By 1865, his sermons sold at the rate of 25,000 per week and were translated into more than 20 languages. His collected published sermons today fill 63 volumes. He has more books in print than any person living or dead.
He read six books per week and had a photographic memory. His personal library contained more than 12,000 volumes.
He died at age 57 in 1892 and has been called the “Prince of Preachers” ever since. And for good reason. It is estimated he preached to more than 10,000,000 people in his lifetime.
His name: Charles H. Spurgeon.
This week I am in London shooting several short lectures on preaching at some of the key Spurgeon sites. It seems preaching and the name of Spurgeon go hand-in-hand.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will launch August 1, 2016, the first ever School of Preaching in any Seminary, Baptist or otherwise.
Spurgeon’s indefatigable passion to preach the Word and the Christ of the Word is my desire as the founding Dean of SWBTS’s School of Preaching. Text-Driven Preaching—where the substance, structure, and spirit of the text drives the truly expository sermon—is our mantra.
In today’s world of pop-psychology, pop-culture, pabulum preaching, the church and the world need to hear God’s preachers preaching the Word of God.
May we once again hear Paul’s clarion call in 2 Timothy 4:2—“Preach the Word!”