Ed Stetzer: Remembering Warren Wiersbe

Billy Graham. David Hesselgrave. Lamin Sanneh. Nabeel Qureshi. Bob Buford. R. C. Sproul. Elisabeth Elliot. We’ve lost some incredible leaders in the past few years, great minds who contributed much to evangelicalism and who committed their lives in humble service to God.

Today I, along with many, are mourning the loss of another impactful leader: Warren Wiersbe. Much of his texts and sermons have helped form how I think and how I teach the Bible.

Indeed, he was one of evangelicalism’s giants, but to the people of The Moody Church, he was their beloved pastor.

You can read the tribute from his grandson here. Also, Erwin Lutzer is pastor emeritus of The Moody Church and he has already written a moving tribute. However, as someone who was influenced by his writing, and now serve an interim role at his former church, let me add a bit to their helpful reflections.

Weirsbe at Moody

In September 2016, I preached my first sermon as interim teaching pastor at Moody Church in Chicago. Extraordinary preachers like Moody, Torrey, Ironside, and Lutzer have stood in this pulpit. Yet the one I engaged with the most in my life, primarily through his writings, was Warren Wiersbe.

Even today as I enter the sanctuary, people regularly mention him, his preaching, and his influence in their lives. The warmth of their love for Wiersbe is evident to this day.

Wiersbe is perhaps best known for his “Be” series, a series of 50 books from Be Real to Be Joyful, but it was his faithful preaching of God’s word that helped The Moody Church be a church God called them to be.

Writing over 160 books, Wiersbe’s name fills church libraries and campus bookstores. His devotional preaching still remain central to thousands of churches’ small group curriculum. His commentaries, at the same time thoughtful yet accessible, are used by pastors across the globe in writing weekly sermons. His sermons, numbered in the thousands from years on the radio, have nourished the church across the globe.

Trying to summarize all the themes of Wiersbe’s books and articles would require several dissertations. Even as I thought I had a good handle on the Wiersbe corpus, I was intimidated to realize how little I had read upon reading through the entire list.

Yet underlying each was Wiersbe’s unwavering conviction that he was called to be a pastor. To his congregation, to Christians around the world, and to even to other pastors. There is a reason he came to be known as the “pastor’s pastor.”

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Source: Christianity Today