With so many pastors, leaders and Christian teachers in the western world, it can be frustrating to discern which ones deserve our time and attention. After following dozens of leaders over the last 10 years, I recently narrowed my list of trustworthy sources to approximately 30 (which is still a lot!). Today, I’m sharing my top 10 with you!
These 10 leaders each express their dedication to Christ in a unique way for a specific audience. Most importantly, you can trust that these individuals are rooted in the Word of God and will not speak anything that does not align with His Word first. Check out their websites, podcasts and books to learn more about Jesus and what it means to be His disciple.
Pastor John is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and founder of DesiringGod.org. Desiring God is one of my favorite resources for tough theological or biblical topics such as:
- Can Christian Men and Women Be Friends?
- Modesty Lets Our Light Shine
- How God Became a Man
Pastor John also has a podcast that is posted on the Desiring God website, and has written more than 100 books, such as Don’t Waste Your Life, Desiring God and Future Grace.
Beth Moore is a well-known speaker and Bible teacher for women (and men) around the world. She is the founder of Living Proof Ministries, whose mission is to equip people to know God better by studying the Scriptures. Her studies are extremely thorough and deep, and require a lot of Bible homework—which makes them a great choice for those new to Bible study! She is an inspiring speaker whose love for God and relationship with Him ignites a passion to know Him as well as she does.
Some of her studies include A More Honest Me, Sacred Secrets, Believing God and So Long, Insecurity.
You may recognize Nicole’s name as the founder of—you guessed it—Project Inspired! Nicole’s testimony as a former lingerie model speaks powerfully for the transforming grace of Christ. Even though she had the career of her dreams, Nicole knew something was missing. She suffered from anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts before coming to know Christ (prayed for and encouraged by another great Christian influence, her best friend (and PI writer) Christi Given!).
Since Nicole came to know Christ in 2010, she’s become an inspirational role model to young women, showing them how to honor Christ in every aspect of life. Check out her full story here.
Matt and Lauren Chandler
You may recognize Matt Chandler as the pastor of The Village Church. He and his wife, Lauren, have a phenomenal ministry that impacts thousands of people annually. Their most recent conference, The Mingling of Souls, discussed the redemption of marriage, dating and sexuality. Matt’s sermon series A Beautiful Design is one of my personal favorites—it discusses God’s design for men and for women, and how understanding that design helps us honor one another as friends and in romantic relationships.
Both of these series have accompanying books, and Matt has written others, including The Explicit Gospel and Recovering Redemption.
Ravi Zacharias is my go-to when I want to know how to defend Christianity in today’s culture. His weekly broadcast, Let My People Think, will challenge you with biblical teaching and Christian apologetics—the defense of what we believe. Since it is vital that we not only know what we believe, but why we believe it, Ravi is an excellent resource for every Christian!
There are many fantastic videos of Ravi’s speeches on YouTube, but you can also check out some of his books, such as Jesus Among Other Gods, Can Man Live Without God? and Has Christianity Failed You?
My husband and I are currently reading aloud You and Me Forever, the marriage book written by Francis Chan and his wife, Lisa. It’s excellent! But this comes as no surprise, since all of Chan’s books will challenge you to embrace the gospel. Perhaps best known for his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan is the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California.
His books include the aforementioned You and Me Forever, Crazy Love, Erasing Hell and Forgotten God. This message at Liberty University was a powerful example of his preaching style and message.
If you have ever wondered where to start regarding Bible study—or if you feel like you don’t know how—Kay Arthur’s Precept Ministries is for you. The goal of Kay Arthur’s ministry is to teach people how to study the Bible for themselves; to become students of God’s Word on a daily basis. She accomplishes this by teaching believers to use inductive Bible study methods. They learn how to understand the context, vocabulary and content of the passages they read, bringing to life the Word of God for the modern Christian.
As someone who has had the privilege of hearing Kay Arthur speak, I can attest to how magnetic and inspiring her words can be—particularly when she shares her testimony. I highly recommend listening to this sermon she delivered, which happens to be the one I saw live!
Many of you may not have heard of Tim Challies. He is an elder at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario, but he is best known as a blogger and book reviewer. His articles address tough cultural questions and issues that many Christian writers don’t talk about. His book reviews keep you in the loop about upcoming reads to improve your walk with God and learn how to better defend what you believe.
You can check out his list of articles and reviews here.
Dr. Michael Brown is a speaker and writer. He was born into a Jewish family in New York, and after several years of heavy drug use, he came to Christ as a young man. He was immediately on fire for the Lord and now leads others to a deeper understanding of God’s grace.
His books Go and Sin No More and Hyper-Grace are two of my favorites. Visit his website here.
For more recommendations for books, pastors or podcasts to follow, contact Phylicia on her blog.