Rev. Dr. Charlie Dates became the youngest senior pastor at Progressive Baptist Church of Chicago in 2011 at age 30. He teaches preaching at Wheaton College and serves as an Affiliate Professor of the Baylor University George W. Truett Theological Seminary and as Affiliate Professor of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Charlie is widely sought after for conferences, summits, retreats and board memberships, as well as a guest in pulpits.
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Key Questions for Charlie Dates
-How did you first discover that you had a calling to preach?
-Talk to us about preaching in the African American context. Why engage in that space?
-What are some of the qualities you admire in other preachers who have a different style or tradition from you?
-What are some misconceptions or common mistakes you’ve noticed among pastors in the sermon prep part of the journey?
Key Quotes From Charlie Dates
“I think the craft of building a preacher has to have some elements of hurry up and wait in it. You can’t just give a preacher everything right out of the gate.”
“These days I’m not just preaching through the book of Romans, which I’ve done. I’m sensing in prayer a burden and then compiling passages that meet along a theme.”
“For me, and I would encourage anyone listening to you, I start with the text and I try not to come to the text with an idea already formulated in my mind, but I want to clear the slate. Even though I’ve read the Scriptures and read through them, I want the Holy Spirit to speak to me anew and afresh.”
“Some people are making it up when they get to the pulpit. And part of my aim is to say, I don’t want to make it up.”
“Sometimes it’s easy to preach to a church that doesn’t exist. And these days online, you can preach to a church you think you have. I’m trying to preach to the people I know are there and not excluding others who are watching.”
“You talk about forming and shaping the preacher—I think the church does that.”