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Ralph Douglas West on the Benefits of Being Shaped by Black and White Preaching Traditions

Ralph Douglas West
Photo courtesy of Ralph Douglas West

Dr. Ralph Douglas West is the founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston, Texas. The church began with 32 members and now serves 24,000+ meeting in three locations and conducting six services each Sunday. Ralph completed degrees at Bishop College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Beeson Divinity School, where he received the Doctor of Ministry Degree. He has an abiding commitment to the church and the academy and speaks often at colleges, universities and seminaries.

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Other Episodes in the Great Communicator Series

Rick Warren on the Kind of Preaching That Changes Lives

Wilfredo de Jesús: How (Not) To Turn Your Sermon Points Into Stop Signs

Charlie Dates: Why Your Church Needs To Identify and Raise Up Young Preachers

J.D. Greear: How Your Sermons Will Benefit From a ‘Multitude of Counselors’

Beth Moore on the ‘Most Important Part of the Process’ of Teaching God’s Word

Andy Stanley: Are You Missing This Key Part of Your Sermon Prep?

Max Lucado: ‘The One Thing That Has Helped Me More Than Anything Else’ as a Preacher

Sam Chan: How the Topical Preacher Can Avoid Getting on a Hobby Horse

Priscilla Shirer: ‘Message Preparation Is the Hardest Thing I Do in Ministry’

Key Questions for Ralph Douglas West

-Talk to us a little bit about 1970s preaching versus today. What are some things you’ve kept from your younger self that you still see as part of your preaching now?

-How do you make expository preaching compelling and interesting to people?

-What are the benefits and challenges of being shaped by both Black and white preaching traditions?

-What’s the correlation between effective preaching and the relational connection between the pastor and the congregation?

Key Quotes From Ralph Douglas West

“I sensed as a teenager that God was calling me to preach. My sainted mother who has a blessed memory now helped me understand what that meant.”

“I think the compelling sermon for me is the one that begins with the exposition, not just of the biblical text, but the people who will be sitting in front of me.”