A preacher of a previous generation once told me: “If you do not prepare your sermon and your own soul, nothing will come out but hot air.” If you do not deal with the text, God will not deal with your people. Preacher, get in the Word or get out of the pulpit.
If you haven’t heard his name, Kelvin Cochran represents an important struggle in America. The new American “thought police” are seeking to enforce a new definition of tolerance as America seeks to find a balance between the emerging secular prophets of political correctness and the traditional religious beliefs that have shaped American families from the days of Plymouth Rock to the vast fly-over areas of the American heartland in 2015.
Committees should investigate the candidate’s beliefs, point by point, without any hesitation to ask for clarification or to require a “yes or no” answer on any point. After all, your church is at stake, and no honest minister will be offended at your desire to know what he believes.
It could be easily assumed that in the process of searching for and calling a pastor, both the church and the prospective pastor desire a good match in matters of doctrine. This assumption has caused many regrettable mismatches and more than a few church splits. Many ministers do not offer information about personal doctrinal stances that may not be shared by the congregation considering them for the pastorate. One area in which a potential pastor may be less than forthcoming lies in the issue of Calvinism.
Stearns was by all accounts an inspirational preacher capable of captivating his audience. The response of his congregations wherever he preached was expressive emotion. None of Stearns’ sermons are available and have disappeared. He was much an impromptu preacher which may account for some of the failure to uncover any sermons in printed form.