The Top Ten Most Influential Christian Preachers and Leaders

Lifeway Research just published the results of a survey of Protestant Senior Pastors. They asked them who the most influential living preachers were, and who the most influential living leaders were. The responses were weighted to reflect the geographical distribution of Protestant churches. These sorts of studies are helpful in seeing who is impacting the culture of ministry these days:

The results for most influential living preacher were as follows:

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The results for most influential living Christian leader were as follows:

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Surprises on the preacher list: I'm surprised David Jeremiah finished as high as he did. I might have expected to see Erwin McManus, T.D. Jakes, Mark Driscoll, or others on the list. Glad to see Barbara Brown Taylor on the list.

Surprises on the leader list: I thought Andy Stanley would be at least on the leader list. He's a marvelous teacher, but really makes his mark in leadership. I'm surprised Bill Hybels isn't higher on the list.

On the whole, it also seems like evangelicals dominate the rankings. Mainliners are scant. I also noticed that Demond Tutu is the only person of color on either list, and Barbara Brown Taylor is the only female.

What else do you notice? Did anything surprise you?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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