“Grab ’em by the throat, slam them up against the wall, and hang on until you are done.” That was the advice of the greatest professor of preaching this world has seen in recent years. Haddon Robinson, who died yesterday, left his indelible mark on countless congregations by carefully and passionately equipping preachers. I am one of those in his debt. He used to say, “It is a sin to be bore people in the pulpit because it gives the idea that God is boring. And God is not boring!”
Haddon Robinson insisted preachers speak from the heart, after deep and careful study of the Word, without notes. In class, even marking your bible was cause for a failing grade. Which is why I was so surprised to see a page of notes in his bible just before he rose to preach. It was at Gordon Conwell Seminary, at an event to honor him and to name their school of preaching for him. But when he placed the bible on the pulpit, a sudden puff of air blew those notes off his bible and wafted it away, to fall in the first row. He shrugged his shoulders and then proceeded to deliver one of the most powerful sermons I’ve ever heard – with no notes. I mentioned it to him a couple of years later and he laughed and said, “There is a God…”
He wass right about that; there is a God, and Haddon knew Him well. Countless others will come to know Him well too, as a consequence of his instruction. Well done, Haddon. You have served Him well.