Because of Michael Spencer

A week or two ago, this blog passed 100,000 page views.  It’s because of Michael Spencer that I blog at all.  I used to read InternetMonk and occasionally make a comment, and I was fine with that until his pod cast started.  When I got my first iPod, I downloaded the first 20 episodes of iMonk Radio, and ate those things like candy until I finished them.  I had so many thoughts, ideas and responses running around my head that I went to WordPress and started pushing buttons.  March will be two years.

Michael has spent nearly his entire career in youth ministry.  He has obviously been willing to answer God’s call for his life, but sometimes he hints at wishing he could have done something else.  He has served these past 18 years or so in geographic obscurity, ministering his heart out far away from the big cities and their speaking engagements.  The Internet has been a lifeline for him, giving him a global audience from the comfort of his modest living room.  As the InternetMonk, he has now spoken at a couple of rather large venues, and even obtained something of a celebrity status.  His book (Mere Churchianity) will be available later this year.  No one could love writing more than Michael Spencer; he writes to write, because he has to, not to sell books, and thus no one deserves this opportunity more.

I became a professional communicator and a halfway decent writer before I met Michael.  Because of Michael Spencer, I became a blogger.  He taught me how to read my first blog posts and get better.  It’s because of Michael Spencer that I read the ESV; he introduced me to it in 2003, and gave me an ESV Study Bible after raising the funds for several on his blog.  Every sermon I preach, on any topic or passage of scripture, comes back to the Gospel because of Michael Spencer.  I have a passion for the whole Bible being about Jesus, and probably will for the rest of my life.  I’ve been a Christian since age 12, and have studied the Bible faithfully for over 20 years; I’m a better preacher because of Michael Spencer.

A few years ago I read Preaching that Changes Lives my Michael Faberez.  I’m currently reading Biblical Preaching by Haddon W. Robinson, a book on how to develop and preach expository messages.  Michael Spencer gave me this book.  Michael doesn’t just blog; he helps make the rest of us better bloggers.  Michael doesn’t just teach in the classroom; he helps make the rest of better teachers (say “Amen” Ryan).  He doesn’t just preach, he desires to see other preachers get better at what they do.  He has a high view of basing sermons on passages of scripture, not picking a handful of verses that go with a sermon one wishes to write.  If I “rightfully divide the word of truth,” it’s because I learned it from him.

Continue to pray for Michael and Denise, as well as every member of their family.  Pray for those of us at that continue to minister here without him.  I preach in his pulpit, I teach Bible from behind his podium, but would give anything to have him back in that spot; I wasn’t done listening to him yet.  Will he appreciate all the hero worship?  I’m sure he will not.  But I hope just this once he understands.  I can’t help it; he’s my hero.

UPDATE: I was mistaken about having those first 20 podcasts of iMonk Radio, but do in fact have episodes 48 – 81.  Visit the InternetMonk Radio Archive page to listen or download.  Special thanks to Cameron Nutter for all his help.

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14 thoughts on “Because of Michael Spencer

  1. Wonderful post, Clark. And for anyone who follows your link to the internetmonk website, I hope they click on a link there near the top right of the screen to be able to deposit money into Michael’s PayPal account. Michael also gives his mailing address in a post at internet monk so that if anyone wants to give him money gifts that way, they can. At this point, he and Denise need all the financial assistance they can get. He is no longer being paid by the place he works for and he no longer has insurance.

  2. Many years ago, Gary and I approached the pastor of the church to ask for a Sunday school class for the houseparents who were just getting off from working at night. It was impossible to wait until 10am for Sunday school when we got off at 7am. The pastor said yes and we started having “Off duty Deans class” at 8am every Sunday. Our pastor was an adequate teacher and we looked forward to that class since we seldom had the opportunity to attend Sunday morning worship. And then the pastor up and moved to a bigger church. The next week, we received a phone call just telling us that our class on Sunday would continue. That was when we met Mike Spencer. WE both liked him right away but it was more than just that. This man seemed to personally know each character he spoke about. The depth of his studies we will probably never truly understand. All my life I have been being told to immerse myself in the Word of God, but Michael is the first person I’ve ever known who seems to have taken those words to heart and done exactly as instructed. Whether he talks to our adult class or his advanced Bible classes at OBI, he makes the situations and the people involved come to life in our visions. It’s kinda like the old TV show called “You Are There” for those of you who can remember back that far. We meet the Apostles and Jesus face-to-face in Mikes classes and if you are paying attention and keeping notes, you understand where they have come from and where they all ended up. I hope we all go there someday. Our sweet Michael is a seriously ill man right now. We pray for him and ask that you do, too. Love and Peace…Suzi Garrett

  3. Pingback: A Brief Update From Michael 2/4/08 | internetmonk.com

  4. Michael Spencer is a minister in every sense of the word. I could honestly listen to him preach the same sermon seven days in a row and get something new out of it every time. The funny thing is, I doubt he’s ever preached the same sermon twice in his life! He is truly gifted and truly a man of God. I remember one time telling him how much his sermon had spoken to me. His response was something to the effect of, “I’m glad it did. I found out I was preaching five minutes before Chapel started.” I am truly blessed to know him and to have worked with him and Denise for eight years. The two of them were my spiritual rocks during that time. I continue to pray for him and hope all who read this will do the same.

  5. Pingback: Pray for Michael Spencer « Peaceful Walk with Jesus

  6. Do you still have those early episodes of iMonk radio?
    I discovered Michael late and his first 52 episodes were already gone. I emailed Michael requesting them & he said sorry gone forever. I would love to hear them if you or anyone else still has them.

  7. I still have that 2nd generation iPod nano, and they’re probably also on my desktop hard drive. Our Sony Vaio was pretty new then, came with a 180 gig hard drive. Chances are we’ve never deleted anything from it. I could easily copy them to a flash drive; with a little more time and effort, I could set up an online “museum” of vintage iMonk podcasts. It would be like a tribute.

    To make a short story long, yes I have them. ADHD moment.

  8. Mr. Bunch,
    This couldn’t have been more beautifully written. It’s because of Mr. Spencer that I had a much deeper and better understanding to the God I’ve always served. He and his family are always in my prayers.

  9. That would be great if you decide to do that. If not I would be glad to cover the cost if you would burn them to a cd and mail them to me.

  10. Note the page tab (at the top of this page) that says iMonk Radio. I was mistaken about having the first 50, but do have episodes 48 – 81.

  11. Pingback: Classic Internet Monk Podcasts « The Master’s Table

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