When Charles Spurgeon moved to London to pastor New Park Street Baptist Church, the congregation had a problem: it was dwindling and dying. A mere two years later, the church faced a totally different problem: the crowds were now so large they could no longer fit inside the sanctuary.
Spurgeon was just 19 years old when he took the reins of New Park Street. However, the young and untrained preacher very quickly turned things around in the dying church by boldly proclaiming the Word of God to a city hungry to hear it. Thousands would line up on a weekly basis to hear him preach, and as foreign as it might sound to modern believers, tickets had to be purchased in order to attend the church’s worship services!
While a bigger sanctuary was being built to house the swelling congregation – the famed Metropolitan Tabernacle – Spurgeon was called on to preach a very special occasion rising from a national tragedy. Event planners knew only a handful of buildings in London could hold the expected crowd, so the Crystal Palace was chosen.
The day before the service was to be held – which would draw a total of 23,654 people – Spurgeon went to the Palace to test the acoustics. The structure had not been built for the purpose of public speaking, so Spurgeon knew he’d have to project his voice as powerfully as possible in order to be heard by everyone in the hall. The young preacher stood where he would be preaching the following evening and repeated the words of John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Spurgeon quoted the verse over and over again practicing his volume and projection.
At the same time, there was a worker in another part of the building making a repair who heard Spurgeon’s line each and every time the preacher shouted it. Several days later, that man arranged an appointment with Spurgeon to let the preacher know that because of what he heard over and over again, he’d put his trust in Christ.
That’s how powerful God’s Word is: it can point sinners to salvation during a sound check!
Spurgeon: A Biography by Arnold A. Dallimore. Banner of Truth, 2019, Page 92.