Home » Christianity » Yikes! I just preached!

Yikes! I just preached!

Yes way. This last Sunday. I stood up and preached from Romans 12 1 – 2. And the sky did not fall in. Nobody got up and left. Or threw anything, or shouted heretic.

They were all quite nice about it actually.

And despite the sleepless nights and the 8 or 9 versions that I wrote before it was delivered, I really REALLY enjoyed it. Even writing that down seems like a big deal. I have learned to censor myself too much. I sound like a Jane Austen character. One of the demure, boring sisters. Maybe because sometimes that’s what I still think I’m meant to be. It’s hard to shake the idea that that’s what Godly looks like. Like a Victorian child, seen and not heard.

I said in a previous post this was my year of saying Yes. And no. No doubt I’ve got it mixed up a bit along the way but it was with a sense of daring bordering on recklessness that I said yes when asked if I would preach while one of our ministers was on paternity leave. It was like an out-of-body experience. I watched myself say yes quickly without agonising and then, having said yes, I watched myself not agonise about having said yes to such a stand-up-the-front-and-make-everyone-listen-to-you-for-twenty-minutes thing. I just went on with my life until it was time to prepare. Who was this strange relaxed woman who had invaded my body?

I figured she’d taken the night before the service off because I was very much back in charge then. I spent a while letting all kinds of weird scenarios process through my head like some kind of carnival parade. My insecurities were jumping up in my face like our overexcited dog. Then this question cut through the noise: how did you get here and how do you really feel? Deep down, out of sight of the pointing fingers and turned backs in your imagination. That was God. I have no doubt. As I pondered the question, I realised that deep down, I felt neither stress nor anxiety, but excitement. I was buzzing, but feeling somehow wrong about it. A blog I’ve found recently by Jory Micah may have helped me knock the last few nails in the coffin of why girls can’t preach, but it was still hard to shake the feeling that I was having altogether too much fun even thinking about doing it.

When I was a child our vicar, a lovely man called Graham Hayles, would describe how God would give him bits and pieces to add to his sermon as the week went on, in events and unexpected conversations with people as he went about his pastoral work, or shopping or gardening or whatever. He would talk about insights that came as he observed things around him. I remember that I loved hearing about that, thinking how cool it must be. Just to think about and observe the world and see what God is saying today to reinforce and explain the ancient texts of scripture for us today. Strange thing for a young girl to enjoy, but there you are.

Now fast forward exty-ex years to last Saturday. Here I was about to do just that. To preach God’s word, illustrated by my own insights, coincidences and random events, which had been accumulating for weeks like the dustbunnies under my bed. My fears and anxieties melted away as I realised that God had orchestrated this whole event. I did not ask to speak but was asked. I only had to do my part and leave the rest up to him. It went well. I felt calm. Very, very calm. They even laughed at my jokes.

It was only after I sat down that I began to shake.

12 thoughts on “Yikes! I just preached!

    • I should have said that your blog also hammered some 9-inch nails into some of my complementarian nonsense too. I really appreciate what you do. Bless you

  1. I enjoyed reading your experience of the journey. We can forget that God sends his word through people who feel and think and shake; what joy is in the way you have described it all!

  2. Sooo……not unlike blogging then? The writes and re-writes, the cold sweats some people feel before pressing ‘submit,’ the additional observations added during the week by merely being alive and existing, the feedback…

    • Yes and no…yes for all the reasons you give, but no because I had to speak the words to people who were not choosing specifically to listen to me, who had turned up to hear someone expound a sacred text in a sacred space. It’s more like performance than blogging. Speaking was completely different to reading my work or imagining it being read by people I may never meet in the flesh. It was all very immediate, in the moment. Spoken once, then gone.

      • I agree with all but the scared space as I think any place can take that role. Hey no, I’m going to disagree with the performance as well as blogging can be a performance to an audience… but I’ll agree with the rest!

  3. Fair enough. Different kind of performance, and yes any space can be a sacred space but for me it felt a bit different from blogging. Not better, just different.

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