3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Preaching Articles

If you would have asked me as a child or even as a college student about some future life aspirations, preaching sermons would not have made the list.  

Especially because I am a woman, and I grew up a paradigm that would not allow for me to be upfront.

Yet here I am, having preached for the fourth time in as many months and wondering what crazy work God has done and is doing in my life.

Before and after speaking, I swim in a swirl of emotions from wonder to frustration to doubt to joy to regret to fulfillment. I love it and hate it at the same time. I never feel a clear call that I am the perfect person to speak that message—or a clear call that I am not.

But I know my main goals are to step in and to listen.

Sometimes that listening is difficult.

The preparation for my message this past Sunday was particularly exasperating. I felt completely underqualified. The subject was new life in Christ. Which is pretty much the subject of the New Testament.

What could I add to the words of Peter and Paul? And what could I say in 30 minutes that would even scratch the surface of this message of the Gospel?

As I read and sifted and processed, I often wondered if I should pass the baton to someone who would be better at this than me. But I didn’t. Somehow it seemed that feeling inadequate was actually the perfect place to begin.

If I authentically believe that what I do is through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the strength of Christ, for the glory of God, then it’s not about my adequacy. It is about my trust. I have to lean into God more than I count on my gifts.

So I did that the best I could.

Does that mean I walked away with a message I wouldn’t tweak if I had the chance, with points completely polished and with a conclusion that would take your breath away? Not in the slightest. There are several things that went well, and many more that I would do differently if I were to give this talk again.

Yet I believe that God uses broken vessels to shine His light. I believe He can speak through me because of my gifts or in spite of my gifts, depending on the circumstance.

Stephanie Spencer is one half of a happily married couple. She also has the joy of being a mom of two young boys, which means life is full of funny quotes, grateful moments, small adventures, and sometimes {often?} stress. Stephanie is a seminary graduate and has worked in churches for the better part of her adult life. The Church has a messy history, and complicated current reality, but she still considers it a joy and privilege to work for her. Besides family, Stephanie's loves include coffee, wine, and chocolate. She also loves to travel, hike, host people for dinner, and talk about life with new and old friends.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Lawrence Webb

commented on Apr 13, 2015

God bless you for your openness to God's call. You have clear biblical grounds for preaching: Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:17-18; Corinthians 11:4-5. Additionally, Philip the evangelist had four daughters who prophesied. You know all that and then some about God's call in your life. But some who read this column may not be so familiar with how God has used women in the Christian ministry from the get-go.

Yvonne Plowden

commented on Apr 21, 2015

I am so glad that I am not alone with those same exact thoughts and feelings when I preach. The best is when I get God's confirmation that I am in the place he has called me. Thank you for sharing. ,

Yvonne Plowden

commented on Apr 21, 2015

I am so glad that I am not alone with those same exact thoughts and feelings when I preach. The best is when I get God's confirmation that I am in the place he has called me. Thank you for sharing. ,

Yvonne Plowden

commented on Apr 21, 2015

I am so glad that I am not alone with those same exact thoughts and feelings when I preach. The best is when I get God's confirmation that I am in the place he has called me. Thank you for sharing. ,

Join the discussion