Word of the Week

Preacher on the Road

This Sunday, I will be away from Washington Plaza. Rev. Bill Tatum will be preaching and the church will be in good hands with his capable leadership.

I will be preaching at Farmdale Baptist Church in Sylvania, GA. I have been invited back for the 2nd time. I preached there once in 2008. The following was my experience below. I'm hoping to have more of a comfort level there this year (or they with me at least).

You can keep me in your thoughts on Sunday morning and I'll be sure to tell you how it goes.

To give you an idea about what a big deal this is, read below what I wrote on January 24, 2008:

This past weekend, Kevin and I traveled to his home in Georgia for the weekend. Because I was to attend a conference in St. Simon’s Island during the beginning of this week, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for us to spend some quality time with his family and for me to keep a promise I made long ago to Kevin’s family.

I said one day I would happily accept the invitation to preach at their church.

It is important to note here that Kevin’s home church never had hosted a woman preacher before. Not because I think any of them don’t like women or not even because they are people who are Biblical literalists who feel men are above women spiritually, but for the sheer reason they they’d never had the opportunity to know a woman in the pastorate.

The presence of someone like me in their pulpit just wasn’t ever a possibility until me and my group of preacher friends became a part of their lives.

So enter Elizabeth into the pulpit: I was prepared, ready and couldn’t wait bring the word to the best of my ability. I crafted the sermon in such a way that I thought they would identify with, especially picking just the right words and illustrations. I thought through what might be ever possible scenario of what might occur. But I had forgotten to consider how a female presence would affect them personally.

So when I got through the first paragraph, I knew I was in trouble. Speaking to twice the size congregation than is usually present on Sundays (which was around 80 people), I felt like I was an exotic animal exhibit in a zoo. I was the newest rare bird that had been brought into the scene and they didn’t know what else to do but to keep looking at me with a deep stare.

And they kept starring at me throughout the sermon. I was anxious to say “Amen” and be through with the message as soon as I could. I was ready to go back to the normalcy of being the pulpit with my own congregation.