For some churches, these two words don’t go together: preacher and woman.
I’m proud to say Highland Park Church isn’t one of them. I serve a church that embraces the call of women to preach. We don’t skirt around it. We don’t call it something else. On our stage and in our worship services, women preach.
I’ve had the privilege to share the stage with a woman preacher more than once. Her name is Brooklyn Lindsey. To be honest, I’m not sharing the stage with her. She’s sharing the stage with me.
Literally, we’ve shared the stage. We’ve preached the same sermon together. She’s preaches part of it. I preach part of it. It’s a form of tag team preaching.
I have to admit, though, the first time was tough. The struggle had little to do with sharing a sermon with a woman. It had mostly to do with trying to organize a single thought from two unique minds. Our thoughts may be similar, but how we organize our thoughts varies greatly.
Two days ago, we had the opportunity to share the stage again. One remark given to us was, “You get better every time you preach together.” I’m not exactly sure where this puts us on the spectrum of bad to good. I’m sure there’s still much room to improve. But, it does affirm one thing for sure. We’re making progress.
So, I thought I’d share what’s been working for us:
- One person writes the sermon outline. The first time, we tried to write the sermon together from the beginning. We started at the same place but arrived somewhere different. One person writing the sermon and outline eliminates this problem.
- One person for each point. It doesn’t work when both of us try to preach the same point. It’s too confusing for us and the audience.
- Preach in sections. It’s tempting to break the sermon into every other thought. One thought for her to preach, and one thought for me. We’ve found freedom in breaking the sermon into sections. This allows both of us time to get into the groove.
- Only one person center-stage at a time. It’s awkward to stand next to someone while they are driving home a point or telling a story with passion. Rather than stand center stage worrying about my facial reaction to what she’s saying, I’ve found it’s much better to move to a different part of the stage. Preferably, I move out of sight to the left or right and take a seat. This gives her freedom to move, and it gives me a chance to recoup for the next thing I have to say.
- Make transitions simple and smooth. We realized the importance of clear transitions when preaching a sermon using movie clips. We used several movie clips as springboards for the sermon’s main points. The clips acted as natural transitions from one preacher to the other. It worked well. From this, we learned to be very intentional about making our transitions simple and smooth.
Well, there’s a glimpse behind the scenes for us. If I asked, I’m sure Brooklyn would have more to add. Maybe, I will ask her to write a guest post on the same subject.
What do you think? Would you like to hear from Brooklyn?