Sunday, September 17, 2006

To Preach or Not to Preach

Yes, that is the question. My pastor today asked a friend of mine and I if our sunday school class would be interested in taking control of worship for Laity Sunday. Now, I should probably explain that in the United Methodist Church, we celebrate Laity Sunday on the 3rd sunday in October and that Laity Sunday is a time when members of the Laity (you regular folk who normally sit in the pews) take over for the folks who normally do different jobs in the worship service, i.e. song leader, choir director, and of course, preaching. My sunday school class just did this 2 yrs ago and my husband's sunday school class (yes, we're in different classes and maybe I'll explain in another post) did Laity Sunday last year. Now, as my friend pointed out, there's one more ss class that could do this, but our pastor looked at us as if to say "Get real", so we kind of figured that that wouldn't happen. I should mention here that the "other" ss class is the senior adult class, not that seniors aren't more than capable of song leading, or preaching, but this group is to the point where we're just glad they're able to make it out of their homes and into the church sanctuary! So, anyhoo, as all this conversating is going on, I hear a little voice. It says, "Stacie, you preach." And I'm thinking, "WHAT?!?!" Then it says, "You heard me, You preach...You can do it". Now, was this the Lord laying on my heart or what? This whole thing makes me nervous. Not that I'm nervous to get up in front of these people, anymore that is, but the topic that's on my heart is not one that I think these folks want to hear. And I have to consider the fact that most of these people are my family, close family and do I reallly want to piss them all off? Well, not really. I suppose this is something that's going to take a lot of thought and prayer!


Art said...

That little voice was ME yelling from downstairs, "You can do eet!"

Seriously, though, the qustion is not whether they want to hear your message, it's if they need to hear your message.

I think I know what's on your mind and, if so, the answers to the questions are 1, 'Who cares' and 2, 'Absolutely YES!'

Stace said...

Thanks for the moral support, but I'm not sure I'll end up doing this, so don't get your hopes up.

LutherPunk said...

Ah, internal call...didn't some guy named Wesley talk about that????

The opportunity has been presented to you, and you feel a nudge from the Spirit. I hate to break it to you, but that is how I ended up with one of those funny lookin' shirts!

God bless you as you discern this. And FWIW, you are only committing to one sermon, not a lifetime of sermons, so don't let that part freak you out.

Stace said...

LP, thanks for the support and nudging, I think? But in my experience, it only takes one time and folks will start to lean on you to do more... I'm trying to relinquish jobs, not take on more...But seriously, I appreciate your thoughts!

Art said...

Awww... my heart is strangely warmed!

I recall, some years ago, a few of my 'friends' tricked me into preaching a sermon for a laity service.

Anything ring a bell?

Now look at me... impersonating a preacher 2.5 times a month!

LutherPunk said...

Totally meant as encouragement, with only small doses of sacrasm!

When I first really understood that I had a call to ministry was when I was invited to speak on Reformation Sunday. The church I attended at the time had a tradition of lay preaching on that day.

Another counterpart had been invited to do it the year before. It was a good experience for him, but helped him understand that his Christian vocation was to be something else.

I guess I would just encourage you to be open. The Spirit moves when and where He wills, and calls us to things we want to avoid sometimes. So the question realy is not "do I want to preach?" but "is the Spirit leading me to do this?"

And I agree with you about folks pushing you to do things...When I ask folks at my church to do something, I always open by giving them "permission" to say no. (not that I wield great power...I am just a lowly pastor!)

Stace said...

Art, I don't recall any trickeration.. I do, however, recall that you expressed interest in preaching and the opportunity presented itself, and you were gently COAXED into doing it.

LP, I'm trying to be open, but at the same time I can't help but be cautious. These people at my church are very pushy and don't give one an opportunity to say no.