As many of you know I am in Seminary. And honestly, I don’t normally write about classes I take. But for some reason, this one is different. With being in seminary I have to take a preaching class. And then actually preach in said class. Well, if you’ve talked to me at all, ever, you know I am not shy about saying I don’t feel called to “preach” or be a “pastor.” And that has nothing to do with being a female. I don’t believe teaching is my gift. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love reading the scriptures and studying and learning and sharing what I’ve learned and what God is teaching me with those around me. But normally it’s not in the front of people. It’s a one on one conversation with a friend. And even better, it’s here on this blog. Where people don’t have to look at me. Where I can use my voice, but I don’t have to speak. Most people’s biggest fear is public speaking, and I am most people.
I have found such a comfort in expressing myself with written words that speaking is terrifying. For so long I wanted to find my voice, and I have found it- in this writing process. So, when I have to get up and teach, or in this case, preach, all my insecurities seem to pop up. What if I say something wrong? What if you can hear how nervous I am? What if my voice is annoying to people? What if I get tongue tied? What if I’m so nervous I talk WAY TOO fast? And then I doubt myself.
I am so cautious and intentional about what I say and how I say it when I am writing. I want whoever reads this- friends, family, and maybe the occasional stranger that may find it somehow- to hear my voice and my passion, but more importantly my heart. It has become so easy to allow people in with writing that I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to do it when preaching. Most people know when I started this blog, it wasn’t to gain followers. It wasn’t to become some famous blogger that people want to follow. And that’s not who I am. It was for the purpose of being obedient to God, which I still very much feel like He told me to start blogging, and it was to allow whoever wanted to journey with me to do that. (which I know, this year I haven’t been the best at. Life man. What can I say?)
So, when it came time to take preaching this semester I 100% tried everything not to take it. I told my friends (classmates) that I wasn’t going to take it. I would just wait to take it a different time. But being the great people they are they encouraged me to and said, “you’re going to do great. And honestly, we love you and nothing is going to change that. At least it’s just us as your audience for the first time and not in front of a whole church.” Geez okay. And because I know they do love me, and that even if I was a terrible preacher, 1. They would still love me & wouldn’t look at me different. 2. What was the worse could happen, they already knew preaching wasn’t the end result of seminary so if I did horrible they wouldn’t be shocked, but if I did great- well maybe I would find out I had a new calling in life I didn’t know I had. Right? Ha!
So even though I really didn’t want to, I took the class. My biased opinion- I had THE BEST professor, who happens to also be my pastor. I don’t think I would have been as comfortable or been the slightest bit confident if anyone else would have been my professor. Duane really encouraged me all semester, prayed for me when I was having a hard time with the class & super nervous, and let me borrow books to do my studying. I couldn’t have made it through this class without my classmates, actually better know to me as my friends.
But mostly, after preaching twice, I am so humbled that God would do what He did. That He would even allow me to be where I am today. Someone who has had more doubts over the years then I like to admit. Someone who still doubts my ability to teach. That He would take me and use me and even give me the opportunity to bring a word from Him to my class. It wasn’t just a grade. It was a real sermon. That He gave me to speak. I am in complete awe that I was able to even preach, twice. Whether I go on and “preach” more, or I just use this class to help me study and learn more to be able to speak to others and tell them the good news, I will always be reminded of God’s faithfulness when I think of this class.
Both sermons I preached; I was preaching to myself more than anyone else. God spoke a word to me for me. My first sermon was Mark 5:24-34 and my second sermon was Exodus 14:10-20. I honestly enjoyed it more than I like to admit. I really enjoyed studying and preparing and writing the actual sermon. The delivering part, well I need a little more practice. 😉 I have posted the voice memos if you’d like to listen to them.
This is not about me, about how well I did or didn’t do. This is about how faithful our God is. About how He is in control. And He will do what He wants, and He will use who He wants for His purpose. And I am completely humbled that He chooses to continue to work in me and through me.
As someone who is a Christian, I will be preaching. Because we are all called to be like Jesus and to share the good news. Just like it says in Acts 2 at Pentecost. V. 4- “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.” (also reference v. 14-18)
When I preach, it may not be in a pulpit. But it may. I can’t see that far into the future. But here we are. I have preached for the first time ever…twice. How great is our God?!
3 thoughts on “I preached for the first time ever…twice!”
Alyssa you did great. I listened to both sermons. I am so proud of you.
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Thank you for sharing your first sermons ever. I would have been shaking! Idk how far apart these are. Both are great! But wow, the growth in your delivery and letting your personality and heart shine in such a short time was amazing. You brought tears with the story of the lady. Correction, Jesus used you as a vessel and He touched my heart. Thank you for sharing His love. I can’t wait to hear more!
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your best is coming next Alyssa….just push forward, persist, run the race, you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, you are set apart for some great things, things that are yet to be seen or done by others because only you can do them the way you do them….be bold, be courageous…the Lord is with you.
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