Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Morning Preacher: Preaching like a girl

I thought the sermon went pretty well yesterday, kind of middle of the pack. But afterwards I got an interesting comment: that I wasn’t fiery enough. Huh.

I had a meeting with the music director after that which led to a long discussion about claiming authority which made me realize something: I have a habit of preaching (and blogging) thusly:

“Here’s what I think, and I’m not saying that’s right—I’m not saying that’s wrong either. I’m just saying this is what I think at the moment, but, you know, if I think about it some more I might change my mind, so don’t mind me.”

One of the things I need to work on is preaching (and blogging) thusly:

“Here’s what I think.”

That’s going to be hard for me.

I’m stopping now before I say something diffident.


Anonymous said...

I'm having some especially intense reactions to this post, and I think it will take me awhile to pick through them. I hope you can bear with me, as it may take more than one message to say everything that is on my mind and heart here.

I'll start with the title: "preaching like a girl." I hate the ways our culture often identifies girls' behavior with bad, insufficient, inferior, or odd behavior. I hate the ways phrases such as "throwing like girl" become taunts on the playground that stigmatize girls and boys alike. I hate the way this kind of language erases the vigor of tom-girls, laughs at the efforts of ordinary girls, stigmatizes the behavior of all those boys who don't conform to the right gender expectations for future men.

I know you are not meaning to do any of these things - but all of these things come to my mind when I read this title.

Anonymous said...

Second post, on a second note - when I read your blogs and your sermons, they don't seem as diffident to me as they clearly do to you.

When I come to this site, I like finding the open mind, the sensitivity to others' opinions, the nuance of expression, the refusal to foreclose the issues, the recognition that life can be complicated and sometimes confusing.

I would miss these attributes if they went away.

TexasRed said...

After studying gender communications, I can understand how difficult it would be to change from the more socially accepted "softer" opinions women are encouraged to have to the authoritative message from the pulpit. Good to have feed back to help you get to a style you feel conveys your message better.

LKT said...

Anonymous: I can understand the reaction. The title was, in fact, meant to be provocative.

I drew it largely from the book "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office" which has the constant refrain, "Quit acting like a girl." There's nothing wrong with being a girl. The truth is, I'm not a girl; I'm a woman. And I would hate to spend my life thinking that I'm preaching in a way that doesn't claim maturity and confidence.

I don't plan to lose an open mind or sensitivity to other's opinions (I certainly hope I don't). But I do know that I have written many a post in which I say "I don't know anything about this; I'll probably change my mind tomorrow" when in fact I do know something and I have a strong opinion!

it's margaret said...

I was told by a priest I really respect that it takes about 7-9 years to get your 'voice' --looks like you are right on track.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that thoughtful response - I will look forward to learning all about all your strong opinions!