Gaining Experience and Confidence in Crafting and Delivering a Sermon.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
These words, written by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, are my favorite example of Christian community in the Bible. Just as the human body is made up of different and diverse parts, so is the body of Christ. The body cannot be made up of one part alone. A body made of only arms is not a fully functioning system, one needs legs and fingers and toes as well. We in the church forget this lesson far too often. We do not need to reach out to the feet, or to the eyes, because they are so different from us. We are happy just being arms.
The Academy of Preachers is the first place I have ever been where this diversity of the body was fully embraced. I met people from across all walks of life. People from a variety of Christian traditions. People of many races, ethnicities, and identities. We were all very different, and yet we were all one.
Prior to being asked to attend the Academy of Preachers, the idea of preaching seemed daunting. As someone who is still clarifying my place in this thing we call ministry, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to preach. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to preach. I certainly wasn’t sure that if I did preach, anyone would want to listen. Amidst these uncertainties, I also felt strongly that if I didn’t at least try, I would never know if this was something I was called to do. I will always cherish the experience that I had with the Academy of Preachers, because it helped me to gain both experience and confidence in crafting and delivering a sermon.
More than that, I will cherish the Academy of Preachers for helping me to truly experience the full body of Christ. My fellow young preachers were full of the Spirit. They were prophetic, passionate, and dedicated to social justice. They gave me hope for the future of the church. More importantly, they gave me hope for this community that we find within the love of Christ. I pray that this strong sense of community will spread from the Academy of Preachers and into the world! Amen!
Central create Scholar