Challenging times and prayerful responses

The ITC campus has been abuzz since last week after the news of civil allegations against a well-known Atlanta preacher hit the media. The buzz has been two- if not three-fold. One fold is because the preacher in question is an alum of ITC and is well known to many of the faculty and staff. A second fold is the question of preachers and boundaries and the third fold is how the church and the Church are being affected.

In nearly every class we’ve talked about everything EXCEPT the allegations against this preacher, which I think is a good thing. Most of the conversations have been centered on the response, or what the response should be, or should have been — from the people and from fellow clergy.

It has been an intriguing dialogue. And what I took away from it was this: pray before, during and after you speak and act. If you do, you will have a better shot at saying or doing the right thing.

This brings me to my next train of thought… me digesting the idea that I will preach in the coming weeks. This is a serious challenge for me. I’ve not yet embraced the idea of “Michelle the preacher” yet because I’m most comfortable with “Michelle the writer.” I’ve been praying on this preaching thing and not sure I’m really listening for my answer. Maybe I’m afraid of the answer. The introduction to my sermon is due Thursday. The conclusion is due the following week and the body is due the week after that.

While this is an assignment for class, it is a real sermon and the Word is not to be played with. I will need the support of all of my friends in ministry and those who are traveling this journey with me. Will you pray with me and for me?


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