They will preach


These girls will preach

Barbara Brown Taylor recently visited the McAfee School of Theology to speak for its preaching lecture series. I tuned in to the livestream the first night of the lectures, but I had to miss the lecture. For good reason. I had friends who were attending the lectures (who are both ministers) who needed someone to hang out with their three-year-old twin girls. I jumped at the chance to spend time with them.

We found an empty classroom in the seminary building and got all set up with a coloring book and crayons and stuffed animals and fruit snacks. We played ring around the rosy and sang some silly songs.

Then we decided to play hide-and-go seek.

Hiding in a Seminary

Now, there aren’t many places to hide in a seminary classroom (I’m sure there is a sermon illustration in there somewhere). But leave it to two three-year-olds to find the perfect hiding spot.

You see, we were in the room used for preaching class and there was a big pulpit at the front of the room. When it was time for the girls to hide, they crawled into the space under the pulpit.

It took me longer than I care to admit to find them.

A few minutes later, these two girls said “We want to preach!” And we pulled up two chairs and they climbed up on them and stood proudly behind the pulpit. “We’re preaching like mommy and daddy!”

It brought tears to my eyes.

These two fierce and precious girls have never been told they can’t be preachers. They have grown up in churches where women have been affirmed to preach and lead. They have seen their mother behind a pulpit and heard her use her voice to share the word of God.

And if they want to preach, they will preach. Because they can.

Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching

This month, CBF churches around the country are welcoming women into their pulpits for the Martha Stearns Marshall (MSM) month of preaching. I am thankful that FBC Decatur is one of them.

Every February, women preachers are affirmed and celebrated for the gifts God has given them. We will welcome four female preachers into our pulpit for the MSM Month of Preaching, and will have others in the year ahead.

It’s not easy being a female pastor

It’s not always easy being a female pastor.

There are a lot of opinions on whether women should be allowed to preach or be ordained or be called “pastor” at all. I am thankful for the good work that women who have come before me have done to pave the way for women to use their God-given gifts.

And my prayer is that any one who feels that they want to preach will be given a pulpit to preach from.

May we celebrate the voices of women in our lives: preachers, teachers, mentors, and leaders. May we provide space for women to use their gifts, no matter what they choose to do.

And may we be as fearless as these two girls, stepping into places with the confidence to lead and have our voices be heard.

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Kristen Koger is the Pastor for Children and Families at First Baptist Church of Decatur.