Stephanie Moore Hand – Preaching
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand, Deacon, Metro District Vitality Strategist
What is the most challenging thing for you when it comes to preaching?
The most challenging thing for me when it comes to preaching is listening to God during the sermon preparation process. The discipline of slowing down to simply pray and listen for what God is calling to say is challenging but is absolutely imperative. Intentionally listening to God.
What is the most rewarding thing?
The most rewarding thing to me about proclaiming the word of God is how God would even use me, for this unbelievable Kingdom work of teaching and preaching. The reward is, I am reminded by God, that each of us, even me, have gifts, and a purpose. The privilege is when we connect to the will of God, every now and again we just might have the privilege to experience manifestation, transformation, healing, restorative power, miracles, signs, and wonders of our great God. Now for me, the “foretaste” of witnessing the manifestation makes me run on with joy, and hope to see the end of the story.
What has changed about preaching over your years of ministry?
My preparation for preaching has shifted from always starting with the lectionary scripture, towards a deeper pray time to discern what God desires from my proclamation to the body. I then move to the Holy Rit, exegetical work, real-life contextual examples, which become very fluid. Even after I have completed my manuscript, the day of, I spend intimate time with God, at 3 am and I release it all to God. Then when I stand behind the “sacred desk” I open myself up completely to the movement of the Holy Spirit. The butterflies in my stomach, however, are still the same.
What counsel would you offer those who preach?
Pray. Pray. Pray. Be diligent with discerning what is it you are being called to proclaim, what are the relevant scriptural text for the preaching context. Ensure the exegetical work is thorough. Proclaim God's word in the language and context of the people. Finally, never forget our teaching and preaching is for the Glory of God, we teach and preach to point, walk with, set the atmosphere for the people of God, which is everyone, gain a possible glimpse of the Kingdom of God here on earth, so that we are inspired to leave the sacred spaces, and Go into the world with the Power of God to dismantle systemic systems that oppress, boldly living out, in real-time, the Great Commandment and Great Commission.
Do you have any resources, experiences, or books you would recommend?
I would say take walks or drive around into communities, have conversation, coffee, breakfast, lunch dinner with people you are unfamiliar, save up your money- I believe every Christian should travel to the Holy Land, and Africa the places in which the Bible speaks. These experiences will make scripture leap for the pages of the Bible. Finally, I would say discover your own voice, and use that voice, YOUR VOICE, unapologetically, to give God glory! NOW Go preach and teach the Word of God with the power of the Holy Spirit!