Yesterday at church I had the joy of collaborating with one of our gifted young people, Megan. And it was joy! We led the whole service together. Though only eighteen, her story is already full of God-happenings with a strong sense of God's call into full-time service. Within the service I interviewed her about this call. Her story was clear, honest and wonderfully inspiring. It really was. At the end the masked congregation (a full-house within government regulations!) cheered and applauded.
Before, when we met in our garden five weeks ago, I asked Megan whether there were particular Scripture passages that meant a lot to her so that we could focus on one of them. Her Bible is full of under-linings, jottings in margins, fuller notes. We prayed and talked over a couple and decided on Col. 3:12-17. It's the positive wardrobe God promises to clothe us with. We agreed to spend time separately in reading the passage aloud and exegeting the passage to hear what God wanted to say to us and through us.
Of course, we needed to meet more to share our work, to listen to each other as well as how to plan out the dual sermon process. Twice we met in the church building and heard each other and developed a pattern for our preaching which involved Megan beginning with a short intro followed by me (similarly brief). then Megan preached a longer time, followed by me. Yes, we highlighted two main issues in our own ways and no, we didn't go on too long. 19 minutes actually.
What struck me throughout the entire process was how much we can learn from each other. Megan's radiance and conviction about the sheer possibilities of being clothed by God with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. For a sometimes jaded oldie like me it was an inspiration to hear this good news again. Afresh. When people say that the young people and children are the church of tomorrow that old correction puts it right - No, TODAY!- I know left on my own I would not have preached on this passage as we did together.
Of course, any deviation from a normal sermon preparation process takes much more time. But is it worth it! Oh yes! If you want to hear the 19 minutes go to Histon Baptist Church web site, hit Resources, then Sermons!