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The Emotionally Honest Preacher

How strong leadership and vulnerability work together.

The Emotionally Honest PreacherSee theme
"Listening to our emotions ushers us into reality. And reality is where we meet God."
(Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, The Cry of the Soul. Word, 1994, p. 24.)

I don't fit the typical emotional profile of "strong leader." Tears come easily to me—of joy, sadness, frustration. And every effort to stuff them only intensifies them. So how am I supposed to preach as my true self and still be taken seriously?

When I first stepped into the preaching role, I noticed how many of my fears grew from gender stereotypes. I was afraid to be a cliché—the "weepy woman." Would my joy seem childish? My lament manipulative? My first sermons were all buttoned up. I wrote out complete manuscripts, practiced them carefully with references to emotion but not much show of it. I felt very competent and controlled. But to my listeners, I was stiff and distant. Soon the disconnect forced me to confront a choice before me: be taken seriously as a leader or be ...

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