An idea: smoking hot sermons from on-fire preacherwomen

An idea: smoking hot sermons from on-fire preacherwomen April 29, 2013

So I got an idea of a way to turn the “smoking hot wife” meme against its patriarchal self. Let’s share some smoking hot sermon podcasts from some on-fire preacherwomen like Nadia Bolz-Weber, Amanda Garber, Lillian Daniel, etc. I heard one from Charith Fee-Nordling at the Missio Alliance conference; my word, it about burned a hole straight through me. So if you’ve heard a smoking hot sermon from a preacherwomen, put a link to it in the comment section or if you just know of a preacherwomen with some prophetic fire, then put her name. If you participate, then I’ll check out these links and come up with a top ten or something like that.

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  • Dan Guy

    I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m not convinced that this isn’t just as misguided…

    • Morgan Guyton

      Well you are Catholic and I imagine not a fan of the woman priest movement.

      • My discomfort is with re-using the sexist language, even if it is in an attempt to subvert it.

        But, yes, as an obedient Catholic I am not a fan of the Women Priest movement. It has nothing to do with women’s pastoral or rhetorical abilities; the Church has had abbesses, female theologians, women teachers, and women doctors of the Church. (Including St. Teresa of Avila, who wasn’t scared of trolling Christ himself! — Men and women both do pastoral, teaching, preaching work in the Church. (There is absolutely a place for your wife as a preacher in the Church!) It’s not about fitness to preach, then, but the priestly office, the essence of which is the celebration of Christ’s Sacrifice in the Mass, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

        A sacrament is both functional and symbolic. In baptism, water, which cleans and gives life, is a symbol of cleansing and new life is water. Wine, for all of its awesomeness, is not the appropriate matter. Conversely, in the Eucharist, wine — the “blood” of crushed grapes — both symbolizes the blood of Christ, crushed for us, and, functionally, invigorates and inebriates us like the power of the Holy Spirit; wine is fitting here and water is not. (Sorry, Latter Day Saints.) It’s not a question of equality, but of fittingness.

        Christ taught that he was the “Bridegroom” to the Church’s “Bride” in the great eschatological Marriage Feast of the Kingdom (Matthew 25:1-13). Christ embued gender with meaning; it’s not simply a random accident — God designed the human person as male and female. Every mass is a localized “Marriage Feast of the Lamb” whereby we enter into the self-sacrificial love of that Cosmic Bridegroom for his Bride.

        As with water in Baptism and wine in Eucharist, it is not that a man is “superior” to a woman in being “matter” for the priesthood. It is that man is a fitting symbol of the Bridegroom and woman is not. Though God is bigger than gender, Christ came as a man. The priest is an “alter Christus” to the Bride in the mystery of the mass. He signifies. He does not primarily “administrate” or preach or pastor.

        Ordination, then, is not a right. It’s a gift. It’s a sacrament that does what it symbolizes and symbolizes what it does, like all sacraments. Symbols therefore matter (particularly those which Christ himself has instituted) and the Church has no power to alter such symbols in their fundamentals. Christ and the apostles revealed what the “matter” of ordination should be, just as they revealed what the matter of Baptism and Eucharist should be. The Church merely obeys. That is why the Pope says, “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

      • I just came across another take on this, linked from an unrelated post. I don’t agree with the tone of a lot of this blog, but this particular post makes the argument better than I did, I think, and adds to it an interesting contrasting of how the world sees equality versus what we as Christians view equality.

    • It seems like hearing some great female preaching would help people to dismantle their ingrained stereotype that only men can be great preachers.
      Post again if you are able to put a finger on what your concern is here..

    • If I may, it only appears to be sexist language because it is offered alongside a critique of the use of the language in a sexist context. I think it is fine and wonderful for preachers to be hot and on fire.

      As for your discussion about ordination in Catholicism, I personally have been on board with gendered metaphysical representation of the bride and Christ, especially for the Catholics, in this world. Catholicism comes with it a number of caveats, and thankfully there are many choices. The problem is, as you say, there is a difference between officiating at a sacrificial rite and being of use and service to the body.

      I am graduating from seminary and floundering. I am only now beginning to see that what I thought were problems in my personal life – that there were many Christians I knew who felt I should not go to seminary because of my gender – are actually problems in the larger sphere of society. Now I see that had I studied law, my gender would have put me at 80 or 90% of the opportunities available to men, but since I studied theology my options are extremely slim. I am not an administrator or a children’s minister. And I am not a pastor’s wife. I am not a wife at all, and I’ll tell you, it is one of the most hurtful things a woman like me can hear for someone to say: their wives can preach. Or what I have heard men say to me; now that you have an M.Div, you’ll make a great pastor’s wife.

      If marrying a pastor is the only opportunity for women who are filled with the Spirit to teach, how is the church any better than film directors offering bit parts to starlets in exchange for sex?

      I have put the work in. My work is equal to or greater than that of the men I went to school with since I have been trained through suffering, and suffering related directly to my gender. We’ll see if the God who led me through and to the work is going to make a place for me.

      I’m grateful for guys like Morgan who are dealing with this issue. I think it’s unfortunate that women have to spend a majority of their energy just talking gender. This expense is just one more way that we are restricted from achieving the same levels of contribution as men, who are free to talk about whatever they want. Those of us who are called to the service of Christ sure do waste a lot of time trying to drag the church out of the 1950s.

      And women were ordained deacons in the Catholic church until Roman law that women could not serve in public office put an end to that. (Source can be provided, guy name Wijngaards or something like that).

      • I’m having trouble following what you are saying from point to point, possibly because I’m sick.

        It is very offensive that some have said to you, “now that you have an M.Div, you’ll make a great pastor’s wife.” I don’t understand why “it is one of the most hurtful things a woman like me can hear for someone to say: their wives can preach.” What is wrong with someone delighting in his wife’s preaching gifts? I must be misunderstanding.

        Women deacons were primarily found in the Eastern Church, and they nature of the role was in flux for several hundred years. Women deacons were unheard of in the early Church, and first make an appearance in the Western Church in Gaul in the fourth and fifth centuries. The First Council of Orange decreed in 441 that “deaconesses are absolutely not to be ordained; and if there are still any of them, let them bow their head under the benediction which is given to the congregation.” This did not put an end to the female diaconate in Gaul, and in 533, the Second Council of Orleans effectively suppressed the order. This was somewhat after the fall of Rome, and had nothing to do with Roman Law.

      • Thanks for clarifying that fact about the end of the office of deaconness. There really is a church history scholar out there who said what I said, but it doesn’t matter. The point is, there were women who were ordained in the early church.

        I probably shouldn’t have responded at all. I’ve been in a sad mood and getting sadder, and it has a lot to do with this issue. I’ve been trying the doors of the church for a long time and they’re always locked… possibly because of the hours I keep. You didn’t offend me personally, but I would say that when you say something about wives preaching, it emphasizes the reality that it seems marriage is the ticket for most women into places of respect in the church. Not in all places, but in most. And I would urge you to believe me since I am a single woman and you are not.

        Anyway, I’m really sorry that I may have seemed to be coming down on you. I didn’t mean to, but I’m hurt, worried about my having chosen to study something I’m passionate about without realizing that passion doesn’t erase social status, and facing the reality that my gender really does make it harder. I’m working through this. Eventually, it will soften me, I hope, but right now, it hurts a lot. Your comments served as a good springboard for exploring my thoughts, but I probably should not have posted those thoughts publicly on someone else’s blog. (Sorry Morgan Guyton.)

        As far as not following me goes, I get that a lot, so it’s probably me, not you.

        Hey, <3, bless.

        • Morgan Guyton

          This is a safe place. I was touched that you were willing to share your fears about your future in ministry. I have been praying for you all afternoon since I read that. What denomination are you in? We Methodists are all about women preachers!

      • Oh, I think I understand now. I wasn’t saying anything about wives; I was addressing Morgan specifically concerning his wife. Morgan has shared with us that one of his big objections to Catholicism is the issue of women’s ordination, due to his conviction that his wife has a valid call to ministry; I was re-iterating that the Church has ample opportunities for ministry for women outside of ordination.

        There were a lot of things in parts of the early Church which were later judged to be incorrect, including female ordination. This has no reflection on you, though, because Protestantism doesn’t have valid ordination. Lacking the sacrament of Holy Orders, I am all for women preachers!

        • Morgan Guyton

          “Later judged to be incorrect.” So it’s okay for the magisterium to change its mind as long as its in a regressive direction. 😉

          • Dan Guy

            The Magisterium often does not determine and then promulgate an official teaching until a matter has been called into question. In this case, the Magisterium has never taught that women could be ordained. Rather, it was the fact that places like Gaul had begun to allow women to be deacons that caused the Magisterium to examine the issue and make an official ruling.

            Sometimes the Magisterium examines and debates a practice and determines that it is correct; other times it determines that it is incorrect. This is how it is meant to work. You can’t say that just because some people in Gaul mistakenly had women deacons it means that the whole Church was obligated to accept the practice, any more than you could say that because Arianism held that Jesus the Son was subordinate to God the Father meant that the whole Church was obligated to just roll with that.

            Note, too, that in most of these historical cases of women deacons — including those mentions found in the NT — the women were not ordained. Rather, they were serving the same roles that women still fill in the Church as extraordinary ministers, chanters, and heads of religious orders.

      • Dan, I forgot to mention that I really liked that cartoon you shared. Also, I am sorry that I took the opportunity to speak the way I did in response to what may be a more unpopular view to this audience. The truth is, I have always practiced within a complimentarian view, although I don’t think that comes from a theological stance so much as it comes from a personal disposition. I don’t want to be a priest. And I am glad that at least one expression of Christianity holds the mystery of the church as bride so dearly.

        Morgan, unfortunately, I went to seminary because I loved studying, not because I had a career goal in mind. All I knew was I experienced a rather strong vocational calling. I went to a Baptist, complimentarian, seminary. One reason I did that was that my familiarity with Baptist theology, I thought, would enable me to more easily navigate viewpoint vs. truth. That doesn’t make me Baptist. I like to fit everywhere. And I feel like I fit nowhere perfectly. I like Anglicanism best if I were going to be ordained. I don’t know if I will or not.

        I’m really grateful that I got a chance to talk about this. I have been thinking differently about it…

        1. I notice that there are positive aspects to my position.
        2. I notice there are some ways in which I haven’t been as disciplined as I should have been.
        3. There are more things than gender keeping me out of certain kinds of church ministry.
        4. I’ve been panicking, and panic is antithetical, even if it is justified.

        I really appreciate your prayers and your blog. Even more, I appreciate your communicating with me. A lot of pastors I’ve encountered are not very good about that. (Many won’t talk because they have rules against speaking to women and will refer me to their wives.) I’m definitely learning from your blog and tweets.

        If you do listen to my podcast, I don’t know if #18 is best… pick one you like or try the one called Sign 5. In it, I say one of my favorite sayings: Get out of the boat! (I was kind of shocked when I saw that blog entry title.) When people started listening to the podcast more than I anticipated, I started worrying about copyrights and permissions, so I ended up editing out what I read of your post and just included a link to it in the description.

        I know a lot of people think extreme misogyny related to complimentarianism is not very prevalent, but my experience has been riddled with persecution mainly related to my gender in some very serious, even life-threatening ways. Were I to tell you some of the things I’ve been through, you would understand why I reacted so strongly… but now is not the time for that.

        • Morgan Guyton

          I think there’s a world of difference between Catholic complementarianism and the Baptist kind. The Catholic kind is strictly focused on the liturgical mystery while the Baptist kind in my experience includes value judgments about the worth of women and men. I grew up Baptist BTW, but I became a Methodist when I met my Methodist seminarian wife. Oh and on your podcast, don’t edit out anything you quote of mine. I’m super-flattered!

  • I’m not usually one for self promotion. I haven’t done any advertising in the two months since I started running a podcast at all, but I reference your blog in one of my podcasts (#18, I believe).

    My name is Beloved Just. I’m a Theological Grease Monkey. My podcast airs on at

    • Morgan Guyton

      Word up! Self-nominations are fine. Look forward to listening. Thank you.

  • ps thanks for honoring our voices. not a lot of ppl do. <3

    • Morgan Guyton

      My most important pastor was a woman. She nurtured me in a time when I wouldn’t have made it otherwise.

  • Alright! I’m new to Twitter, but your blog has fast become a fav since following you during the Missio Alliance Conference. So, if self-nominating isn’t seen as too uncouth, here’s one I gave last month that was fun for me to write:

    ( – the one from 3/17/13 if the above link doesn’t work)


    • Morgan Guyton


  • Not sure if they are “smoking hot” but here is the text of ones I’ve given. Sorry, no podcasts. They are also all short, as the chapel service at the college where I worked was only 20 minutes long, total.

    • Morgan Guyton

      Thank you!

  • I recommend that you check out some of the sermons of our very own Rev. Sarah Buteux. She’s one of the reasons why our church is incredible!

    • Morgan Guyton


    • I really liked the sermon I listened to! One of my new favorite preachers I think!

  • Sara Miles (St Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal in San Fran) Kae Evenson (Mercy Seat Lutheran Minneapolis) and Debbie Blue (House of Mercy St. Paul, MN) are my faves.

  • I’m all for self promotion! Here is a link to my second sermon, I can’t wait to preach some more!

    Thank you for doing this, I can’t wait to read/listen/watch what others share!

    • Morgan Guyton

      Thanks so much!

  • Neva

    This woman just added sound, but her sermons are always fiery! In the good way.

    • Morgan Guyton


  • Christine Caine!

    • Morgan Guyton

      Thank you!

  • Always ready to hear Jo Saxton! (And you’re right that Charith Fee-Nordling was amazing at Missio-Alliance.)

    • Morgan Guyton

      Yeah I need to get a recording of that sermon. I’m not sure I can shell out the $ for the whole conference audio package.

  • Jasmine Smothers for sure – she’s a firecracker!

    • Morgan Guyton


  • Two recent sermons:
    Resurrection Power: Risk:
    Resurrection Power: Encounter:
    Pastor Mochel

    • Morgan Guyton


  • This, my friend, is an EPIC idea. I may need to highlight another of your articles this week. 😉

  • I love the idea of making sure women in ministry have more exposure, but the #SmokingHot appellation still feels icky to me. I know you don’t mean it to be objectifying, but it still feels that way to me. “Smoking Hot” still carries the connotations of finding someone sexually attractive. I applaud you desire to redirect and turn the phrase on its head, but I can’t get past it.

    • Morgan Guyton

      I hear what you’re saying. I ran it by a few women before I went with it and they seemed okay with it so I took a risk. I think one thing I might need to do is ask someone else to curate this so that it doesn’t look like I’m putting myself forward as a pimp for preacherwoman.

    • Morgan Guyton

      I guess part of it is that I’m a few steps removed from any context in which “smoking hot” is actually used seriously. So it’s probably deceptively abstract to me. I just don’t interact with many open misogynists.

  • My friend Sarah is full of God’s grace and truth. She’s a great preacher (not terribly frequent poster)

  • Cheri Holdridge is definitely a “On Fire” Preacher woman and the founder/church planter of The Village Church in Toledo Ohio! She has awesome messages!

  • Rev. Dr. Tina Carter for sure:

  • Eric Treider

    You have never heard anything like this before: Christian ecstatic Emma Joy Henderson. She is definitely on fire! And she speaks a deep truth.