The following blog post is written by my former students and always friend Kyndall Rothaus, pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. I am so proud of students who have gone on to publish books. Preacher Breath is newly published by Smyth & Helwys, a (moderate) Baptist-related publisher. Kyndall is brilliant, articulate, insightful and contemplative. She’s also a feminist in the best sense of the word and wrote a guest post for this blog some back ago about feminism. Here is her own description of her book:
“Somehow or another our voices and our lives are speaking of God, and that is why I wrote Preacher Breath. Partly I tell the story of my own vocational journey as a preacher. More than that, I tell the story of breathing: the sometimes troubling, sometimes stunning life we inhale and the sometimes crippled, sometimes wholesome response we exhale back.
Thus far I have found pastoring and preaching to be difficult, messy, over-my-head, confusing, enlightening, alternately difficult, then wonderful. This is not so different from life. It is my opinion that preaching should match the ebb and flow of real life, lose all wind of pretension, and reflect for us in a genuine way what people are actually experiencing as they wrestle to be with God and in God in conjunction with this messed up but wondrous world.
In short, I want us to be free to be human. As preachers and as people, I want us to be able to breathe again—free and full and unconstricted. In my stark humanness, I keep finding God alive and well, forgiving and astounding. It is when I try to perform, impress, or control that the pulse of God gets lost. I may look to all the world like a high-achiever, but if you bent in close, you couldn’t catch a heartbeat. It is when I lean into the untidy me and the chaos of life that things really begin pumping in a whole new way.
If you’re on your own journey towards a wholehearted life or if you’re struggling to figure out how to be an authentic you amidst a life of ministry demands and heightened expectations, or if you’re on the search to find your voice and to use it well, then perhaps we can journey together? Take a look at Preacher Breath, and may your soul expand along with your lungs.
Mercy, Peace, and Never-Ending Adventure Be Yours,