Performing the Word

Preaching as Theatre

Book - Paperback
Performing the Word
Paperback ISBN: 9780687074235
$21.99 Show Buy

Published September 1998

Whether they like it or not, actors and preachers have a great deal in common. Many churchgoers see the truth in the old saying that links preachers and frustrated actors, though few preachers seem anxious to acknowledge the family resemblance. Performing the Word destigmatizes the performance-based approach to preaching and shows how the experience, skills, and modi operandi of actors and performance artists may be applied to preaching. This volume is ideal for seminary students and preachers who wish to enrich their delivery and creativity skills.

About the Author

Jana Childers


The Reverend Doctor Jana L. Childers, Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Homiletics and Speech-Communication at San Francisco Theological Seminary, is a Presbyterian minister who served congregations in Kansas and New Jersey before joining the seminary faculty.  She holds a B.A. from Wheaton College, an M.Div degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.


Interests in the arts, spirituality and worship supplement Jana’s “central and great love” – preaching.  She has appeared at churches and conferences across the country in the one-woman show Berries Red (1987-1997), produced the original musical Push Up the Sky (1997-1999) at the GTU and is currently working to bring Aimee!, a play about the life of Aimee Semple Mc Pherson, to the stage.  She is the author of Performing the Word: Preaching as Theatre (Abingdon Press, 1998), co-editor of The Abingdon Women’s Preaching Annual, Series I, editor of Birthing the Sermon: Women Preachers on Creative Process (Chalice Press, 2001) which was awarded the Religious Communication Association’s Book of the Year award, and editor of the forthcoming Purpose of Preaching (Chalice Press,2003).


Jana has appeared several times on Thirty Good Minutes, the television program produced by the Chicago Sunday Evening Club and was recently featured on the Odyssey Channel’s Great Preachers series.