A trial lawyer turned stand-up comedian, and Baptist preacher, Susan Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. Currently, the senior pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City (and the first woman in its 170-year history), Susan is also a TEDx speaker and professional comedian appearing with a stand-up rabbi and a Muslim comic in the long-standing Laugh in Peace Comedy Tour. A nationally syndicated columnist and author of the award-winning Laugh Your Way to Grace, her work with humor and healing has been featured by O (The Oprah) Magazine, the New York Times, and CBS. While her ministry is in NYC, Susan still loves to fly-fish, ride her Harley, wear great cowboy boots, eat good BBQ, and hang out anywhere that reminds her of her childhood home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
When did you first realize you wanted to write Preaching Punchlines? What were you hoping to accomplish when you sat down to write Preaching Punchlines?
For years, I’ve given workshops to seminary students and pastors on the power of leveraging the tools of standup comedy for preaching. Over and over people asked me – when are you going to write a book about this?! Finally, I decided it was time. This book captures many of the lessons from my seminars and invites preachers to be authentically themselves, to tap into their creative gifts, and to build bridges, to influence change, and to share a universal message of good news through humor and joy!