Preaching beyond Speaching

I believe preaching to be a crucial act of the church. That's why preaching needs to be released from the bondage of the speech making act. In reality speaching is quite new, a creation of Enlightenment Christianity in which faith formation was understood as something best handled by the "expert" (aka the pastor).
Speaching sets the story of God in a prefabricated context where it all makes sense from the perspective of the person speaking. The context of others is therefore inconsequential. Speaching also creates a belief that even in the presence of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of other Christians, there are a select few who know God's truth and who get to tell others about God. There is hardly a preacher who wants her hearers to leave with the notion that they must access the truth of God through the preacher. But that is precisely the message speaching perpetuates: The pastor has the authority to speak about God, and you don't. When communities are convinced they are better off with a unified understanding of God that is best articulated by trained presenters, we end up with people who cannot translate what they hear in church to the way they live their lives.

Doug Pagitt, Preaching Re-Imagined: the role of the sermon in communities of faith

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