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Is it time to scrap the sermon?

Is it time to scrap the sermon?

The lecture-style sermon, delivered every Sunday. File under “We’ve always done it that way.” But in the information age, has the sermon outlived its usefulness? David Murrow writes at

Just as universities are re-thinking the lecture, it might be time for churches to re-think the sermon. Thom and Joani Schultz polled churchgoers and found that just 12 percent could recall the topic of the last sermon they heard. Only five percent of men credited sermons as their primary source of knowledge about God.

So if sermons are becoming obsolete, what will take their place?

Discipleship. Our generation may be drowning in ideas, but we’re starving for real human contact.

The problem is, our churches are structured to deliver sermons and music. If there’s any energy left, we disciple people.

What if we could turn that around? What if there were a way of organizing believers around a weekly discipleship experience, instead of a weekly lecture-and-singalong?

Read full post here. What do you think?


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Rod Gillis

Re, billydinpvd” Oratory isn’t just about passing on information – it’s an art form.” Yes!


Oratory isn’t just about passing on information – it’s an art form. I know that’s easy to forget, because a fair number of homilists have forgotten it, too, or have no knack for it, but occasionally you can hear preaching by someone who practices the art well.

Rod Gillis

Re Harriet, “Can’t you see the disconnect, between us literate, educated, upper middle class people who are being treated as illiterate peasants by the Church?”

Nope,can’t see the disconnect, at least not the one you outline.

Clint Davis

Thank you Adam, I will accept the designation Anglo-Catholic, though my Anglo-Catholicism might be somewhat more austere than other, more well-known varieties. I’m not averse to a luscious liturgical life or careful innovation/renewal, certainly not; but, I’m highly averse to made up, torturously justified, or gleefully unjustified practices encroaching on the ancient liturgy of the Church, of which our Rite is an acceptable, beautiful variant, but which in many parishes is junked up by well-intentioned nonsense.

Adam Wood

I sympathize- I really do.

But it sounds like your problems are not in particular problems of “The Church,” but problems in your local church.

I can tell you that, at least where I am, the clericalism you describe is mostly a problem among lay people, not clergy. That is: the clergy (and Bishop) in this area try to encourage lay leadership as much as possible, and the biggest barrier to that tends to be lay people who are overly reliant on instructions and permission from clergy members.

In my diocese, if it weren’t for lay people (especially lay women) I’m not sure our Bishop would know what to do with himself.

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