Papa Don’t Preach

OK, I posted a while back that I’m going to be blogging a series of posts based on an article suggesting topics for spiritual deconstruction. Last week’s topic was Heroes. This week’s is sermons.

I really don’t have as much of a nice, neat package about sermons. I’m still working out their place in church. After spending a good bit of 2008 working through the issue of what, in my opinion, really constituted a church, I had a conversation about the subject a little over a year ago with a preacher. I started listing the handful of things I thought were absolutely necessary. Toward the end of my short list, he interjected “Preachers.” And I had to tell this preacher, um, well, really, I’m not sure about that.

And if you don’t need preachers, you don’t need sermons. There’s a case to be made for a less top-heavy church, and for more interactive teaching. And, really, that’s an approach that I find rather agreeable.

That said, I can’t argue with this — God definitely can speak through sermons. I was accused of being arrogant about a month ago for commenting that there were sermons where I leave the church thinking it was probably someone else’s week to hear from Him in the sermon. But, to be sure, there are weeks that I definitely hear God through the sermon more than others. Which isn’t to say that there are ever weeks that I get nothing. There are weeks I learn a lot, and then there are weeks when God grabs me by the collar and shakes me. And, to me, it would be more arrogant to assume that which sort of week it is for me is a reflection on the sermon — I tend to believe that the weeks I just learn things are the weeks that someone else was in for a collar-shaking.

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