The Peoples’ Sermon: Preaching as a Ministry of the Whole Congregation
The proclamation of the gospel is the responsibility of the baptized rather than the privilege of the ordained. Preaching is not a solo endeavor. It is a communal practice, a ministry of the whole congregation that is most faithful when the process is shared.
In The Peoples' Sermon, Shauna K. Hannan argues that it is no longer faithful for a preacher to craft a sermon in isolation, step into "the pulpit" (literally or metaphorically) on Sunday morning, offer a one-sided monologue, and on Monday start all over, alone, with the process of researching and writing in preparation for the following Sunday.
Hannan's goal is to create vital worshipping communities where all know and live out their roles in the preaching ministry of the congregation, where both clergy and laity are empowered and equipped in their roles before, during, and after the sermon. She encourages readers to reflect on what preaching is and why the church engages in this practice, and to explore various roles in the preaching ministry of the congregation. She guides readers and their communities through a process that equips hearers to fulfill their active roles in the preaching ministry of the congregation.
The Peoples' Sermon dares to suggest that preaching is most faithful when it is collaborative. Pastors do not own the pulpit; they steward it.