"You can sit and watch it"

"You can sit and watch it."

This is what my 3 year old son said in response to the question we asked him about what I am to do when he plays "church".

"You can sit and watch it."

My son attends worship regularly, and while only being 3 years old, I think that he has and understanding of worship that is similar to what many people might consider worship to be.  If is something that one can sit and watch.  

 Currently, I am reading "Preaching in the Inventive Age" in which Pagitt addresses that the sermon is, which is dominated by monologue delivery, is something that contributes to the understanding that church is that place where you can "sit and watch".  

Pagitt argues for a "progressional dialogue" with clergy and laity in the preaching moment.  I cannot tell you how great this book is.  If you preach, you ought to consider Pagitt's book.  

Here is a link to all my highlights so far.  And for those of you who are like me and would just like a sampling, here you go!

  • "This dependence on preaching as speech making has become a form of communication I call "speaching""
  • "Speaching is not defined by the style of the presentation but by the relationship of the presenter to both the listeners and the content: the pastor uses a lecture-like format, often standing while the listeners are sitting. The speacher decides the content ahead of time, usually in a removed setting, and then offers it in such a way that the speacher is in control of the content, speed, and conclusion of the presentation"
  • "Preaching has so uniformly been equated with speech making that any other means of sermonizing is thought to be trivial and less authoritative."
  • "There are those who assume that if more people are allowed to share their understanding of teaching, theology, and faith, then there's a greater risk of the church losing truth. But the history of heresy shows that it's most often the abuse of power-not an openness of power-that creates environments ripe with heresy. The church is at a greater risk of losing its message when we limit those who can tell the story rather than invite the community to know and refine it"
  • "I have come to believe that there's a kind of dehumanizing effect when, week after week, competent people aren't allowed to share their ideas and understanding; when, week after week, one person is set apart from the rest as the only one who is allowed to speak about God; when, week after week, people willingly, or by some sort of social or spiritual pressure, just sit and take it; when, week after week, they're taught that the only way to be good learners is to be better listeners."
  • "It's simply untrue that people need their information in small, bite-sized or even "pre-chewed" pieces. The issue may not be that we have too much information or that we aren't presenting it in compelling ways but, perhaps, the information we've chosen is not all that interesting. New methods and exciting delivery will do little to solve that problem. A better or more tech-savvy speach is still a speach."
  • "What I know to be true is not negated by others knowing more or other things. Truth is progressive, not regressive or zero sum. When someone knows something to be true, it doesn't remove the legitimacy of other truths but adds to it. We may not agree with the conclusions people draw, but we're better when we're moved to additional ways of seeing the world."