This book is a collection of dramatic, participatory sermons, which involve members of the congregation in the act of preaching. As pastor of a very creative congregation David Steele developed a number of different ways God's Word can be proclaimed with several voices. Here are readings, dramas, and dialogue sermons--the results of experiments in "preaching with more than one voice" at Steele's church in California.
Steele believes that, just as worship and hymn singing are community events, it is natural for the sermon itself to move out beyond the pulpit. Worship is thus enlivened and becomes a communal event as the church acts out its beliefs in the priesthood of all believers.
When Steele and his congregation first tried preaching together, they found themselves being touched by God's grace in an unusual way. In Steele's words they found themselves "in the midst of the Word" rather than passively receiving the word from a clergyperson standing alone up front.
Since then, these unique sermons have been used around the country, usually in more informal settings. Following the church year, they are ideal for worship, study, or retreat settings, and they can be easily performed by anyone after a rehearsal or two.
"Grace can't be paid back; it must be passed on," Steele writes. He is passing along these sermons in the hope that more congregations will try them and find their own moments of amazing grace.
DAVID STEELE is pastor emeritus of Christ Presbyterian Church in Terra Linda, San Rafael, California. He is the author of several books, a frequent public speaker and retreat leader, and a columnist for The Presbyterian Outlook.
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