Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Preaching is Performance Art |

Clayton Schmidt, professor of preaching at Fuller Seminary has written an article for Leadership Journal entitled Preaching is Performance Art. In it he argues that:

"Preaching is not merely the art of textual exegesis, contextual analysis, and creative writing—though it involves all of these. Performance lies at the heart of proclamation.

"In literal terms, the word performance means to bring a message through (per) a form. It is a tool for expression, not a means of drawing attention to the performer. Our suspicions of performance are based on a caricature of the real thing, a performance pathology.

"Ultimately, if the preacher's words are to become the Word of life, they must be presented in a way that creates a world for listeners to inhabit. This has to do with delivery, but there is more. To truly understand performance requires a theological understanding of human responsibility in the equation of incarnation."

The article is a little long, but has some good thoughts on what it means to perform the sermon without becoming a diva in the process.

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