April 29, 2010: What I Am “Writing” Today

“Preaching from the back pew”

Last night on Twitter, Virtual Abby (http://twitter.com/Virtual_Abbey) thanked all for joining in evening prayer with the quip,   “Thank you for praying with us either in person or silently in the back pew.” (Italics mine)

I responded with “From the back pew… Amen and thank you!”

I have often walked into the sanctuary of the church I serve and sat in the back pew and the middle pew on the left side… and in the front pew on the right… and… well you get the idea.

It has helped me better pray for my congregation. They face things that I have no idea they are facing. They deal with situations that I am never aware of.

But God knows about them and so I simply go to God in prayer on their behalf for the work, family, and personal lives.

But the interchange on Twitter last night got me to thinking about preaching from the back pew. What would it be like to preach from the back pew? Would I preach differently? Would I begin to perceive things differently?

No matter if a pulpit or music stand is used by a preaching pastor, the week in and week out standing up front, apart from the congregation, can and does isolate the pastor from the world of his congregation.

But did not Jesus walk with the twelve? Did He not love, heal, and rebuke among them. Yes He taught in the temple, but he also spoke the good word of God from the back pew: the side streets, the community market.

Just what I am thinking today….


3 thoughts on “April 29, 2010: What I Am “Writing” Today

  1. Not only did I notice that sign-off to Night Prayer but I also noticed your response and am so glad to read what you ended up thinking about as a result. Thanks for providing more evidence for how virtual community enhances community IRL (in real life).

    Pax max,

  2. Jim,
    I sat staring at my computer screen this morning covered in goosebumps. Great blog post and an excellent question. Why don’t ministers sit and preach with the congregation surrounding them? My favorite pastor (loved his sermons) preached down with the congregants – walked up and down the aisle beside the pews – I felt like he understood that separation created a “them” “me” situation.

    You never know until you try. Some may not like it – but at least it shakes things up a bit and gets everyone thinking.

    Bless you and, thanks for the “shout out” for the Abbey. Love that you’re praying with us.


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