On Tuesday evening, at the General Assembly, Fred Craddock narrated a series of testimonies. It was quite good. Fred is the consummate story teller. He is able, without peer, to take you places you may not be ready to go. In his presentation he lamented to loss of the oral culture, our movement away from speaking.
How often do we shy away from sharing who we are and the message that drives us. As he put it "walking the walk" should not be an excuse for not "talking the talk." We say "deeds not words," but in doing so, are we losing something? I understand that the age of the sermonic monologue might be coming to an end -- or is it simply moving to a new phase? I have been examining my own preaching style, recognizing that I need to be transformed if the church is to be transformed. This isn't easy. I'm a teacher and teachers tend to lecture. But, even a teacher can experience transformation!
But, it's not just the preacher. It's all of us. Fred's lament is an invitation to find our voice, to engage one another face to face with words. Not just words on paper or on smart phones, but words between friends and strangers -- in the flesh, face to face!
So, how do we speak the word that heals and sustains?