While I'm on a semi-rant about methods of preaching, I'll point out another issue with the church-as-classroom.
Winston Churchill said, "We shape our buildings, and thereafter they shape us." This can especially be said about churches.
Build churches without icons, and we forget that we are -- per Hebrews 12.1 -- surrounded by the saints of God.
Build churches without a crucifix, and we forget the cross.
Make a baptismal font insignificant, and baptism will become -- to us, not to God -- insignificant.
But the problem I address today is pews. Go into 99% of churches in the US, and one will find the following structure: a pulpit facing rows of pews. Which looks like a variant of a lecture hall. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, people (preacher and congregation) begin to imagine that they are there for their weekly dose of religious instruction.
Most of our eastern brethren realize that it's quite improper for us to sit in the presence of a king. Especially the King of kings. But sit we do.
Remove the pews. Provide seats around the side so the frail or elderly or tired or nursing mothers or whomever can sit down when they need to. But most of the congregants can and should stand.
Remove the pulpit. Let the preacher stand in Christ's stead in the midst of the congregation and proclaim God's word to God's people.
More about the sermon tomorrow.