While there are many ways of categorizing sermons, PASTORIA simplifies preaching down to two key characteristics that distinguish one type from another.
In summary, there is a difference of purpose for a “classical” sermon and a “post-modern” sermon.
The typical pastor of a mainline protestant Christian denomination and graduates from an institution of higher education with a Master of Divinity is taught that preaching is for the purpose of properly exegeting or interpreting a particular passage of scripture (aka pericope).
So, the marks of preaching in this sense is 1) the referencing of biblical scholarship, 2) the exemplification of an interpretation from real-life persons, and 3) the proper application of the interpretation of a passage to a disciple personally and/or society as a whole.
In contrast, the type of preaching that is most appropriate for the post-modern era is one that relegates the proper interpretation of a particular passage of scripture to the proper interpretation of a particular period of one’s life.
While “classical” preaching wishes to address the question of, “what is the meaning of scripture,” “post-modern” preaching instead addresses the question of, “what is the meaning of my life right now?”
The means of this is seeing the life of the person as scripture currently being written by God and in need of exegesis. Scripture, as known traditionally as the bible, is one part of God’s collection of narratives that is of equal status to that of one’s life.
“Classical preaching” is grounded in the perspective of “classical ministry” where the purpose of ministry is to gather a congregation of followers of Jesus Christ who share, through proclamation, a grand meta-narrative (a broader story of a congregation in which each individual’s story has a part) as a “community.”
“Post-modern preaching” is not a proclamation of a grand meta-narrative; it is the offering of an alternative ontological ground to that of any other such sources. “Post-modern ministry” does not seek the establishment of a “community,” but that of the affirmation of a differentiated collectivity. In other words, we are “one” because our differences reflect the diverse nature of reality. We are not “one” because we share the same values or seek the same identity.
More will be explained in an upcoming PASTORIA audio guide to be released in late 2019.
last updated: february 3, 2019