NEXT Preaching Is Performative And Narrative

The preaching at the NEXT Church conference this week was astounding. We heard from three preachers who were lively, engaging, and deeply thoughtful, which should surprise no one; the NEXT pulpit has been hosting fine homileticians since the movement’s inception.

Check out all the sermons below.

If the national gathering is taken as representative, then I think we can say two things about the kind of preaching driving the NEXT church.

  1. NEXT preaching is performative. Every one of the sermons was delivered with careful attention to the details of presentation. Timing, pace, volume, movement: the sermons we saw this week embraced performance elements as integral to the gospel they proclaimed.
  2. NEXT preaching is all about that narrative. Not the Lowry Loop. Not Plot and Moves. Not illustrations. Actual narrative. Stories–about ice cream cones and camping trips and vacations. I’m willing to bet that at least one of the preachers in Baltimore has participated in a Moth Story Slam. Storytelling has made its way into the heart of how NEXT Church preachers conceive of the preaching task.

NEXT is not proposing preaching modalities for the church. At least not directly. I think the preachers at the national gatherings embody the movement’s convictions, though, about what effective preaching looks and sounds like in our era.

What else do you notice?

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