I was giving some thought to the subject of preaching in the local church…how a vast majority of the time, the "pastor/teacher" holds him/herself up in their secret room for time alone with God and the text. I’ve been thinking that out of that time spent emerges the "sermon" or Word from God for the congregation…I’ve been thinking that literally all of that time, the prevailing hermeneutic is individualistic. Unfortunately, the prevailing hermeneutic of the text itself is community oriented…in other words, the Word of God is always interpreted in the context of community. For a vast majority of us, we hold on to an Enlightenment "technique" or "value" of the sermon as the product of the religious expert to share with those who have little, if any, of the expertise or superior knowledge of the pastor/teacher. It is a "one up/one down" paradigm that causes an insidious codependency upon the preacher/teacher to constantly bring the "goods" that only he/she has access to. I don’t know…I’m working out in my mind and heart so much of what it means to have the community OWN the role of exegete and hermeneute…we have got to find ways to not only lift up textual/biblical values of community but we have got to also find ways to challenge faith communities (especially here in the West where the "expert" role is so often adhered to and underscored in praxis) to OWN the process of experiencing and working the power of the text/story without the need for the expert. Until we deal with this, we will continue to hear the phrases, "I’m leaving because I’m not being fed" or "this is pastor you fill in the blank Church", or "what does the pastor say about that…" Our "clergy-centricity" is not only killing faithful ecclesiology and missiology but it is killing the faith community’s opportunity to own the story of faith that the bible so incredibly illuminates and reveals. As I said, I’m working this out…what do you think?