Fortress Press

The Peoples’ Sermon: Preaching as a Ministry of the Whole Congregation

The Peoples’ Sermon

Preaching as a Ministry of the Whole Congregation

Shauna Hannan (Author)


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The proclamation of the gospel is the responsibility of the baptized rather than the privilege of the ordained. Preaching is not a solo endeavor. It is a communal practice, a ministry of the whole congregation that is most faithful when the process is shared.

In The Peoples' Sermon, Shauna K. Hannan argues that it is no longer faithful for a preacher to craft a sermon in isolation, step into "the pulpit" (literally or metaphorically) on Sunday morning, offer a one-sided monologue, and on Monday start all over, alone, with the process of researching and writing in preparation for the following Sunday.

Hannan's goal is to create vital worshipping communities where all know and live out their roles in the preaching ministry of the congregation, where both clergy and laity are empowered and equipped in their roles before, during, and after the sermon. She encourages readers to reflect on what preaching is and why the church engages in this practice, and to explore various roles in the preaching ministry of the congregation. She guides readers and their communities through a process that equips hearers to fulfill their active roles in the preaching ministry of the congregation.

The Peoples' Sermon dares to suggest that preaching is most faithful when it is collaborative. Pastors do not own the pulpit; they steward it.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506466934
  • eBook ISBN 9781506466941
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 220
  • Publication Date November 9, 2021


"Using solid illustrations showing how preacher and people are together partners in proclamation, Hannan brings us to a new, rich, and, yes, unsettling way of getting the gospel heard."

Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

"Elegantly written and gently persuasive, this book is essential reading for preachers who want to embody more genuinely relational forms of preaching and ministry."

John S. McClure, Vanderbilt Divinity School

"Hannan provides a way for congregations not only to find their voices in the ministry of preaching but also to be drawn deeper into the mission of Christ. A splendid contribution."

Thomas G. Long, Candler School of Theology

"The People's Sermon is an excellent guide for anyone venturing into a homiletical journey toward a collaborative ministry of proclamation."

HyeRan Kim-Cragg, Emmanuel College

"Readers will come away with a fresh understanding of the contribution the whole body of Christ can make to the ministry of preaching. The People's Sermon is an invitation for us all to walk together on the road of gospel proclamation."

Luke A. Powery, Duke Divinity School

"The People's Sermon offers a simple but theologically and existentially probing pattern for such work: What do I know about the congregation in relationship to the direction of the sermon? What do I want to know? How will I find it out? What do I learn in the process? The collaborative preacher is no longer the isolated voice in the pulpit but is part of an energizing community of preparation and reflection."

Ronald J. Allen, Christian Theological Seminary

"In this wise and energizing book, homiletician Shauna K. Hannan does what she commends. Page by page, Hannan treats her readers as partners and collaborators in uncovering the hidden homiletical treasures of a collaborative approach to the preaching event. Hannan reframes that event so that, far from being a twenty-minute Sunday morning monologue, preaching becomes a Spirit-infused, collaborative practice. Week by week, congregation and preacher together mine that fertile matrix where biblical text, everyday experience, theological insight, and world events interact. And week on week, as one voice begins to proclaim, both preacher and congregation lean in, eager to hear what the Spirit has been saying not simply to the church but through it."

Sally A. Brown, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Hannan's The People's Sermon is a timely and valuable resource for preachers who want their sermons not just to inspire but also to engage and equip listeners to live their faith. She writes with tremendous care, creativity, and practical relevance to develop a highly collaborative approach to the preparation, delivery, and extension of the sermon. It will challenge your thinking and change your practice."

David J. Lose, senior pastor, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church; author of Preaching at the Crossroads: How the World--and Our Preaching--Is Changing (Fortress Press, 2013)