One of the critiques of preaching is that it is an abuse of power; that someone gets up and speaks while everyone is stuck listening. What makes that person’s contribution so important? Why does everyone have to shut their mouths and listen to the preacher? I don’t think preaching has to be one-way communication, but the fact remains that someone usually takes the lead. What makes them so special? That question assumes that it’s a bad thing for someone to take the lead, and I’m not sure I share that assumption. The issue isn’t if someone is leading; it’s what type of leader they are. One type of preacher gets up and pontificates. They act like they have it all together. They dispense their knowledge and your job is to take it in and listen. That type of preaching can easily become an abuse of power. I’m rarely attracted to this type of preacher. (I’ve noticed there are bloggers like this too. I read a few of them regularly to keep me grounded. Soon I may have to quit because of my blood pressure.) Another type of preacher is a wounded healer, to use a phrase from Henri Nouwen. They aren’t preaching because they are the alpha male or female. They are preaching because they are good at communicating, and if it was an open discussion they would emerge as having some of the best things to say anyway. Most of all they are not dispensers of knowledge, as if they were the source, as much as co-learners. Their invitation isn’t “learn from me” as much as it is “learn with me”. They are growing but open about their weaknesses. I’d listen to that type of preacher any day.