Jump directly to the Content

Show, Don't Tell

Angelic host proclaims: Jim Walker calls his approach to preaching "fellowship with the Word."

The mantra of writers is at work for the preachers in this unusual congregation: they would rather show the sermon than tell it. A young man named Derek enters the room with his pants down. He wears pajamas to cover his skin; nevertheless, his pants are on the floor. Derek's job is to take water to those who are thirsty, but he fails repeatedly because his water pitcher is bone dry and his pants are wadded up around his ankles. Yet Derek continues his attempts to navigate from person to person, shuffling across the stage with his pants down, filling thirsty people's cups with nothing.

The pants-less Derek is just part of a normal Sunday at Hot Metal Bridge faith community in Pittsburgh, a church that shares the story of God through worship that centers on the arts. But they don't use typical staged dramas. Rather, the art is raw, often barely rehearsed. And the dramas are not ancillary to the sermon; they are a primary method of communicating God's word.

Co-pastors Jim Walker ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

January/February
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Youth Test Pastor's Honesty
Youth Test Pastor's Honesty
From the Magazine
The Poet Who Prepared the Ground for the Sexual Revolution
The Poet Who Prepared the Ground for the Sexual Revolution
Percy Shelley’s 19th-century attacks on marriage, monogamy, and Christianity foreshadowed progressive attitudes today.
Editor's Pick
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
Even with recent divides in congregations, survey finds high levels of satisfaction among churchgoers.
close