Pulpit in the Middle

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Every now and then I have visted a church that has the pulpit on the side of the platform, as opposed to being in the middle.

    If you ended up becoming the pastor of such a church, would you want to put the pulpit in the middle?

    Is it a hill to die for?

    Other thoughts?
     
  2. mont974x4

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    I don't recall ever being in a church where pulpit type, and position, weren't left to the preacher's choice.
     
  3. 12strings

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    Pulpit on the side is a remnant from RC days, where the Eucharist had more importance than the sermon/homily. Many liturgical protestant churches still have it on the side for various reasons, including a few old traditional baptist churches. I think it was either luther, calvin, or zwingli (or several of them) that moved the pulpit to the middle to highlight the preaching of the word.

    As to type, If the pulpit was built and donated by a church member's grandson, then the pastor better think long and hard about getting rid of it!

    I would not make it a hill to die on, especially if it is one that is build into the architectural of the church.
     
  4. mont974x4

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    That's true. I seem to recall hearing the move came as part of the Reformation but don't remember it being attributed to a single man.

    If the people are that attached to a piece of furniture then that needs to be addressed, and I agree it needs to be done carefully. That doesn't mean it needs to stay forever. The Naz church here used to have a very large man for their pastor. He was easily 6'4 and the pulpit they had for him was massive. It fit him. It was important to the folks too. When he retired a much smaller man was called. The large pulpit, as important as it was to the folks, was a distraction to the people (look how small "Jim" looks behind that pulpit, for example). It also did not fit the needs and style of the new pastor.
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    The churches I have recently attended don't have pulpits (lecturns).
     
  6. mont974x4

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    I wonder how much of a trend that is becoming. Our pastor uses a pulpit...just for his notes, and a music stand with his ipad. He spends very little time near either. He walks over to the ipad to change the slides for the note takers and to check his notes but doesn't stay there long.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    I say put the pulpit in the back of the church. That way the preacher can be closer to the majority of the church.
     
  8. mont974x4

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    LOL put it in the middle because if you move to the back they'll just move to the front.


    When I preach at the rescue mission I don't use the pulpit except to quickly check my notes. I walk up and down the aisle.

    When I preached at our last church we had a small pulpit that actually slipped down into the stage a bit. It was front and center. It could be removed and a cover put in place for special services. I would stay close to the pulpit, but behind it. We had several deaf people, and some read lips. I wanted to stay visible and unobstructed. We also had an interpreter, and I did not want to block her either.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    I get a bit mobile myself.
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    Pulpits are, increasingly, becoming left to more liturgical or formal churches. At the church where I serve we don't use a pulpit. We have a nice, slender and compact, stand for notes that is brought out after the worship set as the preacher comes up to the platform.

    When I preach I too tend to be highly mobile, only returning to the stand when I am moving to my next point, trying to recall something specific out of my illustrations, or retrieving the physical text I might have briefly rested to read out of it. The camera crew has learned to be limber as I travel from one end of the platform to the next throughout my time.

    I grew up in a Charleston tradition SBC church, not Sandy Creek, but we had out pulpit in the center. My understanding (and subsequent read in Baptist history) was that Baptists believe the exposition of the Bible is the central act of worship. Thus the pulpit is to be centralized in a sanctuary. That's a food explanation, we just disagree that the pulpit needs to be ever present where I serve.
     
  11. dh1948

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    In the minds of many Baptists the pulpit is the "sacred desk." How many times over the past 50 years have I heard it reverentially called that? Too many times to count.

    I have one in my church, but it serves only as a holder for my Bible and notes. I could do without it. Not sure the old-timers in the church could. lol.

    Not a hill to die on.
     
  12. nodak

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    I've heard it told many times that if the Lord's Supper is seen as the main means of grace, the pulpit is to the side. If the sermon is seen that way, the pulpit is in the middle.

    But also heard it said that the disappearance of the pulpit is because we now see the music as the main thing.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Worship is the main thing and everything that goes on is to meet than end. Where the pulpits sits is no matter of consequence. And the Word of God is the primary means to meet that end.
     
  14. mont974x4

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    Mark, I agree. Sadly though, many do not. We see that in this thread.

    In some churches the eucharist is the main event. Those are Roman Catholic and Protestant churches who remain close to the RCC teachings.

    In some churches it is all about the music. Those are largely Protestant churches.

    In both groups the preaching of the Word is secondary. It is no wonder we, as a culture, have lost our awe of God...we don't really know who He is, so we worship anything, and anyone, else.
     
  15. go2church

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    Haven't used a pulpit or portable stand for years now, just me and my Bible. We put the pulpit back up for funerals. It's a comfort thing for me. I can't imagine it ever being a hill on which anyone would ever want to be on, nor should it be.
     
  16. Squire Robertsson

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    At one point, I think back in the 40s, my home church had both a pulpit on one side of the platform and a lectern on the other. The pastor at the time said he liked the arrangement as it meant a woman wouldn't speak from the pulpit.
     
  17. mont974x4

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    uh...what? lol
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    I second that.
     
  19. Squire Robertsson

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    And your question is?
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    It is not obviously clear how that arrangement kept a woman from preaching.
     

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