Deliberative Preaching

Reflections on Deliberative Preaching

Dr. Leah Schade

The Purple Zone is an initiative by The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary.  Drawing on data gathered from over 1000 Mainline Protestant clergy serving congregations in the United States, this project surveys the landscape of preaching and ministry during this divisive time in our nation’s history.  The goal is to help Christians and pastors think about how we can engage the gospel regarding controversial justice issues during this deeply divided time.

Preaching in the Purple Zone is a resource for helping the church understand the challenges facing parish pastors, while encouraging and equipping preachers to address the vital justice issues of our time.This book provides practical instruction for navigating the hazards of prophetic preaching with tested strategies and prudent tactics grounded in biblical and theological foundations. Key to this endeavor is using a method of civil discourse called “deliberative dialogue” for finding common values among politically diverse parishioners. Unique to this book is instruction on using the sermon-dialogue-sermon process developed by the author that expands the pastor’s level of engagement on justice issues with parishioners beyond the single sermon. Preaching in the Purple Zone equips clergy to help their congregations respectfully engage in deliberation about “hot topics,” find the values that bind them together, and respond faithfully to God’s Word.