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Lay Preaching
(430 words)

The obvious meaning of the phrase “lay preaching” is church proclamation by members of the congregation who are not ordained. The primitive Christian community was acquainted with speaking at worship as the Spirit freely prompted (1 Corinthians 14). In the early church, however, speaking was by right of office.

The wandering preachers of the Waldenses and mendicant orders encountered prohibitions from the 12th century onward. The Reformation allowed lay preaching in case of need. Martin Luther (1483–1546) and article 14 of the Augsburg Confession put increasing stress on order…

Cite this page
Stein, Albert, “Lay Preaching”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 28 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_L225>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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