Van starts off his post, In Defense of the Sermon, with this:
Traditionally, the sermon has been an important feature of the assemblies of God’s people. The sermon is so central to many groups that its delivery is one of the main duties of a professionally trained and salaried individual, the pastor.I will cautiously say that this stance is something of an outlier among house/simple church folks. That doesn’t mean it is wrong of course just kind of unusual. Also note that in this group, as I understand it, questions are welcome and different brothers often deliver the sermon so it is not like a monologue delivered by the same guy to a mute audience of observers week after week. Again, I haven't had the chance to meet with this group but I do know several people who are part of Washtenaw Independent Bible Church.
The sermon is coming under attack in many quarters as ineffective and out of date. Yet the practice of delivering material through an extended, carefully prepared verbal presentation has strong biblical precedent. Before abandoning serious expository preaching, let’s think more carefully.
To be clear: what I mean by “sermon” is an extended lecture on a biblical text or theme, prepared in advance by one individual who delivers it orally to a group of people. Unlike a discussion, the presentation is asymmetric (primarily from the teacher to the congregation, though it may be interrupted by questions). Unlike a meditation, it develops its content with an argument that usually takes some time to present. Unlike an extemporaneous address, the teacher devotes effort to preparing it in advance.
I would like you to read both posts, first his post In Defense of the Sermon and then his follow-up to my question regarding Peter’s preaching on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, Peter’s Planned Presentation. Be warned, they are lengthy and detailed. Let me know what you think!