Where Have all the Lectionary Preachers Gone?

When I moved, after 10 years of parish ministry, into an extension ministry nearly 25 years ago, reading and preaching the lectionary was the common worship practice in my annual conference of the United Methodist Church. At least it appeared to me to be so. Not everyone used the lectionary, but there was a large percentage of pastors who did. There were even groups who met weekly to discuss the upcoming lections.

During most of my Army career, my Sunday mornings have been occupied in military chapels. In my last assignment, however, I had the opportunity to start visiting United Methodist churches again on occasion and I found that none of the congregations in my little corner of Texas used the lectionary. Now, I’ve been reassigned and I find the same situation in my little corner of Virginia.

Here, I get to visit a United Methodist congregation almost every Sunday. None of them use or engage the Revised Common Lectionary in any meaningful way. None. Zero. Lectionary preaching has disappeared.

All the preachers are preaching a “series”.

Do I have the misfortune of just living in a lectionary “dead zone”?

What happened to the lectionary?

Should I blame Adam Hamilton?