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Defining 'preaching of the Word'?

Lately, doing some appreciative inquiry interviews in the congregation I'm serving, when it came to the question of what makes worship valuable and what is important in it, I heard people instintictively and happily respond with the Reformed shibboleth-cliché answer "of course, the Preaching of the Word is very important." I encountered this years ago at a Classis round table in Canada as well. When I appreciatively inquire about how they know when the preaching of the Word has happened, I very often get a look of deer caught in the headlights, or an answer like "Well, I know it when I hear...
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