The final reason why sermons won't go away any time soon is that sermons allow the people to sit.
It is currently Sunday morning. Literally millions of American Christians are preparing to "go to church." One thing most of them will do in a few hours is sit passively through some sort of religious ceremony. Most of these folks do this because it's what they've always done. They don't even think about it. They even believe it pleases God for them to sit through the sermon. While I'm certain that most have good intentions, the outcome is basically meaningless.
Where in the New Testament do we see a passive church sitting through a ceremony? It doesn't exist.
Many Christians have very busy lives. Because of this, they are tired. They see Sunday as some sort of Sabbath. Because of this, many are more than happy to sit in a padded seat while the "man of God brings the message from God." The people in the pews aren't going to fight the current system of clergy-led ceremonies because they enjoy the time of sitting. This arrangement also foists most of the responsibility onto the pastors up front.
What we have, then, is an entire process that elevates the clergy while stunting the laity. And everyone seems happy with this (except us trouble makers on the fringes of church life).
God's plan for his church is one of vitality and action. We edify one another, evangelize the lost, and sacrificially serve everybody. At least that's God's plan. Sitting in the pews has nothing to do with any of that.
For now at least the rampant pew sitting isn't going away. In a couple of hours millions of American believers will do what they believe is their duty by sitting and listening. Many of them will be happy to do so, allowing the pastor to earn his paycheck by preaching while they sit.
A much, much better way exists for church life that has nothing to do with all this sermonizing. I'll detail that in my next post.