This is significant because it means that each week thousands upon thousands of sermons are preached around the globe. Simple math suggests that every year hundreds of thousands of sermons are delivered to/at the church worldwide.
Despite all these sermons, the church in general is not very mature. The body of Christ as a whole continues to struggle with many elementary issues that mature Christians should have dealt with long ago. Why is this the case? If sermons are edifying to the church, then in light of their frequency, the church should be very mature. So why is the church (at least in this country) generally failing to reach maturity in Christ?
The reason is simple, profound, and troubling: sermons are not edifying.
I'm not suggesting that all sermons are bad and that no one knows how to preach. Rather, I'm saying that the very act of monologue style proclamation to a quiet audience is in and of itself not edifying. No matter how good, entertaining, attention-grabbing, informative, and/or challenging the sermon is, it still fails to build up the body.
The reason for this is that lecture is not edifying. It is one of the poorest forms of teaching. And yet, sermon after sermon is delivered week after week after week. Why? Pastors need to earn their paychecks and tradition tells them to do so. The people in the pews are used to sitting and listening. Sermons go largely unchallenged because "we've always done it that way."
If sermons were actually edifying, the church would be much stronger, holier, and vibrant.
What the church needs is a different form of communication between members during gatherings. Edification occurs when all are free to speak as led by the Holy Spirit. When this happens the body can and will grow.