Preaching with feeling in mind : how cognitive neuroscience encourages a preacher's appeal to emotions

Jay Joye
The purpose of this study is to explore how a preacher appeals to emotions to impact congregants as it correlates with cognitive neuroscience findings.
Countless Biblical texts highlight the importance of emotions in the life of a believer. Likewise, homiletics has long encouraged emotional preaching, calling communicators to wed together logos and pathos. Recent advancements in cognitive neuroscience stress emotions’ importance. Despite the Biblical, homiletical, neuroscientific, and cultural emphases, a lack of expression of emotion may be characteristic of homiletical methodology in the dominant American Protestant church culture.
This study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with six pastors of different races from reformed denominations. All six pastors were committed to emotional appeals in their preaching. The literature review and constant-comparative analysis of the six interviewees focused on four research questions: how does a preacher appeal to emotions, how is the impact of a sermon measured, what obstacles stand in the way of emotional preaching, and how do these appeals correlate to cognitive neuroscience?
The literature review focused on three key areas to understand a preacher’s appeal to emotions: homiletics’ emphasis on the use of emotions, cognitive neuroscience’s support for appeals to emotions, and the doctrine of illumination.
This study concluded four things regarding appeals to emotion in preaching.
Consensus exists between homileticians, neuroscientists, and practitioners regarding the importance of appealing to emotions. The effectiveness of emotional preaching outweighs the risks associated with it. No appeals to emotion are likely apart from preachers identifying with the emotions of others. The mystery of the Holy Spirit in illumination does not mitigate the necessity of emotional appeals.
Four practices are recommended for preachers: Know your emotional God. Know your emotional self. Know the emotion of your scripture text. Know your emotional contexts.

Anglican elders? : shared pastoral leadership in Anglican churches

Christopher David Edward Moll
Because the Church of England is historically clerical, the incumbent pastor formally shares the pastoral burden or cure of souls with the Bishop. Evangelical Anglicans are impelled by both Scripture and mission to consider the New Testament pattern of plural local leaders or elders. This research explored the experience of Anglican ministers and church planters who established locally-shared shared pastoral leadership through a Ministry Leadership Team (MLT).
The purpose of the research was to explore the benefits of shared leadership for making and maturing disciples. In surveying the literature advocating the benefits and biblical precedents of shared leadership, it was noted that in contrast to other evangelicals, Anglicans apply the biblical data using the Normative Principle derived from the work of Richard Hooker. Four questions guided the research: (1) How does the local church’s shepherding ministry strengthen the work of making disciples? (2) What are the benefits of a ministry leadership team in the work of making disciples? (3) What practices have promoted collaborative working between members of the ministry leadership team, with particular regard to the work of making disciples Church? (4) How is the pastors’ Anglican self-identity manifest in the practice of shared local ministry leadership?
Nine UK pastors were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire with the data analyzed using the constant comparative method. Common and clear benefits are articulated by the respondents. The lay offices of churchwarden and PCC were also re- evaluated with respect to the responsibilities outlined in the New Testament for church
officers. The respondents exhibited a clear and confessional Anglican identity. Possible models for accommodating a MLT within the existing parochial structures are explored. Finally it was noted that in these theologically complementarian churches, the role and place of female pastoral leaders was not fully resolved.

Transformational leadership in the church

Peter Borgdorff
This project is designed to explore and develop a perspective on transformational leadership in the church. An interest in this subject emerged as a result of the author's professional development in industrial, educational, and ministerial settings.

Chapter 1 explores selected biblical passages from both the Old and New Testament and selected theological themes which relate to the subject of transformational leadership in the church. Saint Paul's writings are the primary material used for the motivation and purpose of leadership.

Chapter 2 is a report on selected literature dealing with transformational leadership. The scholarly contributions of James MacGregor Burns and Bernard M. Bass are given primary consideration.

Chapter 3 describes the procedures used in the research part of this paper. The thesis tested in the research is that the core values of a transformational leader are different from the core values of other types of leaders and that in both cases those core values influence the style of leadership chosen.

Chapter 4 summarizes the results of the research and provides interpretation of the data collected. Specific core values are identified, especially for transformational leaders, and those values are compared to the values reflected in the control group.

Chapter 5 integrates the learnings of the preceding chapters and proposes a strategy for transformational leadership in the church.

Preaching : an essential component in a long pastorate

Leon D Draayer
An article appearing in The Church Herald served as a catalyst for this project. About the same time as the article , "Deliver Us From This Domine : The Problem of Clergy Immobility" by Alvin J. Poppen was printed, I was searching for a topic for my project. The project evolved out of a wedding of Poppen's concern for clergy immobility and longer pastorates and my concern for good preaching.

A search for information turned up few resources. I could only find two books and a few articles on long pastorates. No one had written extensively on the combination of long pastorates and preaching. The combination seemed to be a current and fascinating topic for further investigation. The project evolved to the point where I sought to understand the relationship of good preaching to the healthy, long pastorate.

The project looked to the Reformed Church in America as the larger arena. It is my denominational affiliation. The project narrowed the arena to those churches having long pastorates concurrent with the beginning of the investigation. The project turned to Scripture and to those who experienced the long pastorates to gain insight about preaching ' s place in the long pastorate.

Self-regulation as a function of pastoral leadership

William E. E Buckeye
Can a pastor increase his or her own self-regulation and self-differentiation as a pastoral leader by integrating an understanding of one's own family system, the historical functioning of the congregation being served, and the pastor's most meaningful passage or story from the Bible? Will these three often disparate pieces weave together into new understandings that can improve the pastor's own functioning? This project is designed to begin to answer these questions.

Chapter One presents the history of the development of Murray Bowen's Family Systems Theory and the eight main concepts of this theory.

Chapter Two will be an in-depth examination of my family of origin which will discuss the patterns of family functioning I discovered as I completed my family genogram, similar to a family tree.

Chapter Three will briefly examine the history of one of the congregations I served in an attempt to discover the roots of that particular congregation's functioning.

Chapter Four will be an in-depth examination of the biblical account of the patriarch Jacob/Israel.

Chapter Five will integrate these three elements, my family story, the congregational story, and the biblical story, to demonstrate how the common elements that existed in all three of these stories led to a "Eureka" moment for my life and ministry.

Chapter Six, the concluding chapter will describe how other pastors, if they are already familiar with Bowen Theory and family emotional processes, may begin to apply the approach described in this paper within their own lives and ministries to increase their ability to regulate anxiety and self-differentiate within the life of the congregation.

Pastoral theology, imagination, and formation in preaching seminarians at Church on the Hill

Blaine D Crawford

From a broad vantage point, this paper is about pastoral theology and pastoral formation. However, the intricate details and the winding journey reveal that it is about so much more. Animated by the life and ministry of Lesslie Newbigin, I explore a framework of pastoral theology for a pluralistic and constantly changing world. Such a pastoral theology is grounded in a classical pastoral theology yet is open and innovative through its cultivation and practice of pastoral imagination. After explicating pastoral theology and pastoral imagination and understanding them more deeply through the life and work of Lesslie Newbigin, the paper takes a turn from pastoral theology to pastoral formation.

The second half of the paper considers how the formation of pastors through seminary education and field education. Utilizing the work of the Dreyfus brothers and their model for professional growth, pastoral formation is explored in a larger context and longer timeline with particular attention paid to the development of pastoral imagination. Through the research project, I explore to what extent pastoral imagination can be formed through cross-cultural field education experiences.

This paper seeks to provide a response to what it means to be a pastor in today’s church in North America and how we form such pastors.

Los Factores que Ayudan a los Pastores Inmigrantes de Habla Hispana a Desarrollar un Ministerio Efectivo en Iglesias Hispanas en Los Ángeles

William Germán Cárcamo Ramos D.Min.
El tema de esta investigación es dar a conocer cuáles son los factores que ayudan a los pastores inmigrantes de habla hispana a desarrollar un ministerio efectivo en iglesias hispanas en Los Ángeles. Porque existe una cantidad de iglesias con pastores que están luchando día a día, para expandir el reino de Dios, y en su intento encuentran obstáculos, barreras de toda índole que surgen y afectan al pastor en su intento de avanzar.

La diversa representación cultural es un factor que existe en las congregaciones de Los Ángeles California que confronta el buscar modelos de superación, de ser efectivos, de hacer una labor Digna de Dios. En esta última década, pareciera que existe una confusión en el papel pastoral. Se observa una conducta mercantilista, por un lado, y por el otro, una posición religiosa sin fundamento.

Las propuestas de esta tesis se basarán en los resultados de una investigación realizada a pastores hispanos, que han estado en el campo de acción por muchos años, y atraviesan diversas problemáticas que no han sido visibilizadas y atendidas. El modelo a seguir será constructivo en base a una amplia investigación documental y de campo.

En esta tesis, el lector encontrará cuatro respuestas que ayuden al pastor a ser efectivo en su ministerio. Los factores mencionados son: 1) El pastor debe integrarse favorablemente a la diversidad cultural hispana de Los Ángeles California. 2) El pastor hispano debe tener un acompañamiento espiritual de otros pastores. 3) El pastor hispano debe aprovechar las oportunidades educativas para su superación. 4) El pastor hispano debe desarrollar nuevas capacidades pastorales ajustadas a la cultura de la iglesia hispana de Los Ángeles.

Deaf Pastor Cohort: Self-Care for Deaf Pastors

Karen R Bregman D.Min.
The Researcher observed posts on social media from deaf pastors sharing their experiences of personal and professional struggles with suicide, depression, and mental health challenges with their close circle of pastors, colleagues, and congregation. These are tremendous burdens for both Deaf and hearing pastors. The scriptures cited for this research were 1 Kings 19, Psalm 23, and Mark 7:31-37; these Scriptures provide the theological basis that God provides self-care. The recipients became healthier emotionally, mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually. The recipients were able to recover and minister to their respective congregations and communities. The Researcher conducted a qualitative case study on a small cohort of Deaf pastors. The Researcher created the research instruments, a Pre-Survey, and a Post-Survey, consisting of 30 multiple choice questions presented in English and ASL. Both surveys are fully accessible, linguistically and culturally. An 8-week curriculum moderated the Cohort activities. The Researcher conducted Individual interviews and facilitated two group discussions via Zoom. The Pre-Survey was administered before the Cohort, and the Post-Survey was administered after the Cohort. The first finding is that accessible education on self-care provided the pastors with positive reinforcement and improved overall well-being. The second finding is that consistent self-care and social contact, either in-person and through accessible technology, provides pastors with healthy, supportive, emotional, and social care for their overall well-being.

Ambition and Leading Teams Effectively

Nicholas R Ruport D.Min.
The problem that this project addressed was the impact of ambition and ambitious leaders in relation to team effectiveness. In response to this problem the researcher explored the biblical foundations of ambition and ambitious leadership, with special interest in one’s ambition being aimed at knowing God more fully, fulfilling God’s mission, and glorifying God. He reviewed literature related to CliftonStrengths, team leadership, and the practice of the first-among-equals in teams with attention to the CliftonStrength of Competition and its connection to ambition. He conducted two case studies by way of interviews with four pastors who had Competition as a top five CliftonStrength and six pastors who did not. From the thesis findings the researcher developed a set of eight strategic principles of successful team leadership for the ambitious pastor.Of these eight principles, four of them were shared principles among all team leaders with an additional four principles being uniquely geared for the ambitious pastor to lead teams most effectively. The shared principles of team leadership for all pastors included being aimed at God (knowing God, glorifying God, fulfilling God’s mission), providing stability, relational investment, and growth investment. The four unique principles for the ambitious leader included building trust, promoting unity, setting an example through one’s work ethic, and creating, measuring, and celebrating wins. When applied, these principles would positively impact the team leadership of an ambitious and competitive pastor.

Factores Que Promueven Una Pastoral Integral Hacia el Inmigrante Indocumentado en las Iglesias en el Valle de San Gabriel en el Condado de Los Ángeles

Héctor Alas D.Min.
El movimiento migratorio desde cualquier punto del planeta hacia los Estados Unidos es una realidad de dimensiones gigantescas. La complejidad de este fenómeno es tal, que ha llevado a las oficinas del gobierno norteamericano a repensar sus políticas, tanto internas para los que ya se encuentran en el país, como para los que buscan aventurarse intentando llegar. Pero no son los únicos, también ha desatado una incertidumbre generalizada para los que ofrecen sus servicios legales en el manejo de los procesos para formalizar su documentación.

La iglesia cristiana no es la excepción dentro de esa complejidad. Como tal, por su misión esencial hacia el prójimo, por encima de cualquier tendencia política, está llamada a mostrar el corazón de Dios hacia el inmigrante en maneras concretas. Para encaminar a la iglesia en su desafío hacia una pastoral integral a favor del inmigrante, se investigarán los factores que contribuyen a lograrla. Los instrumentos que facilitarán la investigación serán encuestas y estudios de casos. Lo anterior permitirá recabar la información de lo que se hace actualmente, y determinará también lo que podría hacerse en la amplitud que se desprende a partir de lo que la Biblia propone.

Al término de la investigación se ofrecerán 3 factores indispensables para que la iglesia cumpla con su misión pastoral de manera integral en un contexto multicultural. Los factores aludidos son los siguientes: 1) el entendimiento de la misión integral prescrita en la Biblia, 2) la implementación de ministerios de misericordia a favor de los inmigrantes indocumentados, 3) la promoción de alianzas estratégicas con organizaciones que realizan una pastoral integral.
Subscribe to Clergy