Communication (Theology)

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? EFFECTIVE PREACHING IN A POST-CHURCH CULTURE

Author
Randall Dean Ahlberg D.Min.
Abstract
This project addressed the need for preaching principles that more effectively communicate to those living in the realities of our current cultural. In examining the sermons of the apostle Paul, it was evident that he significantly contextualized his message to his various audiences, demonstrating for all preachers the need to engage in not only good exegesis of the text but in good exegesis of the audience. The researcher attempted to gain a better understanding of the culture of the community surrounding his church in Andover, Minnesota and ways to communicate clearly to this culture. The primary tool used was a survey conducted at a community festival on church property. The survey was designed to measure the level of biblical knowledge of the participants and also to investigate the relationship between church attendance and the demonstrated levels of biblical knowledge. The assumption of the researcher was that preachers often assume their congregations know more than they do, and this assumption was proven to hold merit. Finally, in assessing the above information, a set of homiletical principles were developed that embrace both a commitment to biblical preaching and an awareness of the realities of post-church American culture. One of the conclusions of the author is that a neglected aspect of homiletics is our need to wrestle through the striking differences between oral and written communication styles. The preacher’s preparation must keep these dynamics in mind if he/she hopes to communicate the timeless truths of the Bible to a time-bound audience.

A STUDY OF THE USE OF SCIENTIFIC LANGUAGE BY GEORGE MACLEOD, FOUNDER OF THE IONA COMMUNITY

“What’s the matter? … matter is the matter!”

Author
Mitchell Bunting D.Min.
Abstract
A study of George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community, and his use of language taken from modern physics. He responds to the dropping of atom bombs in 1945 and develops theological insight into the Incarnation of Christ. His words are recalled as pithy sayings and poetic prayers often associated with in his anti-nuclear campaigning in the Church and the House of Lords. The study draws on his published works including the Iona Community magazine Coracle and the documentary film Sermon in Stone as well as interviews with Iona Community members to assess the significance of his use of such language.

Preaching with the autism community

Author
Robert J Skinner
Abstract
The autism community in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis desires full inclusion in preaching and catechesis as both servants and consumers of the services available from the parishes within the diocese. Research on this thesis was conducted using qualitative analysis and a modified action research formula which allowed the researcher to canvas and assess both the autism community and the catechist-preachers involved in integrating the autism community more fully into the Body of Christ and the life of the Church. The autism community was surveyed with the community expressing both the need and the way forward to the fullest inclusion.

Talking the walk: how spiritual practices influence youth's ability to articulate their faith

Author
Jack L Mannschreck
Abstract
Talking the Walk is a participatory action research project that describes the introduction of spiritual practices to high school and junior high students with the intent of equipping them with a vocabulary that will increase their ability to articulate their faith. Through the 4-D (discovery, dream, design and destiny) process of appreciative inquiry the youth took part in a process of exploring their beliefs, their community of faith, their call to ministry and sense of hope. These four assents to faith, identified in the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), serve as indicators of spiritual growth and maturation.

Preaching for transformation: developing sermons that aim at personal transformation

Author
Mark W Hanke
Abstract
Research indicates people who call themselves Christians and who listen to dozens of sermons each year are morally hard to distinguish from people who claim no faith in God and have no practice of listening to sermons preached from God's Word. It is God's intention to see his followers transformed into the image of his Son. One of the methods he has chosen to use to realize this spiritual life-change is the preaching of his Word. But preachers have to make sure they are committed to life-changing sermons and not merely an informational exchange. Sermons are meant to bring transformation, not simply inform people of what a biblical text is saying. This thesis-project will help Christian communicators understand how their preaching can align with God's vision to see people conformed to the image of his Son.

Recommunicating biblical narrative to post-literate Salvation Army congregations

Author
Carl E Carvill
Abstract
When William Booth founded the Salvation Army in 1860, he implemented innovative preaching and worship styles. They remain in use today. This thesis-project argues that the changing ecology of communication demands that Salvation Army preachers adapt to the current communications environment. The theology and praxis of revivalism remain malleable enough to serve the present age, and the grace reflected in the Army's social work outreach is easily understood, but a style of preaching stuck in Victorian rhetorical convention is ineffective. This thesis-project surveys the history of preaching within the Salvation Army and alternative ways to portray Scripture to listeners attuned to the electronic post-everything age. Research elicited feed forward and feed back survey responses from a congregation to whom a Salvation Army minister delivered sermons in modern style. The author concludes that training Salvation Army preachers to recommunicate biblical narrative effectively will enable them to communicate better to post-literate Salvation Army congregations.

A homiletic approach on death & dying for aging Christians

Author
Robert D Hutchinson
Abstract
This thesis is an instructional resource to teach Christian ministers how to communicate a biblical message that will comfort older Christians suffering through multiple losses associated with the dying process. The thesis contains an exegetical and theological study related to suffering and dying, an overview on the nature and experience of suffering, and important considerations when preaching to older Christians. Also included is a three-part teaching guide with lesson outlines, handouts, quizzes and course evaluation form. Lastly, the thesis contains results and analysis from a live teaching of a portion of the material.

A methodology for preaching to contemporary Christians with pharisaical tendencies

Author
Ronald N Leasure
Abstract
This thesis-project addresses the thought process that results in pharisaic behaviors and provides a methodology for effectively communicating to contemporary Christians with pharisaic tendencies to achieve transformational results. After tracing the formation of pharisaic thought which produces a unique self-identity, it presents a proposed manual for Christian communicators to teach students how to effectively speak to the foundational issues that inform pharisaic doctrine and action.

Dialogical preaching as communication for effective preaching transmission (in Life Stream Church)

Author
Dong Shin Yim
Abstract
This thesis is intended to help preacher effective transmit God's word to congregation through dialogical preaching as communication. The author studied definition and theological understanding of communication, dialogical preaching as communication, and theological foundation of dialogical preaching. He suggested four methods/models of dialogical preaching in Life Stream Church. The analysis suggests that preacher can more effectively transmit well Word of God to congregation. Congregation also more understand and meet with God's word. They make an effort themselves to practice words of God in their real life. Moreover, congregation's life gradually changing into God's will.

The priesthood of all believers and preaching

Author
David Y Williamson
Abstract
The author argues that properly applying the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers to preaching provides significant ways in which believers should participate in preaching. He examines how Browne Barr, Fred Craddock, Lucy Rose, and Doug Pagitt apply this doctrine to preaching. He then outlines the relationships that believers have with God, the Word, other believers, preachers, and non-believers which flow from a proper understanding of the priesthood of all believers. Finally, he proposes five ways in which believers should participate in preaching: abiding in Christ, preaching the Word, testing the Word, guarding the Word, and proclaiming the Word.
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