Preaching

THE DISCIPLINE OF WATCHING: RECLAIMING A NECESSARY OUTLOOK AND EXERCISE FOR THE PURITY AND PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

Author
Lawrence Bowlin D.Min.
Abstract
The paper begins with an extensive survey of the Biblical call to watchfulness in the Old and New Testaments showing not only that it is a recurring theme in Scripture but that it is a foundational theme in the context of spiritual warfare from Genesis chapter three through Revelation chapter twenty, for as long as God’s people live in a fallen world.
This theme is also plainly manifested throughout Church history and particularly so in the writings of the English Puritans. One would be hard pressed to find a single Puritan author who did not address this topic and that repeatedly as a matter of life or death in terms of one’s spirituality and the healthiness of a church overall. This project highlights some of the more prominent Puritan authors in how they exhorted their people to watch over their own hearts, to watch over their brothers in love, and to humbly receive the watchful care of their church elders.
The call to watchfulness is then evaluated today in light of contemporary spiritual renewal movements and the reclamation of the spiritual disciplines, in the context of Christian counseling, and in church growth literature, all of which touch on this theme of watchfulness and seem to be moving in a direction of greater accountability in the normal Christian life.
This project attempts to integrate the findings from these Scriptural, theological historical, and contemporary elements into a new model of ministry designed to equip the members of a church with the necessary tools to watch over their brothers’ hearts in addition to their own and to humbly receive the watchful care and correction of Christ’s undershepherds. These tools are in the form of sermons, scripts, and seminars.

A Pastoral Approach to Preaching Difficult Texts

Author
Brian James Lays D.Min.
Abstract
This project proposes that preaching difficult texts with pastoral sensitivity can produce edifying sermons, proving useful certain texts of the Bible which have been excluded from the lectionary and thereby written off as irrelevant or even harmful to the Church. Six challenging biblical texts, from Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, Matthew, and Acts, none of which appear in the Revised Common Lectionary, are presented to a focus group for study and feedback. Utilizing data from the focus group, a sermon will be prepared from each text, and the focus group will evaluate whether or not each sermon proved the challenging biblical text useful.

Preaching the Gospel Anew: Forming Redemptorist Students for the Ministry of Prophetic Preaching

Author
Peter Davidson Hill D.Min.
Abstract
Prophetic preaching is essential to the life of the Church and in the life of the Redemptorists, who are called to preach the Good News to the abandoned, especially the poor. It is established that prophetic preaching is challenging and many preachers are hesitant to preach a prophetic message. This thesis examines the history of prophetic preaching, with particular attention to the Old Testament prophets and the work of Frank Thomas. In conversations with Redemptorist preachers and leaders, this thesis proposes effective ways through which Redemptorist students can be formed for the mission as prophetic preachers of the Good News to the abandoned, especially the poor. Through questionnaires and sample homilies by twelve Redemptorists, I have concluded that Redemptorists do preach prophetically and that the practice of training men to preach prophetically must be part of the formal training. To this end, a course in prophetic preaching is to be developed for the training of Redemptorist seminarians for the ministry of prophetic preaching.

Transformation: How God's Ongoing Work through Preaching Can Impact a Congregation.

Author
Paul McIlwraith
Abstract
ABSTRACT
This portfolio describes the way that God's transforming work in the life of a preacher can impact a congregation. It focuses specifically on a preacher's life, context, and congregation and God's work in each of these areas.
Chapter 1 serves as the introduction to this portfolio. Chapter 2 offers My Personal Preaching Identity, which describes my own identity and transformation as a preacher, my sense of call, spiritual gifting, and theological tradition. It contains my theology of preaching, which has been informed by my personal experiences as well as course work, readings, and mentors drawn from church history. Chapter 3, My Preaching Context, describes the congregation I serve, North Park Community Church, as well as the broader community setting and city. This background was used to propose a preaching strategy and a yearly preaching menu that would meaningfully and appropriately address this unique congregation. My Preaching Field Project, found in chapter 4, is a personalized preaching project implemented in my home church to determine the impact that the preaching is having on the spiritual transformation of a certain demographic of our church. The results identified a transformative impact on this demographic but also revealed some important learnings for preachers about the content and delivery of the sermon. Chapter 5, the conclusion, summarizes the content of this portfolio and describes the way in which I have accomplished the four outcomes of the Doctor of Ministry program.

Preaching in the Midst of Appointive Change in the United Methodist Church

Author
Scott Eugene Carnes D.Min.
Abstract
The special requirements of preaching during appointive change has long been overlooked with few resources available to provide much-needed assistance. The work required for effective preaching during appointive change has critical elements that are difficult to navigate without an existing pastoral relationship with the congregation and community. This thesis describes a process that incorporates specific and direct attention to elements of change and vulnerability. It offers methods and models for enabling effective preaching during appointive change through deep connection between the congregation and the preacher. This process offers a plan for healthy pastoral transition and contextualized preaching from a place of vulnerability.

Preaching Beyond the Hedges: A Psycho-Social and Spiritual Exegesis of University Students as a Resource for the Campus Preacher

Author
RAYMOND C COOK D.Min.
Abstract
Community exegesis is gaining interest among preachers as a means to communicate the Word of God to a particular group, time, and location. The work of Lenora Tubbs Tisdale and her study of communal exegesis marks a significant influence on this interest. The Second Vatican Council also calls upon the preacher to utilize language to tailor the Word of God for the listener. Relying on the study of social location and combining that effort with psychological, social, and spiritual disciplines, preachers engage concepts that aid in the exegesis of today’s university students. This study demonstrates that exegeting the Scriptures and the community is beneficial to the psycho-spiritual cognitive development of students.
This thesis examines disciplines that equip preachers to exegete the university student community, thereby contributing to a better preaching event. To that end, the first chapter describes the importance of studying the historical and observable social location in which the students are living. The second chapter treats psychological stage development and current struggles that today’s undergraduates are experiencing. The third chapter considers two specific research methods and ways that preachers might implement them. These research methods uncover the language of university students, as reflected in conversations with focus groups. The fourth chapter examines the fruits of Emmaus Walks that lead towards Paschal Preaching, and the witness that university students give when preaching moves into action. The preacher also calls to mind the role of the Holy Spirit in creating a preaching event. The conclusion highlights the benefits of this thesis as an exegetical resource, suggesting that preachers can preach more effectively to students on their campuses by gaining knowledge of the social location, updating their understanding of proposed theories of psychological stage development, using a variety of research methods, and intentionally journeying with the students.

Preaching to Help Members of a Burmese-Falam Chin Congregation Overcome Their Lack of Self-Esteem

Author
Deborah Suikhinmawi D.Min.
Abstract
Preaching provides the opportunity to express God’s everlasting love, care, and presence, and to nourish a healthy self-esteem in the hearers as beloved children of God. This thesis project focuses on preaching that aims at instilling in its hearers the truth of their identity as people valued by God. It is concerned with the development of a message that restores self-esteem to persons who have experienced persecution, discrimination, and systematic oppression that have stripped them of their self-worth. Preaching the affirming truth of God’s love, care, and presence has the power to heal, remove self-doubts, restore confidence, and rejuvenate spirits of those individuals being dismissed as refugees, immigrants, or socially and culturally other.

Preaching Through Grief to Wholeness

Author
Dava Cruise Hensley D.Min.
Abstract
Grief and Loss are ever present in the life of the church. Death, illness, and change are ongoing events in the gathered community. Such loss is often accompanied by grief and at times, unrecognized and therefore, unresolved. This thesis is directed at naming unresolved grief and through intentional preaching which address grief, offers a legitimate and helpful way to address grief and can be the beginning of the process for healing to move through grief to wholeness using preaching as a tool of pastoral care. In this study, a Parish Support Group (PSG) selected from members of the congregation met before and after the preaching moments to evaluate if grief acknowledged from the pulpit allowed the congregation to begin to name grief. Interviews, questionnaires, and narrative stories were used in the evaluation process by the PSG and congregation. The logic method was used as evaluation of the resources needed to work through grief made changes in the community in vital ways. The congregation displayed evidence of movement as the grieving process was addressed being more willing to move beyond the pews and serve more in the neighborhood.

A Korean Woman’s Voice to Preach as a Transformed Shaman through Perichoresis-Kut

Author
Jungmi Kang D.Min.
Abstract
The author researched the thesis, “A Korean Woman’s Voice to Preach as a Transformed Shaman through Perichoresis-Kut.” Built on the homiletical perspectives of Lisa L. Thompson, Frank Anthony Thomas, and Lynn Japinga, the transforming power of women preachers was envisioned through emotive, resilient, and celebratory interaction with the congregation. Such a transforming interaction was indigenously connected with Korean shamans and their ritual kut, which empowered Korean women’s voices and their ability to speak out for the marginalized. It was theologically connected with Trinitarian perichoresis, which empowered women’s voices and leadership. This thesis was grounded in the methodologies of anthropological and social research into Korean shamans and their ritual kut, homiletical inquiry about women’s voices and leadership, and Asian women’s Trinitarian perichoresis regarding radical subjectivity and open mutuality. While reflecting on these diverse perspectives, the author defined the homiletical significance of the preaching project as follows. First, when Korean women preachers could interact with the Triune God in the pulpit, the congregation might hear in their voices a conviction of perichoresis-kut to speak up for the marginalized against sexism, racism, and cultural colonialism. Second, within the heart of the homiletical significance for churches of Koreans and Korean-Americans, there was the need to change a male-gendered pulpit, by embracing Korean women preachers’ voices and leadership. On the other hand, it was crucial to provide Koreans and Korean-Americans with a transitional and transforming liminal space where every voice and every position could matter, regardless of being at the center or on the margin. Lastly, homiletic significance for the academic field was not only to build up a Korean preaching style rooted in the transformation of perichoresis-kut but also to call hearers to discover their identities in pursuit of advocating human rights and environmental justice.

Language for Effective Preaching: Practical Guide for Fidei Donum Priests in the Belleville Diocese

Author
Urban Chidi Osuji D.Min.
Abstract
ABSTRACT

LANGUAGE FOR EFFECTIVE PREACHING
PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR FIDEI DONUM PRIESTS
IN THE BELLEVILLE DIOCESE

Urban Osuji, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Missouri.

Culture is an inherited conception that has to do with what a person learns from the parents, others, and the society about what it means to be a human being. As a child grows in the society, the child learns the culture’s general assumptions about family relations, relations between men and women, attitude towards life and death. A child learns these assumptions from parents and caregivers. There are other cultural expressions including table manners and the distribution of chores. Of all these inherited conceptions, language is the most symbolic of them all.
Language as an essential part of preaching is the subject of this thesis. The hypothesis is that Fidei Donum Priests can be effective Preachers by attending to the linguistic idioms, imageries, phrases, and sentence construction of the local congregation. The language of preaching is the concrete language of everyday life. Preaching language is the language that the children hear and understand and when they do not understand, their mothers offer a simpler understanding of the language with stories and imageries. Stories and imageries create and leave impressions on the emotional life of the people. When Priests use stories, imageries, and metaphors in preaching, listeners identify God’s presence in their midst. And that is why concrete imageries are the best tools for preaching.
But the use of concrete language in preaching does not come easy to the missionaries. Therefore, Fidei Donum Priests must immerse themselves by taking time to go to the people, live among them, share their lives and learn their language, including imageries, metaphors, and stories that have significant value for them.
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