Preaching

The "quest" in questions: a strategy for postmodern preaching

Author
Timothy E McLemore
Abstract
The work advocates a "questioning homiletic" as one approach to preaching in the context of postmodernity. This strategy can be incorporated into other contemporary homiletical approaches. It seeks, by the skillful employment of a guiding question (or questions), to challenge hearers to continued reflection even after the sermon has concluded, in hopes of encouraging an ongoing openness to God's Spirit.

Dramatic sketches in weekend messages to increase cognitive retention of the main point and suggested application

Author
John M Parlow
Abstract
A speaker needs to capture the attention of his or her listeners at the start. There are some distinct qualities of an effective introduction that encourage listeners to give serious attention to a presentation and relate to its message in a personal way. This researcher postulated that the use of enacted dramas in order to introduce messages would enhance the listener's/viewer's level of listening attention, translating into an enhanced retention of the message. The research process extended over three periods, making a total of twelve testing weekends, and was conducted in De Pere, Wisconsin. This researcher concludes that enacted drama does enhance retention of the message.

The impact of visual aids on memory in preaching

Author
Curtis L Deterding
Abstract
Are hearers able to better retain what they have heard preached if visual aids are used? This is the central question answered by this thesis. A primary presupposition of this project is that when we involve the use of sight during the sermon event, our ability to remember what was said increases. In this study, the theoretical and theological analysis of remembering and memory are discussed in connection with the use of visuals for retention. Those who participated in the project as hearers were asked to evaluate some sermons that used visual aids and some that did not. Based on the answers given some conclusions can be drawn to demonstrate that the use of visual aids can have a significant impact on the memory of the hearers.

Renewing a missional identity by preaching on the Kingdom of God

Author
Claude R Alexander
Abstract
The Kingdom of God should be the focus of every believer and every church. It provides the greatest purpose and mission for the Christian life. This mission is not found in a program or a strategy of a denomination, but in the biblical teaching found in both the Old and New Testaments. A missional renewal is sought through preaching that seeks to inform, comfort and motivate believers to be participants in the Kingdom of God.

Preaching so people will listen: an analysis of design principles for effective communication

Author
David A Daniels
Abstract
This project evaluated the sermons of three popular pastors to determine if they employ the basic principles of design in their preaching. Specifically, this research sought to confirm the hypothesis that the essential principles of visual communication--rhythm, contrast, balance, proportion and unity--are applicable to verbal communication as well. The research first surveys relevant literature in fields of visual and verbal communication and then noted the principles within the biblical text. From this review, an evaluation instrument was designed. Then, three preachers were selected and their sermons transcribed and evaluated according to a validation grid. The results confirmed that effective preachers employ rhythm, contrast, balance, proportion and unity in their sermons.

The clothes have no emperor: sculpting the homiletical point

Author
Jeffrey Scott Jacobson
Abstract
This thesis explores the benefits of determining one point for the sermon prior to engaging the sermon preparation process. This was evaluated through four sermon projects, which led to specific observations regarding the nature of the sermonic point itself, which is discussed in terms of its quantity, quality, and acquisition. The thesis includes methods of obtaining the point suggested from the sermon projects and the contributions of those who have articulated their process in book form or interviews. The determining factor of success for this thesis was the increased level of author's own joy in the process of preparing sermons.

Preaching in fallow time: nurturing deep-rooted growth through word and sacrament

Author
Sallie Meredith Watson
Abstract
The author researched the effect of transitions upon a particular congregation, and how preaching on the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper help the congregation navigate those transitions. In each is an element of uncontrollable mystery: one's vulnerability at font and table, one's lack of control in transitional moments, and one's chutzpah in preaching God's Word. She concluded that, in times of transition, the preacher should focus on the goodness of God and the mysteries of God, rather than trying to force a premature resolution. The liminal nature of the sacraments is a complement to preaching in a liminal time.

All are welcome: preaching and the development of church identity in a small town

Author
Robert LaRochelle
Abstract
An understanding of identity is important in the life of a local congregation. The decisions that a church makes are rooted in this identity. Any exploration of church identity begins with an examination of how people understand the nature and mission of the local church. This thesis will explore how the act of preaching plays a vital role in the development of a church's identity, both individually and collectively. Based on the recent experience of my congregation and drawing from homiletic theory and other appropriate resources, the thesis will demonstrate how this congregation's identity as a welcoming community developed through preaching attentive to the local context and intentionally relational, dialogical, free of coercion and consistent with other pastoral initiatives in which preacher and congregation are engaged.

Preaching to the dechurched

Author
Derik W Hamby
Abstract
This project explored preaching to de-churched people. The project involved interviewing twenty people. Fourteen interviews of de-churched or previously de-churched people were done by the author. A focus group of six then met to be interviewed and to help with a sermon series. The author found that de-churched people are like others who are longing for preaching that is relevant and relates the Bible to life. Preaching will not keep people out of church nor will it alone bring people back, but it is a crucial aspect that helps people stay active in the church.

The self-disclosure of the preacher in the sermon: teaching undergraduate Bible college student ministers to disclose with discretion

Author
Mark Robert Scott
Abstract
This thesis looks at appropriate and inappropriate self-disclosures of preachers in their sermons. The self-disclosure is that of first-person stories. Undergraduate Bible College student ministers often turn to their own lives as a source for sermon illustrations. Sometimes their self-disclosure lacks discretion. By paying attention to the self-disclosure critque form, student ministers can accelerate their maturity in disclosing with discretion in their use of first-person stories. The vulnerability in self-disclosure may be more of a quality of life than a homiletical strategy, but mature preachers will find ways to talk about themselves so that God is heard.
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