Preaching

Hearing the eunuch's children: preaching in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities

Author
Mark B Lee
Abstract
Preaching helps articulate the chief theological concerns of a community. The author analyzed an interdenominational sample of fifty sermons from GLBT contexts. The sermons were numerically scored to discern the local theology preached. Key topics were queer Biblical hermeneutics, the development of healthy GLBT communities, integrating identity as GLBT and Christian, working for justice in hostile cultures, and developing a theology of sexuality and relationships. Constructive suggestions for GLBT homiletics included attending to the work of God within GLBT lives, being aware of hearers' stages in coming out, deconstructing homophobia and heterosexism, and clarifying sexuality, spirituality and relationship ethics.

Preaching with visuals: a spirit-filled, electronic stained glass window

Author
Douglas L Walker
Abstract
The purpose of this research project was to measure the response and effectiveness of four sermons presented with an augmentation of visual displays by a preacher who increased his daily spiritual devotional time and range for study. A multi-picture PowerPoint presentation was employed, and written surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews measured the response. The result was a seventy-seven percent positive response, a seventeen percent neutral response, and a six percent negative response. It concluded that people in congregations similar to this context respond well to a PowerPoint presentation during the sermon by a spiritually disciplined preacher.

Help stamp out stewardship: reframing traditional preaching approaches to stewardship

Author
Paul R Meese
Abstract
This project reframes the traditional approaches to preaching stewardship in the church by using humor to preach the message. Presently the word stewardship has mostly negative connotations and results; consequently pastors mostly avoid the subject. The author, a mainline church pastor, draws on personal and several colleagues' experiences and evidence of trends in other mainline churches to discuss the subject. Humor, while more acceptable in modern homiletic strategy, has been characteristically absent in the stewardship message. This project suggests the gifts of humor align nicely with the needs of stewardship. The author uniquely offers examples from Victor Borge comedy sketches.

Literature as friend in preaching the passion of Christ

Author
Joseph J Scholtes
Abstract
This project explored the use of literature (novels, short stories, and narrative non-fiction) in preaching. The author studied the relationship of faith and literature, as well as the relationship of the preacher to literature and Scripture. He developed a discipline called "scanning the skies" that was used in preaching on Christ's Passion during Lent and Easter 2005. This discipline helped the preacher experience Lent/Easter as a unified time, see Lent as a time of the Spirit, and decrease frustration in preaching the Passion. The project suggests ways for future use of the discipline, and an appendix contains the sermons preached.

A breeze passing overhead: the experience with the preacher and the experience of the gospel in the preaching of judicatory staff

Author
Ronald B Brown
Abstract
Preaching effectively requires an emotional connection with the congregation. It is difficult enough for a local church pastor to create emotional connections in preaching. Those connections become more difficult if the preacher does not know the congregation, but is a judicatory official or other outsider related to the congregation through ecclesiastical structure. Narrative sermonic design provides an effective method for making emotional connections. Through the work of Fred Craddock, Eugene Lowry, Frank Thomas and others this thesis explores how emotional connections can be created, even when the preacher is a stranger, by focusing on the sermonic design and conclusion.

Show and tell: communicating in a new mission field

Author
David M Anderson
Abstract
This was study of an experienced preacher of 30 years facing the changing preaching environment using multimedia. This thesis is a bout show-and-tell sermons, the show-and-tell climate of our culture, and the show-and-tell project with the congregation. The methods of research were the Ethnographic Research Method for the congregation and a Pro-Active Research Method for interviews with other pastors relating to the subject.

Transforming nearness

Author
Cynthia S Olson
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact the participants' level of intimacy with the Lord through a ten-week curriculum that focused on preaching the presence of the Lord. This single-group, pretest-posttest design analyzed quantitative and qualitative data. Participants (n=11) did show a significant gain in knowledge of ways to practice the Lord's presence. While almost 75% of the participants provided qualitative data indicating a gain in intimacy, participants did not demonstrate significant gains in intimacy on the quantitative questions. Implications are explored.

Preaching to a new generation so that none are "lost" or "left behind"

Author
Robert Clark Castro
Abstract
Much current preaching tends to leave newer worshipers feeling "lost." However, the author discovered that switching to a method geared to predominantly postmodern hearers can leave more traditional hearers feeling "left behind." Over the sermons in this project he explored postmodern preaching methods, but also checked in with more traditional hearers. Data was gathered by survey and interviews in a group setting. For small churches, there are ways that we can preach to new generations so that none are "lost" or "left behind." This thesis discusses variety in preaching styles as a way to be inclusive for all those worshiping in smaller congregations. The thesis promotes postmodern preaching methods to reach younger members, while advocating for variety in preaching styles that take into account the variety among worshipers.

Doers of the word: creating space to practice faith

Author
Kerri Peterson-Davis
Abstract
Faith is more than an intellectual exercise. This project will explore ways in which preaching can encourage listeners to actively respond to the Word proclaimed so that they might be "doers of the word, and not merely hearers." (James 1:22) Utilizing the work of Parker J. Palmer an understanding of what creates space is identified, examined and then translated for the preaching task. Data based upon thirty respondents is then used to identify specific ways preachers can engage congregants in the preaching event and encourage them in practicing their faith.

From fear to freedom: self differentiated preaching in an age of anxiety

Author
Joe Clifford
Abstract
American culture is caught in a state of chronic anxiety. Such a state is toxic for leadership. How can preachers function in a way that is faithful in the midst of such anxiety so that all may experience the liberating message of the gospel? When preachers demonstrate the courage to be themselves in the pulpit in a way that connects with the congregation and regulates their own anxiety, what family systems theory calls "Self Differentiation," preachers can move from fear to freedom, opening the possibility for the congregation to experience the liberating gospel.
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