Preaching

The effectiveness of preaching as a tool for leading corporate change

Author
James L Renke
Abstract
This thesis contends that preaching can be an effective tool for bringing about corporate change in the local church context. The study first lays a biblical and theological framework for pastoral leadership, the primacy of preaching and the corporate nature of the local church. It then reviews literature on leadership, communication and change. Through pastoral interviews and evaluations of a sermon series, it explores the role of preaching in initiating and maintaining positive change. It also seeks to place preaching in the context of other leading activities, such as one-on-one leadership, board leadership, planning and initiating ministries. The study concludes with guidelines for effective leading through preaching as well as suggestions for further study.

Preaching to career minded people

Author
Robert P Reimer
Abstract
Christian professionals often struggle to make connection between their faith and their marketplace. By their own admission, they too seldom find guidance from the local church. Yet, they spend the majority of their waking hours at work. Materials related to the topic of preaching to career minded people were rare indeed. research was done in the following areas: theology of work, the demands and challenges of the workplace, professionals and their values, Christians and their workplace, and preaching. It is essential for clergy to preach relevant messages that display how to apply faith in the workplace. Living authentic Christian lives at work will enable these career-minded people to be fully developed, and to influence the society in which we live. Pastors need to understand these professionals, their work environment, and how to communicate effectively to help them connect faith and work. A seminar was developed to help clergy make the necessary connection between faith and career-minded people.

Spiritual resilience: salty saints in an unsavory world

Author
Mark W Johnson
Abstract
Suffering may be universal, but human responses vary. Spiritually resilient people, however, use their God given strengths and faith resources to cope constructively with suffering. This study proposes a four part homiletic method to enhance spiritual resilience focusing on the sermon's intention, desired response, flow/plot and congruence. The method was tested by presenting a four-part sermon series to two groups. Comparing pre and post questionnaires, the researcher found that participation in the study enabled respondents to identify additional behaviors, character traits, and faith resources that help them persevere.

Finding ourselves, finding God, preaching as play

Author
Donovan A Drake
Abstract
This thesis is about re-discovering the gift of play. Play is how we begin the discovery of our world, and in this thesis the author seeks to better understand how this wonderful gift can apply to preaching. In these pages, the author outlines the theory of play put forward by the British psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott and explains how his theories are impacting homiletics. The author's contention is that it is through play that the preacher not only gains a better grasp of the biblical text, but the preacher also gains a deeper more soul-searching experience into the realm of the Holy. The implication for pastors is a renewed freedom that expresses itself through powerfully transforming sermons.

The use and teaching of emotional appeal for persuasion in preaching

Author
David K Welle
Abstract
This work proposes that preaching can be persuasive without being manipulative and that emotional appeal is essential in preaching because it can arouse holy affections for God and his truth, and thus motivate changes in attitudes, belief and behavior. In a postmodern context, preaching that evokes an experiential encounter with biblical truth is most effective. A survey of 127 preachers, mostly from the Assemblies of God, and a separate survey of 33 teachers of preaching, investigated their opinions and practices regarding the use of emotional appeal in preaching. The research discloses that a substantial majority of both preachers and teachers consider emotional appeal in preaching important for effective communication. This work describes five benefits of appealing to the emotions in preaching, offers guidance on preparing to preach with emotional impact, and instructs on infusing the message with emotion by using imagination, metaphor, story and celebration. Finally, this paper examines the Holy Spirit's role in persuasive preaching.

Imparting vision to a congregation through proclamation

Author
Timothy T Deatrick
Abstract
Vision is the future destination of the church that God reveals to His people. It is the answer to the question, "Where are we headed as a church?" The purpose of this Doctor of Ministry project is to learn and apply the skills necessary to impart vision to the church through proclamation. The setting for this thirteen-week project will be Northwest Arkansas Family Church in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the project leader serves as founding pastor. During this time, the project leader will conduct an assessment of the congregation's understanding of the church's mission and purpose. This assessment will be followed by a series of sermons that outline the purpose, mission, and direction of the church. A corresponding small group Bible study curriculum will be developed which will allow members to dialogue regarding that particular week's sermon. An evaluation will be conducted at the completion of the project to ascertain the congregation's comprehension and application of the church's mission and purpose.

Preaching: the naming and claiming of sacred space

Author
Edwin J Higginbottom
Abstract
Preaching can open a portal to timeless sacred space through which we may experience God's presence. Sermons guide worshippers to a safe place where God's transformational power is encountered and change, that may be ritually affirmed, occurs. Eight sermons enabled one congregation to discern that which it considered sacred. Physical and liminal spaces within church and home were named and claimed as sacred, most notably a newly constructed annex became a sacred precinct. Perceptions of sacredness increased as preaching guided the congregation toward its mission, fostered a cadre of leaders and provided the vocabulary for spiritual dialogue.

Poetic preaching in a post-modern world

Author
Kevin Douglas Huddleston
Abstract
This thesis argues that the church of the 21st century is closer in body, mind and soul to the pre-Constantinian church than it is to the church of a mere fifty years ago. It contends that examining the preaching of the first three centuries can assist the current preacher. It further asserts that the preaching of the early church was more "poetic" in nature and that by adopting a more poetic style we will be better equipped to preach in a pluralistic, post-modern environment and recapture a genre of biblical literature that has been neglected in the field of homiletics. Finally, this thesis will propose some practical ways in which contemporary preachers can become more "poetic" in their preaching.

Preaching in concentric circles: a strategy for preaching multimedia sermons

Author
Charles C Dorsey
Abstract
Churches pioneering the multimedia craze are leading conferences across the country training churches and church staff in the effective use of multimedia in worship and preaching. In light of this phenomenon this study seeks to examine the following hypothesis: parishioners who are exposed to multimedia sermons will have higher perceptions of sermon effectiveness than parishioners not exposed to multimedia sermons. The quantitative research results of the study reveal that out of 40 dependent variables used to operationalize an effective sermon, only five show any degree of significant variance. The five variables are sermon organization, giving a mental image, being involving, being creative, and likability. Qualitative research results of the study reveal that no difference exists between the multimedia sermon and the non-multimedia sermons in the areas of being able to recreate the biblical message of the sermon, the sermon having relevance for life, the sermon being engaging for the listener, and the sermon bringing forth feelings in the listener. On a seven-point scale the subjects rated multimedia with a "3" as being more effective than a non-multimedia sermon. Overall the research results reveal that there is no significance of variance between multimedia sermons and non-multimedia sermons preached in this project. Four strategies for preaching multimedia sermons are then presented.
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