Sermon preparation

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.

SUSTAINING A TRAINING MOVEMENT IN EXPOSITORY PREACHING IN TURKANA, KENYA

Author
Gary Kirst D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project pertains to work that has been done in Turkana, Kenya, through the mission Share International, in training indigenous Turkana pastors in expository preaching using the curriculum called Bible Pathways (developed by Alan Lewis, Director of Pastoral Training, ReachGlobal/EFCA). This curriculum focuses on a hermeneutical method which first asks of any given text of Scripture: what did this mean to the original readers? And then, especially in light of the Bible’s salvation story, it asks: how should this text be preached to hearers today? This curriculum is very heavy on individual and group participation in interpreting and preparing to preach biblical texts.

The writer worked with a team of six other American pastors to train 14 Turkana pastors in this curriculum from 2015-2017. This project especially focuses on evaluating the transmittal of this curriculum: the training this first generation of graduates has done with a second generation. Through questionnaires, personal in-depth interviews, and follow-up conversations, it was found that all participants had indeed engaged in rigorous attempts at training a second generation. Their many joys and challenges were catalogued.

As this training movement would proceed into the future, with the hope of the Lord filling this spiritually and physically barren desert land with healthy, Word-based churches, led by men committed to preaching the whole counsel of God, the writer, at the request of the Turkana participants, has developed a companion Trainer’s Manual to go alongside the Bible Pathways curriculum. This manual particularly provides many specific examples of sound interpretation, something that is lacking in the printed curriculum, and was anticipated by the participants, who are now trainers themselves, to be very helpful in their ongoing training.

LET THE ANCIENT STORIES LIVE: USING NARRATIVE ANALYSIS AND A CHRIST-CENTERED HERMENEUTIC FOR PREACHING OLD TESTAMENT NARRATIVES

Author
Mark Pluimer D.Min.
Abstract
This project sought to increase the competence of preachers and Bible teachers to preach or teach from Old Testament narratives in a way that is both Christ-centered and faithful to the original intent of the narrative. To achieve this goal, the project explored mainly two key topics: narrative analysis and a Christ-centered hermeneutic. Guided by the principles and tools of narrative analysis, preachers and Bible teachers are able to discern the main message of narratives as originally intended by the biblical author. Guided by the principles and tools of a Christ-centered hermeneutic, preachers and Bible teachers are able to connect the message of narratives to Christ authentically, without distorting or violating the original intent of the narrative. These considerations of narrative analysis and a Christ-centered hermeneutic culminated in a working three-step method for handling Old Testament narratives faithfully in preaching or teaching.

The project implemented the proposed principles by developing a manual, the content of which was taught in a twelve-hour course to a group of preachers and Bible teachers. Pre-course competence was assessed and compared to post-course competence by means of a focus group, surveys, a course evaluation, and written work on assigned Old Testament narrative texts.

The results showed a demonstrable increase in competence among participants. The principles and tools presented in the manual/course were shown to be valuable for helping preachers and Bible teachers to preach or teach from Old Testament narratives in a way that is both Christ-centered and faithful to the original intent of the narrative.

Proclaiming the gospel from Old Testament war narratives

Author
Eli H. Dowell
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine how preachers proclaim the Gospel from Old Testament war narratives. The study utilized a basic qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with six Gospel-centered preachers. Four research questions guided the data analysis, addressing challenges presented by culture and theology and what methods preachers use to overcome these challenges. The findings of the study show that Old Testament war narratives are essential components of the meta-narrative of Scripture, culminating in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The study concluded with several examples of Gospel-centered interpretations of select passages from the book of Joshua.

Sensitizing the Preacher for a Multi-Religious Context in the Diocese of Palayamkottai in India

Author
Anto Peterraj D.Min.
Abstract
The multi-religious context in which India preaching has to adorn herself with the garb of sensitivity is the backdrop of this thesis. Against this backdrop the author proposes that a preacher can be trained to appeal to the cognitive, emotive, spiritual, and psychological aspects of the listeners for a transformed life interpreting Christian Scripture and Tradition in the multi-religious pastoral context of India in general and of the Diocese of Palayamkottai in particular. The thesis is divided into five chapters.

Chapter One, after spelling out the background, the need, the process, and the scope of the study, sets the context of the Diocese of Palayamkottai with a special reference to religious pluralism in India in general and in Palayamkottai in particular.

In Chapter Two, after briefly analyzing the homiletical understanding before Pope Francis in the light of General Introduction of the Roman Missal and Verbum Domini, we meet the two dialogue partners of our study from the viewpoint of effective proclamation of the Gospel and embracing different traditions with respect, viz., Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium, and Bede Griffiths’ Sannyasa.

Chapter Three divides into three sections: In section one, the challenges that a preacher, a preaching, and a listener face in a multi-religious context are presented; section two proposes models (participatory, narrative sermon reflected in the life of the preacher) for a better preaching in multi-religious background, while section three will try to resolve the challenges in the light of the proposed model.

In Chapter Four a sampling study is done by picking up seven preachers.

Chapter Five is a practical guide that will serve as a manual for a preacher offering different models of preaching.

Enhancing the Project Director's Collaborative Preaching Skills to Improve Sermon Planning at Christview Christian Church, Southaven, Mississippi

Author
Victor Ray Lyons
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to enhance the project director's collaborative preaching skills in order to improve sermon planning at Christview Christian Church in Southaven, Mississippi. The project director used the Preaching Skills Enhancement Model to design the project. He began by researching the current trends in collaborative preaching and sermon preparation. Based on this research, he developed a process for sermon preparation that included collaborative skills. The director studied the effectiveness of this process by developing six sermons with a sermon-planning team of selected elders and lay leaders from Christview Christian Church. The six sermons and their preparation were evaluated by the sermon-planning team in order to determine the effectiveness of collaborative preaching skills on sermon planning.

Homily preparation for evangelization : the contributions of ethos and storytelling

Author
Yeonwoo Jeong
Abstract
This thesis-project examines the contribution of ethos and storytelling to homily preparation for evangelization employing the model and method developed by James and Evelyn Whitehead in Methods in ministry for theological reflection. The preacher's interest in ethos enables the preacher to prepare the homily through the eyes and ears of the assembly. In addition, storytelling can encourage the assembly to listen to God's Word in their lives because life is easily understood in a narrative mode. Thus, this thesis-project states that ethos and storytelling assist in preparing a dialogic homily.

Increasing the Transformational Quality of a Sermon by Soliciting Input from the Congregation during the Sermon Preparation Process

Author
Michael C Merriner
Abstract
Does soliciting input from others when preparing a sermon increase the transformational quality of that sermon? Six sermons preached at Clear Wather Church in Anchorage, Alaska were prepared with the help of a feed-forward group and compared to six sermons prepared without input. Listeners assessed the transformational quality of each sermon by completing a listener survey. There was no statistically significant difference in how the listeners assessed either set of sermons. The results of this quantitative study call into question the theory that soliciting input when preparing sermons increases their transformational quality.

A Comparative Analysis of the Christ-Centered Preaching Methods of Sidney Greidanus and Bryan Chapell and Their Effectiveness for Preaching

Author
Todd P Gray
Abstract
The Dissertation applies the Christ-centered preaching methods of Sidney Greidanus and Bryan Chapell to four separate message units from the book of Hosea and then analyzes those methods for clarity, effectiveness, and practicality for use in preaching. Two analytical techniques are used. One is a personal analysis. The second technique provides a third-party evaluation from a eight person pastor focus group. After analyzing both methods and comparing the focus group data, the results showed that either method was effective in producing Christ centered sermons. While Greidenus had the slight edge oven chapell for clarity and effectiveness, chapell had the slight edge in practicality. This writer would recommend either method.

Enhancing the project director's preaching skills in sermon application at Oak Park Baptist Church, Algiers Louisiana

Author
Robert A Stults
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to enhance the expository preaching skills of the project director with attention given to sermon applications presented in sermons preached at Oak Park Baptist Church, Algiers, Louisiana. Following the Ministry Skills Enhancement Model, the project director enhanced his development and communication of sermon applications related to biblical truths proclaimed within each sermon. The project focus was to ensure members and attendees of Oak Park Baptist Church, Algiers, Louisiana, understand the biblical text and how it applies to their walk with Christ. The project will: (1) research the subject of the sermon application; (2) develop a series of expository sermons applying the knowledge gathered; (3) preach a sermon series to those attending Oak Park Baptist Church, Algiers, Louisiana; and (4) evaluate the effectiveness of the sermon application by using a sermon evaluation team. Selected experts within the field of preaching will review and evaluate progress.
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