Sermons

Preaching peace : one congregation's exploration of war and peace through preaching

Author
Timothy B. Tutt
Abstract
This project explores sermons related to war and peace preached in the 1900s at Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ in Bethesda, Maryland. The sermons were the centerpiece of an eight-week worship and education series intended to help the congregation better articulate a proactive theology of peace that would nurture their ongoing commitments to being creative, vigorous peace-mongers in the face of future wars and rumors of war. The project included sermons preached in worship, an education series, and two surveys exploring the impact of sermons on congregants’ views of war and peace.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Preaching on Porn: A Workshop to Train Pastors

Author
Michael Novotny D.Min.
Abstract
According to even the most conservative statistics, pornography is wrecking the bodies,
minds, and souls of millions of Christians in America. Nevertheless, most pastors are unsure
how to address this pandemic problem in their sermons.

This project suggests a solution. If a preacher verbalizes this taboo topic, normalizes the
struggle for God’s people, demonizes the sin of lust, evangelizes those struggling with sexual
sin, and strategizes ways for every member of the church to honor God with their bodies, the
pulpit might become a powerful solution for the saints’ struggle.

In this project, twelve pastors were surveyed and studied in order to create a workshop in
hopes of equipping them to preach wisely, boldly, and effectively on the topic of pornography.

A PRIMER FOR TRAINING EFFECTIVE PREACHERS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH

Author
Mark Frazee D.Min.
Abstract
A PRIMER FOR TRAINING EFFECTIVE PREACHERS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
Training in effective preaching is helpful for the experienced preacher and the novice. This project gathered insights from experts on preaching, and organized them in six training sessions walking one through the entire process of preaching. These sessions were presented to a pilot group of pastors and teachers to further equip them for preaching, and to solicit their feedback on how the material could be improved to train others. Feedback was sought in group interviews and follow-up e-mail surveys. The sessions were revised and returned to the pilot group to be used to equip others in preaching.

DETERMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DIFFERING DEGREES OF SPECIFICITY IN SERMON APPLICATION

Author
Roger Chen D.Min.
Abstract
"So what?" This is the question every believer should ask at the end of any sermon because the Word of God should be applied to the Christian's life. If the sermon's goal is to effect change in the lives of the congregation, then the preacher has the obligation to not only explain the text but explain what the text means in a practical outworking of daily living. The balance that must be struck is the role of the preacher combined with the role of the Holy Spirit to guide the listener in how to apply the sermon.
This project shows the importance of application in preaching God's Word and seeks to determine the extent to which a pastor should provide this application in preaching. With many different examples from Scripture combined with varying views of application from extra-biblical sources available to the preacher, navigating the nuances of homiletics can be overwhelming and confusing. This project endeavors to provide some clarity to the matter as it pertains to application.
This project involves the preaching of nine sermons after which volunteers complete two surveys for each sermon which ask the volunteers what they believed to be the application in the sermon as well as how they plan to apply that application; the second survey asks if and how the sermon was applied. The surveys, including the interaction with the volunteers, are handled anonymously through the aid of an administrator.
This project shows the importance of the partnership between the human preacher's provision of application in the sermon with the Holy Spirit working in the believer to apply the Word. Additionally, the support for varying methods of application across the preacher's body of work is explained.

The Pastoral Pulpit: Preaching to Offer The Assurance of Grace to a First Generation Burmese-Chin Refugee Congregation in the U.S.

Author
Biak Lian Thang D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis project focuses on preaching to offer assurance of grace to the people who are living in the midst of struggle, and to help them see ‘who they are, what they are, and where they are’ as Burmese-Chin refugees in the U.S.A. It is based on the belief that preaching assurance of grace and of God’s saving act in their journey of life to encourage in a foreign land and assures the congregation of God’s presence and care. The thesis project seeks to show that preaching can offer the assurance of grace that helps a congregation experience God’s grace in their lives so that they can reach the community as the faithful witnesses through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, even though they are invisible, insignificant, and minorities in the society.

Proclaim The Message (NRSV, II Timothy 4:2a: Preaching A Sermon Series on The Nicene Creed Taking into Consideration the Seasons and the Scripture Lessons of the Church Year

Author
Andrew H Zeman
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to present to the author's congregation the content of the Nicene Creed by means of a series of Sunday sermons. This project was based on the premise that theology is critically important in dealing with life's problems and in dealing with the universality of death. The project consisted of twenty-eight sermons preached over six months. The author's hope was that by hearing these sermons, his parishioners would have a deeper appreciation of the Nicene Creed. He believes that he did achieve his main purpose, but he was not completely successful in accomplishing all that he had hoped to do in the parish.

Equipping Selected Leaders at Cornerstone Community Church, Chariton, Iowa, with Essential Competencies to Lead Sermon-Based Small Groups

Author
Paul R Miller
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected leaders at Cornertone Community Church in Chariton, Iowa, with essential competencies to lead sermon-based small groups. The first phase of the project involved research to identify the competencies essential to leading sermon-based small groups in the Cornerstone Community Church context for the purpose of disipleship. The research included extensive reading as well as interviewing multiple ministry leaders experienced in the field of sermon-based small groups. The second phase of the project synthesized the research to produce a curriculum designed to equip small group leaders with the competencies identified. In the final phase of the project selected small group leaders from Cornerstone Community Church were equipped with the essential competencies to lead sermon-based small groups. The equipping was accomplished in a full-day workshop setting.

Raising the level of sermon understanding, retention, application, and accountability through the integration of sermons and sermon-based small groups in First Baptist Church of Blanchard, Oklahoma

Author
Andrew D Finch
Abstract
This project involved the integration of sermons with small groups with the intention of discussing content, and personal application of the sermon messages. Through repetition and reflection the goal was to improve retention as small group members recognized the impact of God's Word and the relevancy and relationship of the sermon to their spiritual growth, accountability, as well as a means to reinforce their commitments.

Preaching Christ in Proverbs among urbanites

Author
Jason Lancaster
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry major project centers on preaching Christ in Proverbs among urbanites. Urban dwellers often face unique, challenging circumstances that require wisdom. The Book of Proverbs, often challenging to preach, is a rich source of God's wisdom, especially when understood in the context of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through extensive research and the preaching of a pilot sermon series on Proverbs, later evaluated by a focus group, this project outlines a method to employ of preaching Christ in Proverbs specifically addressing urbanites, teaching them to walk in the wisdom of God while exalting the Lord Jesus Christ.

The impact of online audiences on preaching ministries in local churches

Author
John David Ellis
Abstract
This study explored ways that pastors whose sermons are posted online as audio recordings address the needs and concerns of their local congregations. Employing qualitative research, the author reviewed pertinent literature and interviewed seven Christian pastors who preach to local congregations and whose sermons are podcast. The study found reasons to be concerned that podcasting pastors' sermons might alter the way they preach to their congregants. However, it also revealed that there are practices that can be employed by pastors whose sermons are podcast that enable them to continue preaching effectively to their church members.
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