Doctor of Ministry
The problem addressed by this project is a lack of awareness some pastors have of the power their preaching has to shape their church culture. In response to this problem the researcher explored the biblical foundations of preaching with a special interest in the Hebrew understanding of learning and its role as a culture creator. He reviewed literature related to homiletics and communication theory with special attention to cultural formation in organizations and churches. He conducted case studies by way of interviews to determine whether members of his church, Crossway, perceived this connection between preaching and cultural formation. He interviewed three preaching pastors of other churches to investigate the same perception from a different vantage point. From the thesis findings the researcher developed a set of nine communication principles to better equip pastors to utilize the preaching craft as a culture creator for the transformation of the local congregation. In the Great Commission, Jesus Christ has clearly stated the vision for every local church. The crucial question for a church is not “what is the vision of the church?” Rather, it is “what is the culture that each church is called to create to fulfill the common vision?” The language, specifically oral communication, used by a given local church has a vast impact on its culture. Language is a central theme in the biblical story throughout Scripture; additionally communication theorists have long understood that words have tremendous power to shape culture. The researcher’s qualitative study involved asking eight questions of interviewees who attend Crossway, the local church of which he is the senior pastor. For a decade prior to the study, the researcher’s preaching regularly repeated four key phrases that were intended to shape the church’s culture. The interview questions were designed to uncover the participants’ perception of how deeply these four phrases had succeeded in impacting Crossway’s culture. The researcher offers the nine principles that he developed from his findings to enable other pastors to positively transform the culture of their local church in order to better fulfill the great commission.
Doctor of Ministry
Esposito, J. P. (2015). Preaching as a Cultural Formation Tool [Doctoral thesis, Bethel University]. Spark Repository. https://spark.bethel.edu/etd/775