Project Documents

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Rollin Shoemaker

Second Advisor

Ben Maxson

Third Advisor

Loren Seibold

Abstract

Problem. The Raleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church is a large metropolitan congregation with many media saturated professionals, young adults and busy students. As such, spiritual growth is hampered and preaching is degraded from a transformational experience to an informational event. This result is often an inability to engage the preaching event so that life change can happen. Hearers need to listen actively to experience transformation.

Method. Research was conducted in which new storytelling methods were field tested from the Raleigh pulpit. The program included these steps: 1. A hypothesis was developed to guide the research and provide a rationale for data collection and evaluation. 2. A baseline survey was administered to establish a benchmark regarding listener’s perceived spiritual growth and appreciation of the stories they had previously heard from the Raleigh pulpit. 3. A four-part sermon series was preached in which two new storytelling methods were used. 4. An exit survey was administered to collect data from which to measure differences in listener response. 5. The data was evaluated, conclusions drawn and recommendations made.

Results. One hundred and thirty-three participants completed the baseline survey while 128 completed the exit survey. The data collected is contrary to the hypothesis and suggests that the hypothesis does not hold. Listeners with Two Year or technical college degrees seemed to have the greatest appreciation of the series while more educated listeners seemed to have had less. Men responded more favorably to the series than they did on the baseline survey and reported less variance. The Latino population reported the most appreciation for the series, and the 18-30 year old population reported the least appreciation for the series. The 61+ population had the reported the highest variances of any group.

Conclusion. The project led to five recommendations; 1) I will develop a seminar on how to be a good pew listener; 2) More research needs to be conducted about how men grow spiritually; 3) Further study should be done to explore the potential response of men to more emotive matters; 4) In future research, I will be more mindful to isolate new Adventists as a separate population/demographic; and 5) More research needs to be conducted to understand how education affects listener response so that preaching can maximize its effectiveness with this population.

Subject Area

Storytelling--Religious aspects, Preaching

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