Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
James J. North, Jr.
The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, speak of the importance of preaching. The Christian Church of today places a high priority on preaching, but the burden is shouldered mainly by the clergy with little participation by the laity. The OT and the NT demonstrate the importance of clergy and laity sharing in the ministry of preaching, but today pastors need lay persons to preach and lay persons express their need to be trained in preaching. There is a dirth of materials and programs that will r effectively train lay persons to preach. It was task this project to develop an effective program to train lay person in the Chicago area to preach.
A preaching program was designed and developed over a four-year period to teach lay persons in the Chicago area to preach. The program offered a cycle of courses that allowed students to develop and grow in the academic and practical aspects of preaching. The first course was taught over a nine-month period, while the other courses covered a ten-week period. Students could enroll for one course or could take other courses in the preaching program. Each course offered lectures, presentations, preaching drills, class exercises, sermons to be preached in class, an exam and a graduation ceremony. Evaluation was done using a variety of instruments. A pre-course evaluation form, a post-course evaluation form, a sermon evaluation form for the audience to evaluate the student, a sermon evaluation form for class to evaluate student preachers, an instructor evaluation form, a personal evaluation form for each student to evaluate themselves, a course evaluation form for instructors to use, and a focus-group session to evaluate and reflect on the course.
A total of 76 students enrolled in the courses, and 51 graduated from the preaching program of a four-year period. Both course attendees and graduates gave high ratings for the course, structure, content, methods, teaching, and instructors. Church members and other pastors who experienced the preaching of students gave favorable ratings to the sermons and noted improvements of lay preachers. Evaluation of this project gives focus to the need for more training programs, a larger and wider territory of lay persons to be reached and trained for the preaching ministry, need for pastors to be \ exposed and also trained to train lay persons to preach, and for the larger organization to collaborate with pastors and lay persons to formulate a plan to do more training of lay persons across the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Church.
Conclusions This project demonstrated that the need for training lay persons to preach is a significant one for churches, pastors, lay persons and the larger church organization. A model training course for laypersons did show itself to be: 1) a valuable resource for pastors to use to equipped lay persons for the preaching ministry, 2) a valuable source of educating and training lay persons to preach in Chicago area churches-improving their preaching skills and motivating them for more involvement in ministry, 3) a useful tool to helping the larger church organization be more intentional in how it trains lay persons in many areas of ministry, especially for the future development of lay preachers. Lay persons were motivated to participate, felt a need to be trained, and wanted to partner with the professional clergy in the preaching ministry to fulfill the gospel commission of Jesus.
Laity--Training of; Preaching--Study and teaching; Seventh-day Adventists--Illinois--Chicago; Lay ministry--Illinois--Chicago
Coleman, Leeroy M., "A Model Course for Training Lay Persons of the Chicago Area in Biblical Preaching" (2011). Project Documents. 594.
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