Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
The Knoxville First Seventh-day Adventist Church has members endowed with the spiritual gift of speaking (preaching). However, no training program was available for these gifted members to develop and practice their preaching skills. The senior pastor, associate pastor, and guest speakers handled the preaching responsibilities, while these members were not edifying the congregation through the exercise of their preaching gift. The absence of a preaching training program also revealed a neglect of the pastoral responsibility to disciple members in the area of preaching. This project was an effort to train gifted members in the preaching craft for a potential preaching ministry and fulfill a pastoral responsibility to disciple and equip members for ministry.
A six-month preaching seminar was designed and delivered in the Knoxville First Seventh-day Adventist Church from March to August of 2018. Eleven members attended a two-month instructional phase and a four-month practicum phase on developing and delivering sermons. Seminar methodology included observation, instruction, application, and evaluation. Data collection involved reflective journaling, sermon reflection forms, video-recording lectures and sermons, and a seminar evaluation form.
Ten regular participants and one alternate completed training. The instructor and a pastoral leader were also available as preaching mentors for trainees. Participants learned a method of sermon development. They also preached three practice sermons and were evaluated on content and delivery. Trainees developed preaching skills and increased in speaking confidence. Several participants were also interested in follow-up training, and expressed an interest in exploring future preaching opportunities.
Feedback from trainees revealed that the seminar was beneficial and successful. I also benefited from this training event. Lectures, preaching practice, and mentoring are essential components of preaching discipleship. To improve training, future seminars should offer (a) direct guidance from the instructor as trainees develop practice sermons, (b) shorter lectures, (c) a shorter training duration, (d) a smaller class size, and (e) sufficient practical exercises in exegesis and making appeals.
Preaching; Lay preaching; Laity--Training of; Knoxville First Seventh-day Adventist Church (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Bates, Marcus Alden Swearingen, "The Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Preaching Discipleship Training Program for Church Members in the Knoxville First Seventh-day Adventist Church" (2019). Professional Dissertations DMin. 733.
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