Professional Dissertations DMin
Finding a Voice: A Preaching Model To Address the Postmodern and Post-Soviet Young Adults at the Compass Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tallinn, Estonia
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
In Northern and Eastern Europe, probably more than in any other part of the world, the gap between the inner culture of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and that of the surrounding culture has grown large, hindering the church’s ability to share the Gospel to young adults (ages 16-29) in a meaningful and clear way. It is especially true about people who have grown up in the Postmodern and Post-Soviet context of Estonia and have very little biblical knowledge. This present study concentrates on homiletics and how this culture gap can be bridged via preaching.
A five-part preaching series was created with young adults in Estonia being the primary target audience. The sermons were preached in Compass Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tallinn, Estonia from November 20 until December 18, 2021. All listeners were invited to fill in a feedback form after each church service. Over the period of five weeks, 116 evaluation forms were collected and the anonymous feedback analysed.
The church members and visiting guests were given an opportunity to evaluate my sermons and express their ideas on different preaching-related topics. The main areas of feedback were as follows: topic and organisation of the sermon, the role of the preacher, inclusiveness, and narratives. Every thematic section had both open-ended questions and questions with scales from 1 to 5. The results showed that young adults―both the regular attendees and occasional guests―are interested in topics that touch their everyday reality and choices, they appreciate preacher's openness and emotional honesty, they find it easiest to follow sermons with a simple structure and a single focus, their attention is caught by good stories, they appreciate supportive visual materials, and they long for an inclusive Christian community where they could be seen and appreciated as individuals.
Preaching in a Postmodern and Post-Soviet context where the general knowledge of Christianity and the Bible are very low is a constant challenge. Yet, with a careful sermon preparation process which takes into account the individualistic and fragmented worldview of the Postmodern people, it is possible to preach sermons that touch both the hearts and minds of young adults. When the context-sensitivity is supported by the preacher's emotions and integrity of life, the preaching act can be and is an effective way of communicating the Gospel truths.
Postmodernism--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Church work with young adults--Seventh-day Adventists; Preaching--Estonia; Compass Seventh-day Adventist Church (Tallinn, Estonia)
Cederstrom, Mervi, "Finding a Voice: A Preaching Model To Address the Postmodern and Post-Soviet Young Adults at the Compass Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tallinn, Estonia" (2023). Professional Dissertations DMin. 788.
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