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PhD Research

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Mark McIlraith

on 13 February 2017

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Transcript of PhD Research

Transformational Preaching
What's Really Going On in the Sermon?
Why preach?
Mark McIlraith
The sermon is the most impactful component of the church service (Carrell, 2000)
The purpose of this research was to identify elements within preaching that listeners perceive to have an impact on personal transformation
Research Committee:
Mark McIlraith
Sandra Wilson
Shann Ferch
Mark Labberton
Researching transformation
Theology + Science
Empirical Research in Homiletics
Methodology for Research
Pastor Perspectives
Congregational Resistance
Fear of Impotence
Listener Perspectives
Pastor Interview Findings
Listener HIS Instrument Results
More Impactful (more than 4.4):
1.Challenge thinking and actions (5.14)
2.Reveal the realities of life and faith (5.07)
3.Have a clear focus, rather than many points (4.98)
4.Help listeners understand the Bible (4.97)
5.Wrestle with deep questions even if not answered (4.72)
6.Provide answers to deep questions of life (4.57)
7.Center more on scripture than current issues (4.41)

Less Impactful (less than 4.4):
8.Affirm listeners’ thinking and actions (3.89)
9.Tell listeners what they should do (3.61)

Pastor Interview Findings
Listener HIS Instrument Results
More Impactful (more than 4.4):
1.Have moments of laughter and joy (5.21)
2.Include stories to emphasize points (5.10)
3.Are finely crafted, thoughtful, and well presented (5.03)
4.Express reverence and awe (4.96)
5.Use descriptive words with feelings and imagery (4.69)
6.Include somber moments (4.59)
7.Use mental pictures and symbols (4.55)

Less Impactful (less than 4.4):
8.Are academic with insightful arguments (4.39)
9.Include details of biblical language (4.10)
10.Are down to earth, blunt, or even irreverent (3.82)
11.Include spiritual practices like visualization or guided prayers (3.75)

No or Negative Impact (less than 3.5):
12.Allow listeners to be passive, not having to respond (3.42)
13.Are spontaneous, unstructured, and are discussion oriented (3.34)
14.Include interactive moments guided by the preacher (3.12)
15.Exemplify a roller coaster with many ups and downs (2.96)
Pastor Interview Findings
Listener HIS Instrument Results
More Impactful (more than 4.4):
1.The preacher seems authentic (5.13)
2.The preacher relies on God for the effectiveness of the sermon (4.42)
3.The preacher expresses deep vulnerability (4.42)

Less Impactful (less than 4.4):
4.The preacher reveals a felt weight of the magnitude of preaching (4.37)
5.The preacher is known personally (3.81)

Pastor Interview Findings
Listener HIS Instrument Results
More Impactful (more than 4.4):
1.There is accompaniment of prayers, readings, and songs (5.09)

Less Impactful (less than 4.4):

No or Negative Impact (less than 3.5):
2.The preacher uses no notes (3.35)
3.The preacher gives listeners outlines and handouts (3.19)
4.The preacher uses pictures, diagrams (3.14)
5.The preacher uses video clips (3.04)

Expansive Conclusions
Integrating the Four Themes:
Divine Accompaniment

Mark McIlraith
What can we do?
...coming full circle
(principal investigator)
Full transcript