Preaching Well: Purposeful and Intentional Preaching

Facilitate by Rev. Dr. Robert W. Brewer 

Beginning in September, 2017

This program is intended to support and encourage preachers to engage in self-reflection through peer mentoring and consultation in order to become more effective communicators of the gospel. Preachers will have the opportunity to reflect upon how preaching has changed in their ministry and how they can reinvigorate a love for the practice of preaching.

This program is geared towards ministers who have a passion for preaching and seek to improve their ability to create effective and dynamic sermons. The peer group will focus upon self-reflection, current homiletical models, and how preaching can develop faith within the hearers.

Participants will:

  • Participate in a six month cohort of 8 to 10 clergy that will meet at least six times (once a month), beginning in September. This meeting will occur on Tuesdays either from 10am to 12pm or 3pm to 5pm. Greensboro College will host this location or various locations will be sought depending on travel for the clergy.
  • Participate in group and individual consultations about the role of preaching in the life of the pastor and congregation.
  • Engage in various homiletical theory and methods to help undergird the practice of preaching.
  • Critically reflect upon the task of preaching week to week in particular congregations.
  • Participate in a one-on-one individual session with facilitator within those six months either in person or online.
  • Provide at least two and up to three sermons to evaluate in group and individual consultation.

The cohort will explore questions:

  • What is our explicit and implicit purpose of preaching and how is it conveyed in our weekly preaching?
  • How does self-care influence the effectiveness of preaching?
  • How can our weekly preaching become more dynamic, event-full, and effective?
  • How can our preaching be more prophetic, while being pastoral?
  • How can preachers effectively address difficult and contentious topics?
  • How do the hearers of sermons (congregations) influence how and what we preach?
  • What models of preaching work best in particular situations and congregations?

The program will be led by Rev. Dr. Robert Brewer, Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Religion at Greensboro College. Dr. Brewer received his doctoral degree in homiletics from The Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. His work focuses upon the use of faith development theory in the development of homiletical methodology. He has taught worship and preaching courses at Greensboro College, Wake Forest Divinity School, and Duke Divinity School. He has contributed to the Common English Youth Study Bible, Abingdon’s Theological Commentary, and Feasting on the Word. He has presented at various conferences and churches, and preaches regularly in worship services around Greensboro.

The cost to participate is $50. The rest of the expense is funded by the WNC Leadership Development Team. Participants will be responsible for purchasing books.

Cohort Learning Group Schedule

Cohort Meeting 1:
Introductions, Purpose and Expectations, Context and Problems Preaching
Defining and Exploring the congregation’s influence upon the sermon

Cohort Meeting 2:
Re-imagining a Theology of Preaching
Exploring Faith Development within the Sermon

Cohort Meeting 3:
Exploring Creative Exegetical Strategies and Models of Preaching
Watch and Reflect Upon Participants’ Sermons

Cohort Meeting 4:
Preaching over the Long Haul: sermon series in a lectionary world
Watch and Reflect Upon Participants’ Sermons

Cohort Meeting 5:
Preaching Upon Difficult Topics, Pastoral Care and Prophetic Preaching
Watch and Reflect Upon Participants’ Sermons

Cohort Meeting 6:
Outlining an intentional plan for developing sermons
Watch and Reflect Upon Participants Sermon

Participation is limited to WNC clergy who preach on a regular basis.

To apply for this opportunity, send an email to Rev. Kim Ingram, Director of Ministerial Services (kingram@wnccumc.org) with your name, appointment, charge conference (if different from your appointment), and years in ministry. Each applicant should write a paragraph about their desire to be part of this process along with their hopes of what they seek to gain in this peer learning module.

Application is due by August 15, 2017. Participants will be notified shortly thereafter about acceptance into the program and will be given information to complete a cultural and theological ethnography of the congregation to be used in the first cohort learning session. At that point, the $50 fee will be due within a week.

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