Using multiple intelligences theory to develop an approach to children's sermons
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This dissertation examines a new approach to children's sermons. It contends that a variety of sermon methods, not traditional oral and verbal methods, appeal to a diversity of children with a higher degree of fairness and effectiveness. Chapter 1 serves as the introduction for the entire study and presents the overall framework of the study. Focus is on the problem and its feasible solution of the current children's sermon methodology. Chapter 2 concentrates on Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory. It describes the why, what, and how of his theory. In particular, the chapter puts an emphasis on the theory's impact on education and addresses its implications for preaching as well. Chapter 3 examines children as a unique audience from a number of aspects: children and worship, children and development, and children and listening. In addition, attention is given to the children with special needs and gender differences in children's brains. Based on these examinations, the chapter claims that children need to have their own, developmentally appropriate, worship service and sermons. Chapter 4 addresses an approach to children's sermon methods which employ all the intelligences children possess. A variety of preaching methods are presented: linguistic intelligence methods, logical-mathematical intelligence methods, musical intelligence methods, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence methods, visual-spatial intelligence methods, intrapersonal intelligence methods, interpersonal intelligence methods, and naturalist intelligence methods. The chapter also addresses how to develop children's sermons and the need of the use of technology for them. Chapter 5 concludes the study with a summary of the prior theses and an emphasis on the need of preaching to children in a variety of ways. Along with a right understanding of who children are as an audience, implementing multiple intelligences preaching methods to children's sermons demands several changes in concept and practice.