Discipleship Through Preaching At Garrett Memorial Baptist Church, Hope, Arkansas
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DISCIPLESHIP THROUGH PREACHING AT GARRETT MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH, HOPE, ARKANSAS Jack Clifton Johnson, D.Min. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014 Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Brian J. Vickers This thesis-project details the biblical role of the listener in the preaching event along with the role listening plays in the discipleship of the church. Chapter 1 exposes the need for the development of effective listening in the specific context of Garrett Memorial Baptist Church. In the realm of practical theology, much is written concerning the practice of preaching. Preaching, however, like all forms of communication, is a two-party process of communicating. A preacher is needed as well as hearers. Chapter 2 focuses on four aspects of listening as emphasized in the Bible: the priority, the purpose, the power and preparation, and the proof of listening. In this chapter a theology of effective listening is built. Connecting preaching to discipleship by means of effective listening is the theme of chapter 3. When biblical preaching and effective listening connect, discipleship takes place. Additionally, when effective listening takes place within the church, discipleship within the church is increased in various ways. Chapter 4 details how this thesis-project was implemented at Garrett Memorial Baptist Church. Through a two-part sermon series, followed by an eight-week class, church members were equipped with effective listening skills. Surveys and interviews were used to measure growth in the knowledge and use of effective listening skills. Evaluating the success of the project is the focal point of chapter 5. Along with assessing survey results, theological and personal reflections about the project are also given. Presenting the role of listening as a spiritual discipline to be cultivated, this thesis-project offers spiritual and practical disciplines for the disciple of Christ to utilize before, during, and after hearing a sermon in order to get the most of out of sermons.