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Improving Preaching by Listening to Listeners

Sunday Service Preaching in the Malagasy Lutheran Church


Hans Austnaberg

Improving Preaching by Listening to Listeners: Sunday Service Preaching in the Malagasy Lutheran Church explores the reaction of the congregation to Sunday preaching. Preaching has been a significant activity since the founding of the Lutheran Church in Madagascar in 1867. However, hardly any research has been carried out to explore this interesting field, particularly from the listeners’ perspective. This book is an attempt to remedy this situation.
With the aid of methodology from rhetorical studies, adapted into homiletics, this book investigates: How do the character of the preacher, the content of the sermon, and its emotional appeal impact the listeners in such a way that preaching becomes significant in their lives? Listeners consider the preacher himself important, both his spiritual and everyday life. They evaluate his good intentions, whether he believes in his own message, and whether his message is moulded by an encounter with the risen Lord. The Bible provides the sermon’s basic content and foundation, and The Holy Spirit is considered an active agent in the preaching event. The listeners encounter words from God through the sermon. They can experience change in their lives by listening to preaching from caring pastors who create presence for important issues for change to happen.
The Malagasy context and culture form the backcloth throughout the investigation, and this book specifically investigates Malagasy rhetoric, that is, the public speech tradition with regard to its possible role in increasing the impact of preaching on the listeners.


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Appendix: Interview guide 225


Appendix: Interview guide Introduction: Since when have you been a Christian? Have you attended this church for a long time? What is your service/ministry in the church? What is your daily occupation? How old are you? 1. Pathos questions Did you like the sermon? Why?150 What was important to you or made your heart jump? Why was this signifi- cant for you? What was pleasing to you? Did anything make you angry or did you dislike anything? Why? What did you expect to receive through the sermon before you left home today? Did you hope for anything specific? What consequences does the sermon have for your daily life? In your opinion, what help for your daily life does the sermon bring? What impulses does the sermon give for you being a Christian? Is there anything in sermons that may change your ways of thinking or acting in everyday life? Can you give examples? Are you able to utilise in daily life what you hear in sermons? Who helps you to apply to your daily life what you hear? Do you remember a sermon that made an impact on you for a whole week, or even longer? Why did this happen? Do you remember a sermon that made you cry? 150 The questions in italics are the main questions while the rest are subordinate. 226 Improving Preaching by Listening to Listeners 2. Logos questions What was the pastor’s goal with his sermon? What was most important for him? According to...

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