Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Ron Clark, DMin
R. Joseph Burnham, DMin
This dissertation explores preaching, particularly within the context of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). The use of multi-media and interactive preaching, among other creative approaches, can effectively communicate the Gospel to all ages, engage the congregation, and relate Christ and His Word to daily life. Such creativity is found throughout God’s Word, is seen significantly at the time of the Reformation, and has historically been part of the rich evangelical nature of the LCMS. However, in the 1960s and 1970s, there was significant upheaval within the LCMS, and part of the outcome following that time was an unstated curtailing of creativity which continues to be felt today. I examine a variety of issues that influenced this curtailing, including a major cultural shift from modernity, a breakdown of trust in authority, fear of possible recrimination, and long-standing tensions between the “priesthood of believers” and the Office of the Ministry, among others. To better understand the purpose of and approach to preaching, as well as the freedom given to utilize creativity and a variety of styles, I examine the Bible and the approach Jesus, Paul, and Peter had to preaching and teaching. I explore the Protestant Reformation and the significant impact Martin Luther and the other reformers had on preaching and the creativity at work in that period of history. I also examine the LCMS and what the rich history of our church body suggests can be done when it comes to creativity in ministry and in preaching. Scripture and history provide the basis for permission that has been given to all preachers of God’s Word to employ a variety of creative approaches and styles in order to most effectively proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people in our culture today.
Schlecht, Glen, "Giving Permission for Creative Preaching in the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod: Returning to Our Creative Roots" (2017). Doctor of Ministry. 237.