Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Virtual Preaching: Using the Internet to Proclaim God's Word and Engage in Discipleship
by Roberts, Steven Paul, D.Min., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2011, 74; 3457734
Abstract (Summary)

This paper reflects upon the preacher's call to proclaim the good news of God's grace and how this can be accomplished both locally and globally via the internet. There is attention given to the preaching event as the center of the worship service and the focal point of further conversation for discipleship. This is accomplished utilizing a platform developed for the internet and facilitated by Group Guides. A comprehensive internet experience of worshiping God by watching, hearing, and discussing the proclamation of God's word is encapsulated within a format called Focus On God Groups (FOGG). A great deal of space is given to the incorporation of the eight sermons given over the three year span of study that emphasized community. Additional discussion regarding the virtual preacher's participation in the follow-up internet conversation is presented, followed by a review of the theory applying the preaching event to the internet. Data from the participants and data from the researcher leads to a conclusion that while the preacher should remain open to the internet as a viable and effective way of proclaiming God's word, it requires more work than just making the sermon available and hoping that people will listen to the proclaimed word followed by the discipleship undertaking of discussing what was heard. The research indicates that it is a lofty expectation that people will join a group to listen to and participate in a weekly discussion about topics, concepts, or beliefs presented by the preacher in a sermon via the internet. The paper includes background material for both internet development and the discipleship group process I call Focus On God Groups. Three appendices are added to assist with a greater understanding of the process identified within the body of the paper.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brooks, Gennifer
Commitee: Satterlee, Craig, Teasdale, Mark
School: Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Department: Graduate School
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Religion, Theology
Keywords: Christianity, Community, Local churches, Virtual preaching, Worship
Publication Number: 3457734
ISBN: 9781124686493
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