Preaching, Teaching, and Worship in the Early Church
The overall objective of this course is to develop the ability to preach and teach within the five sermonic forms of the Early Church: evangelistic, catechetical, expository, prophetic, and festal. These forms will be examined in light of the paradigm of the Early Church meeting, which was far more participatory than our single preacher-event approach that has dominated Western protestant churches ever since the Reformation. Specifically, this means that each person studying the course would:
Develop a basic understanding of the teaching forms of the Early Church: evangelistic, catechetical, expository, prophetic, and festal, and the importance of each of the forms for the contemporary expansion and establishing of churches worldwide. Special attention will be given to the importance of the reading of Scripture and to a fresh understanding of Paul’s idea of rhetoric.
Gain a comprehensive understanding of the five preaching forms of the Early Church and a basic approach to preparing sermons around the five forms, with special attention given to the methods needed to employ the five forms in contemporary preaching and teaching.
Introduce the student to the importance of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, to the integration of these forms into the life of the church in appropriate cultural forms of worship, designed to enhance the effectiveness and application of these forms in the everyday life of the believers in these churches.
Guide the student into the integration of both the preaching forms and worship in the Lord’s Supper, giving shape to the church gathering as delivered by the Apostles and as observed by almost all churches of the first 300 years of the Early Church.
- Integrate culturally appropriate forms of both preaching/teaching and worship into a contemporary meeting of the churches in a culture, with a view to creative “civilization” expression of music, drama, and the arts.