Compelling Black Preaching Themes Reaching Black Millennial-Xennial Males

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ABSTRACTThis thesis examines Black preaching themes appearing to yield influence on Black Millennial-Xennial males. The prospective connection of this demographic giving ear and response to certain preaching motifs, is approached in this study from multiple perspectives. The thesis’ research methodology is designed to summarize scholarship of traditional and contemporary Black homileticians and place those assumptions in conversation with traditional and contemporary developmental psychology and sociology on the internal and external motivations of Black Millennial-Xennial males. This study assesses the following: Black preaching scholarship assertions regarding effective Black preaching; Developmental description of Black Millennial-Xennial males, Sociodynamics this demographic must negotiate to survive and thrive; Black preaching themes of contemporary Black preaching appearing to reach this demographic; and to conclude, comparison and contrast between Black academic and preaching homileticians. My research examines a corpus of leading traditional and contemporary Black homileticians. The Black homileticians’ assertions on effective Black preaching establish a foundation upon which Black preaching themes can be built. This thesis engages from a developmental perspective, social science to discuss the Millennial brain. Cerebral characteristics of Black Millennial-Xennial males address behaviors and assist in explaining Black Millennial-Xennial males’ indifferences and motivations. The study then pivots to consider key social factors that affect Black Millennial-Xennial males. This research project explores the dynamics of technology, social media platforms, “life markers,” incarceration and social inequities in relation to Black Millennial-Xennial males. These sociodynamics are placed in conversation with assertions from leading Black homileticians, academicians, and theoreticians. The study next moves to a case study featuring a leading church appearing to reach Black Millennial-Xennial males. Fifteen sermons from one pastor are examined to identify recurring Black preaching themes—themes compelling my study’s demographic. My central argument of existing Black preaching themes that are compelling Black Millennial-Xennial males concludes with comparative and contrasting examination of academic, homiletical theory versus preaching praxis. For example, the study’s analysis seeks to answer the question of whether the assertions of traditional and contemporary homileticians regarding tenets of effective Black preaching translate to the sermons examined that seem to be producing compelling Black preaching themes for Black Millennial-Xennial males. The study will evaluate whether and to what degree the theory of effective Black preaching concepts appears in the sermons of preaching practitioners. Conclusions drawn in this study aim to inform sermonic approaches to engage Black Millennial-Xennial males.





Briggs, Joseph Jay (2023). Compelling Black Preaching Themes Reaching Black Millennial-Xennial Males. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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