What do street preachers hope to achieve?
Different types of sermons: the dramaturgical sermon
There are different types and forms of sermons that can be used depending on the occasion, topic, target group, or message. The “classic” form is the “text and / or themed sermon”. Another form of sermon is the “narrative sermon”: This type is actually the original form of Christian preaching, as Jesus Christ himself primarily told stories and parables in order to bring people closer to the kingdom of God.
The dramaturgical sermon combines narrative, explanatory and other illustrative elements. In different sections (sequences or Moves) the topic is presented in a certain structure so that the audience is drawn into the movement and tension of the sermon. This is shown briefly in the following example. The topic is:
Stories and history
Sequence 1: A story about storytelling:
“When the great Rabbi Israel Ben Eliezer, the Baalschem Tov, saw the Jews threatened with misfortune, he usually went to a certain place in the forest to meditate. There he lit a fire, said a certain prayer, and the miracle happened: the misfortune passed.
Years later, his pupil, the famous Maggid von Mezritsch, wanted to implore heaven for the same reason. He too went to the same place in the forest and said: Lord of the world, listen! i don't know how to light a fire but i can pray. And again the miracle happened.
Later Rabbi Mose Lob von Saeow went into the forest to save his people one more time and said: I don't know how to light a fire, I don't know the prayer either, but I know the place and that must be enough. It was enough and the miracle happened.
Finally, the Rabbi Israel of Rishyn was supposed to avert the misfortune. He sat in his armchair with his hands on his head and said to God: I can't light a fire and I don't know prayer. I can't even find the spot in the forest. All I can do is tell the story. That must be enough. - And it was enough. " (Reported by Eli Wiesel)
Sequence 2: stories work
People (big and small) love stories, need stories, are part of stories. We need stories because they help us understand the world, understand ourselves and also understand God.
Sequence 3: changing stories
A rabbi whose grandfather had been a student of Baal-Shem (the founder of the Hasidic movement) was asked to tell a story. “A story,” he said, “should be told in such a way that it is help itself.” And he said: “My grandfather was lame. He was once asked to tell a story about his teacher. Then he related how St. Baal-Shem used to jump and dance when he prayed. My grandfather stood and talked, and the story tore him so that he had to jump and dance to show how Master had done it. From that hour he was healed. " (Martin Buber, Tales of the Hasidim)
Sequence 4: God's story with Israel
In the fifth book of Moses, the creed of Israel is handed down to us in narrative form. This makes it clear how the individual Israelites were included in the history of their people and were thus able to interpret their own life story: Deuteronomy 26: 5-9
Sequence 5: The story of my people is my story
This is still understood today. The former Israeli President Ezer Weizman expressed this in an impressive way when he gave his speech to the German Bundestag in 1996: “I was a slave in Egypt and received the Torah on Mount Sinai, and together with Joshua and Elijah I crossed the Jordan. I entered Jerusalem with King David, and from there I was exiled with Zedekiah. I have not forgotten Jerusalem by the waters of Babylon, and when the Lord brought Zion home, I was among the dreaming who built the walls of Jerusalem. … I lost my family in Kishinev and was burned to death in Treblinka. I fought in the Warsaw Uprising and went to Eretz Israel, my country from which I was exiled, where I was born, from which I come and to which I will return. "
Sequence 6: God's story in Jesus Christ
The history of God with man is shown above all in Jesus Christ. The believer becomes part of this story through Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15: 3-8: Paul feels drawn into the history of God with and in Jesus Christ. Christ died and rose, etc. for us - for Paul as well as for the others. He derives his identity and his destiny from God's salvation history. Even more: Paul identifies himself with the life and passion of Jesus.
Sequence 7: The story of Jesus becomes my story
Corrie ten Boom testifies to this very impressively with a shocking experience in the concentration camp: “We had to stand on a nude parade once. All of our clothes were taken away and we were left standing in the freezing cold. I've never been so cold, so miserable, and never have I been so ashamed. I said to my sister Betsie: This is worse than anything the enemy has done to us. I can hardly take it. - And then all of a sudden it was as if I saw Jesus on the cross. The Bible says they shared his clothes among themselves. Then I understood a little bit about his suffering. I understood because I learned a little about it myself. He was hanging there naked on the cross for me. As I brought this into mind, I understood something of the ocean of love that Jesus had for us that He bore such a penalty for our sins. It made me so grateful that I could endure my own suffering. "
Sequence 8: The story of my church is my story
Personal testimony of the preacher about their own history of faith as part of the history of God with his people and with the Adventist Church.
Dr. Roland E. Fischer, Professor of Practical Theology, ThHF
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