The Transformative Power of Preaching: The influence of African American preaching and teaching on congregational culture Open Access

Henry, Walter (Spring 2021)

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Every church has a set of unspoken beliefs and values that are displayed in how they behave. This behavior is known as its culture. The culture of a congregation can be supportive and edifying and it can be divisive and toxic. For over two centuries Black pastors have been held as the nuclei of Black churches and the chief custodians of their cultures. The cultural attitudes over which the pastor is custodian can be negative and stunt the growth and development of the congregation. Churches cannot survive stunted growth for long so the negative pieces of the culture must change. Since the Black pastor is the core of the church having a highly respected position, they can facilitate the excision of the diseased portion of the culture through their use of sacred rhetoric, in particular, preaching and teaching. Preaching and teaching which intentionally focuses on strengthening the helpful and positive facets of the culture while eliminating those problematic portions of the same. 

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