Recurring Characters as Benefits in Applying God’s Word

Daniel Hahn, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis


Hahn Jr., Daniel A., Recurring Characters as Benefits in Applying God’s Word. D.Min. MAP., Concordia Seminary, 2016. 166pp.

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of recurring characters in sermon stories as tools for connecting hearers to Biblical concepts. The report tells the story of a six-week series of sermons which were developed for St. John’s Lutheran Church in Millvale, Pennsylvania. The project aimed to determine if the two contemporary characters, created for this series, would become increasingly beneficial over time as hearers became more familiar with them. The report explains the rationale behind the project and its place within the greater field of narrative preaching. It speaks about character creation and storytelling and relates the reception among the hearers. Since stories are widely used in sermons, this project may interest pastors developing a similar serialized story approach in their preaching.

The primary component of this study was the series of six storied sermons which were prepared and delivered by the researcher. The subjects in this study were asked to evaluate their hearing experience using criteria that measured their identification with the characters and any resulting connection to the Biblical themes under consideration. The study suggests that recurring characters provide significant benefit to hearers in applying Biblical truths to their lives.