Youthful Preaching


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What if adolescents aren’t bored with preaching? What if they have and are interacting with preaching in complex, various ways that have escaped the attention of adult listeners and preachers? What if their own preaching informed the ways adults think about Christian faith and theories/practices of preaching? While much recent discussion in preaching revolves around underrepresented groups, the relationship between adolescent youth and preaching remains largely unexplored. Youthful Preaching brings youth into contemporary conversations about preaching by listening to their voices and by advocating for communities of faith and practice to seek ways to reimagine, renew, and strengthen the relationships between youth, adults, and preaching. “”In this first-rate piece of homiletical scholarship, Richard Voelz argues against a constricting, stereotypical approach to the ways in which youth both produce and receive preaching. In its place he develops a compelling vision of churches and theological institutions acting together to both liberate and form young people as communicators of the gospel.”” –John S. McClure, Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship, Vanderbilt Divinity School “”We have been waiting a long time for a book like this. Richard Voelz makes a major contribution by setting the stage for entirely new conversations about preaching, youth, and adults. A bold, innovative, and fascinating book.”” –Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching, Columbia Theological Seminary “”Through a bold exploration of adolescents as preachers in our pulpits and listeners in our pews, this book on youthful preaching renews the age-old practice of Christian proclamation. Richard Voelz nimbly converses with homiletic history, contemporary theories of liberation, and rhetorical criticism to enlarge our homiletic imagination, thereby making room for wise younger voices that a weary world desperately needs to hear.”” –Brad R. Braxton, Founding Senior Pastor, The Open Church of Maryland Richard W. Voelz, PhD, is the Senior Minister at Johns Creek Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia. He is the author of Tending the Tree of Life: Preaching and Worship through Reproductive Loss and Adoption (2015).



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