HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
VENTER, C J H and DU PREEZ, A P. Hearers' attitude as possible communication barrier in transferring the message of a sermon: Homiletical-empirical points of view. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2008, vol.64, n.3, pp. 1425-1445. ISSN 2072-8050.
The role of hearers in a worship service, especially as far as their experience and reception of the message of a sermon are concerned, has received ample attention in homiletical research. In research on this topic mainly basis-theoretical, meta-theoretical and practice-theoretical aspects have been taken into account. The focus of this article, however, is a homiletical-empirical investigation of the above-mentioned topic. After conceptualizing aspects central to this article, the responses of twenty two interviewees are treated. These people are from different denominations and had been individually interviewed by utilizing a qualitative/quantitive research method. Data thus obtained were analyzed by way of categorization (establishing the aim of the research) and thematization (establishing subsidiary aims). Issues dealt with under different themes include the following: general experience of a worship service by an interviewee, competence to listen to and understand a sermon, physical noise in the church as a possible communication barrier, the socio-economic situation of the hearer, the nature of preaching in a certain congregation, the emotional situation of the hearer and his or her involvement in church activities. Throughout the analysis of the obtained data, certain deductions and conclusions that may be useful to preachers and hearers have been formulated.