Preaching and Social issues – 2016-17
In 2017, I conducted a survey of clergy on the topic of preaching and social issues as part of my research at Lexington Theological Seminary where I teach preaching and worship. The data collected from 1,200 pastors helped to inform my book, Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Here are articles I’ve written on Patheos that share some of the insights from the 2017 survey.
Top 10 Taboo Topics for Preachers (the “hot topic” preachers avoided in 2016)
How to Preach When You Are Afraid (the reasons preachers give for avoiding certain topics in sermons)
Preaching in Trump’s Shadow (the backlash some pastors receive when preaching the gospel)
The Climate Crisis is Coming and is Already Here. So is Jesus. (where environmental issues ranked for preachers in 2016 [spoiler alert: they ranked at the bottom of the list of priorities])
I’ve now launched the 2021 survey, “Ministry, Preaching, and Social Issues.”
I invite all U.S. Christian clergy, seminarians, lay preachers, and retired clergy to participate. Our goal is 2400 respondents – we’re at 1400! Your responses will help further research about preaching and ministry at this unique time in American history. This survey does not ask for names, so responses are anonymous. Estimated completion time is 20 minutes. The survey is open through Feb. 15. Here is the link:
I would also appreciate those who can share the survey link with other clergy in their networks as well.
Here is verbiage you can use:
Clergy, seminarians, lay preachers, retired clergy: You are invited to participate in a research survey, “Ministry, Preaching, and Social Issues,” conducted by the Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary. Your responses will help further research about preaching and ministry at this unique time in American history. This survey does not ask for names, so responses are anonymous. Estimated completion time is 20 minutes. Responses are due by Feb. 15. You are also encouraged to share this with other clergy in your network as well. Here is the link:
Any questions can be directed to Dr. Schade at email@example.com.
Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky and ordained in the ELCA. Dr. Schade does not speak for LTS or the ELCA; her opinions are her own. She is the author of Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) and Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015). She is the co-editor of Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Her latest book, co-written with Jerry Sumney is Apocalypse When?: A Guide to Interpreting and Preaching Apocalyptic Texts (Wipf & Stock, 2020).
Leah is also co-founder of the Clergy Emergency League, a grassroots network of clergy that provides support, accountability, resources, and networking for clergy to prophetically minister in their congregations and the public square in this time of political upheaval, social unrest, and partisan division.