Dear Fellow Pastor, May I conduct research at your church?

I am looking for churches to participate in my research. This involves the help of you and/or your leadership team/staff in the following two ways:

 

1. Allow me to preach a single sermon from Ezra-Nehemiah at your church some time between Apr 16 and Jul 30, 2023.

 

2. Send an email to your congregation, inviting people who heard that sermon to join an online focus group interview that I will conduct.

The essence of my research:

  • "I have thought for a long time that the biggest lack among preachers who love God's Word is that they don't know people well enough" --David Powlison.

  • My goal is to listen to lay Christians describe their real-life experiences in a secular age. Where do they feel pressure to assimilate to the patterns of modern Western culture? Where do their experiences of life in this world tempt them to be embarrassed of their faith? Do they feel a tug to isolate from culture, and if so, why?

  • After listening to the responses to these questions in the context of multiple focus group interviews, I will analyze the responses looking for common patterns and underlying meaning.

  • The springboard for the focus group interviews will be a sermon from Ezra-Nehemiah. The sermon will draw a connection between the social pressures felt by the original readers of Ezra-Nehemiah and the social pressures that Christians in the Northeast US feel today.

The sermon I would preach at your church:

For this research project, I have prepared three sermons from Ezra-Nehemiah. They all have something to do with God's people experiencing opposition.
 

  • Ezra 4-6: 

  • The Theme of Shame in Nehemiah 1-6:

  • Nehemiah 8-9:

I will be glad to preach whichever of these sermons you prefer.

The Focus Group Interview

  • Will be conducted on Zoom, during the week following my being at your church as guest preacher.

  • The topic of discussion will be the application points of the sermon I preached at your church.

  • My goal is to have approximately ten people attend the focus group interview.

Available Dates

  • These groups normally consist of 2 - 4 men or women. They meet once a week or once every other week. The format typically consists of a sharing time and prayer for each other.

  • Text or call Stefan (315-480-0407) or Nathaniel (315-690-0405) for more information or if you would like to join a group.

  • Right now there are 5 or 6 of these groups that meet regularly. We can get you plugged into one of these, but we may also be starting up a new group.

Details of my research project

  • Meets 7pm in the Fellowship Hall on the last Wednesday of each month. Feel free to simply show up!

  • The first 45 minutes consists of discussion of various congregational matters raised by the eldership, the diaconate, or members of the congregation; the second 45 minutes consists of updating the monthly congregational prayer list, and praying together.

  • Dates of upcoming meetings: July 27; Aug 31, 2022.

FAQs

  • Meets 7pm in the Fellowship Hall on the last Wednesday of each month. Feel free to simply show up!

  • The first 45 minutes consists of discussion of various congregational matters raised by the eldership, the diaconate, or members of the congregation; the second 45 minutes consists of updating the monthly congregational prayer list, and praying together.

  • Dates of upcoming meetings: July 27; Aug 31, 2022.

More about me:

  • My TF bio

  • My CV

  • My contact info


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This page was last updated on Jul 20, 2022

STEFAN MATZAL'S RESEARCH PROJECT