As the subject of leading through the sermon is to a large extent absent in homiletical literature, this article investigates how the sermon can be used as a tool in leading church development processes. The area of research is the Church of Norway and congregations involved in strategic processes of church development are in focus. Normally, it is the minister who preaches in the Church of Norway services and the research question asks what options the ministers have to lead church development through their sermons. The material for analysis is homiletical literature from the last 25 years that combine preaching and leadership. I understand the leadership of ministers as strategic and spiritual leadership. I have found that ministers can lead church development processes through sermons, when they are conscious about the possibilities of sermons to do so, when they see the congregation and not the individual as the target group of preaching, when they place the sermon firmly within the congregation’s life system, when they engage the external context, when they lead the congregation toward shared goals, and when they prioritise the theological dimension of the congregation. The author asks for more research, and especially empirical research investigating to what extent ministers in practice are leading the congregations through their sermons.
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