Homepage Feature — 1st June 2018
Jason Boyd’s new book launched at NTC
The Naked Preacher might be an unconventional name for a book that came out of a PhD, but it succinctly summarizes the experience for Dr. Jason Boyd as he explored his sense of vulnerability – nakedness – researching his own preaching with his congregation.
Nazarene Theological College (NTC) joined Boyd in celebrating the March 2018 publication of The Naked Preacher by SCM Press during a lunch in the College Café on May 23. Boyd was on campus teaching an intensive course on preaching.
Boyd, who studied at NTC in the mid-90s, today is a Congregational minister in Witney, near Oxford. His doctoral work in practical theology blossomed out of questions he confronted as a preacher: “What happens when I preach a sermon? What do people hear? What do I learn? Does anything change?”
They were also questions he was initially terrified to ask the congregation.
“What happens when I preach a sermon? What do people hear? What do I learn? Does anything change?”
For his research, Boyd developed “Word Café” where the congregation gathered after each service to eat a meal and discuss the sermon, considering questions such as, “What happened to you as you listened to the sermon today?” He based this on the model of World Café methodology, as well as the story of the Road to Emmaus in the Gospel of Luke. Word Café gave his congregation the opportunity to voice feedback to Boyd, and to more actively grapple with theology in context of a community and in relationship.
The Naked Preacher is interdisciplinary: it uses Action Research as a methodology, and is intended as a monograph both for the Action Research Community and Practical Theologians.
“It is a book which is unafraid to express vulnerability, honesty, openness, authenticity in the struggle to give attention to the issues arising out of the qualitative research undertaken,” said Dr. Julie Lunn, Lecturer in Practical and Social Theology at NTC, at the book celebration.