What’s Systems Theory Got to Do with It?

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What’s Systems Theory Got to Do with It?

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Bowen Family Systems Theory continues to influence thinking about the practice of ministry, especially clergy leadership functions. Although many pastors may not realize it, one of those key functions is preaching. The act of preaching holds a number of interesting “systems” implications. Few leaders have the opportunity to address the system they lead on such a regular public, corporate, and intergenerational manner. But every week, clergy in pastoral ministry are afforded the opportunity to speak to the minds and hearts of their constituents from the position of pastor, priest, and prophet. Despite the applicability of systems theory to preaching, when the Leadership in Ministry clergy training program (www. LeadershipinMinistry.com) issued a call for “systems sermons” to publish in its newsletter, one reader responded with a legitimate question: “What makes for a good systems sermon?” I cannot find anything overt on what constitutes a good “systems sermon” in the hermeneutical liter