The effect of esoterica on institutional goals as measured by the use of cherished terms in the pulpits of the Church of the Nazarene and church growth Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/sx61dq52k

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  • This is a psycho-socio-linguistic study of language as the primary tool of institutions such as education, government, and religion. These institutions have goals associated with identifying with, communicating with, and influencing individuals in the general public who are not Part of the group. A review of psycho-socio-linguistic theory suggests that the choice of vocabulary can serve two functions: 1) Speech chosen to promote identification, communication, and influence of the general public, or 2) Speech chosen to promote group identification, solidarity, and esteem in group membership. This study investigates the premise: When a vocabulary of institutional "cherished terms" is promoted, measurable goals of identifying with, communicating with, and influencing the general public will decline. To investigate this problem, this study measured the actual use of "cherished terms" from the pulpit in Sunday morning sermons by pastors as it influences the membership growth pattern in the Church of the Nazarene. Ten churches were randomly selected from each of four groups: 1) Super churches of one thousand members or more, 2) Growing churches which meet institutional goals, 3) Maintaining churches which do not meet the institutional goals but have some increase, and 4) Declining churches which do not meet the institutional goals and have a net decrease. Three tapes from Sunday morning sermons were secured from each of the churches. A tabulation of "cherished terms" used in each group was made. All groups were compared with the chi-square statistic. It was discovered that growing churches use significantly fewer cherished terms than all other groups. Implications and recommendations were suggested for the parish ministry, seminary instruction, adult education, and psycho-socio-linguistics.
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