Human beings are susceptible to the rhetorical power of narrative communication.
Narrative communication is an organisational element that helps people to make
sense of the world they live in. Rhetoric is the application of reason to imagination
to bring the human will into movement. In the world of communication within the
Christian philosophy, narrative communication can be used as a rhetorical strategy.
This article discusses the different aspects of the use of narrative communication
as rhetorical strategy within preaching. Both narrative techniques and narrative
style elements can be used to contribute to the rhetorical effectiveness of a
sermon. The use of “story elements” and “style elements” qualify a text (sermon)
as “narrative”. The rhetorical success of narrative communication when used
in sermons was tested in traditional Afrikaans-speaking Apostolic Faith Mission
congregations in Bloemfontein. Churchgoers completed questionnaires to convey
their experience and opinion of the use of narrative communication in preaching
during 12 sermons. The results were overwhelmingly positive.