A Special Request from Pastor Josiah

>>>>>>Download the survey to help Pastor Josiah here<<<<<<

Greetings, all!

As some of you already know I am nearing what I hope is the finish-line of some schooling I’ve been working on over the past few years. One of the requirements of the program I’m in is a final research project and, to finish it, I need you. So, consider this the posting of a “help wanted” sign.

Let me begin by explaining what it is I’m studying and then I’ll explain what it is I’m asking you do to help.


The Apostle James makes it clear that, as Christians, we are to be doers of the Word of God and not merely hearers of it (1:22–25; see also Matt 7:24–27; Rom 2:13). In other words, we’re supposed to allow the Bible to change our lives and not simply collect information about it.

And one of the primary jobs of a pastor—one who, week-after-week, preaches God’s Word to God’s people—is to, not only properly explain the Bible but to help people apply the Bible to their lives.

My research, in a nutshell, is studying how a series of sermons on a particular book of the Bible affects a congregations’ ability to do two related-but-distinct things: First, help people understand what God is saying in that book, and second, help people understand what God wants us to do with what He’s saying in that book. To put it in question form: Can preaching help God’s people be both hearers and doers of God’s Word? And I’m looking at the effectiveness of specific method of Bible interpretation to those ends and I’m using the book of Jonah as a case study.

So, that’s what I’m doing. Now, here’s what I’m asking you to do to help me.


I’ve developed a 25-question survey on the book of Jonah. About half the questions have to do with what God is saying in the book—details about the story, characters, and events. The other half have more to do with the application of what God is saying; what God wants us to do in response to the book.

If you’re willing, I’m going to ask that you consider completing this survey twice (once before and once after the four-week sermon series on Jonah) so I can track possible growth in the areas mentioned above. Plan to take about 15-minutes to complete it each time. The results are anonymous so you don’t have to worry about how well you do or anything like that. I’m just asking for your participation.

The plan is to start the Jonah series on Sunday, September 13th and so I’ll ask that you finish and submit the first survey before that morning. If you can’t physically be with us at Oakridge, that’s fine—listening to the sermon via podcast or watching it online works as well. The only requirements for helping me in this project is that you hear all four sermons before completing and submitting the survey for a second time.

So, again: I’m asking for your help.

Step 1: Get the survey (download here and print it out or pick up a hard copy from the church).

Step 2: Complete and submit the survey before September 13. You can email your completed survey to [email protected] (to maintain anonymity) or drop it off physically at the church (see survey for options).

Step 3: Attend, watch, or listen to all four sermons on Jonah.

Step 4: Get the survey again.

Step 5: Complete and submit it again. Easy!

If you have any questions about the research, the survey, or the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. I’d love to offer a more detailed explanation than can be given here.

Thanks for considering helping—I truly appreciate it!

Pastor Josiah

Sunday October 4th Sign-Up Now Available

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