Strategies used by Pentecostal Preachers to Enhance Audience Participation during Sermons in Eldoret, Kenya
Keywords:Strategies,, Pentecostal Preachers, Enhance Audience Participation, Sermons,, Eldoret,, Kenya
This paper set discusses the strategies used by preachers to ensure audience participation. The paper is based on a study of sermons given by Pentecostal preachers from selected churches in Eldoret town in Kenya. The paper was informed by the Speech Acts theory. The data was collected through camcorder video recording and participant observation. The data from the camcorder was transcribed word-for-word and then analysed at the level of speech acts and implicatures. The relevant texts were extracted from the selected sermons to illustrate the speech acts and implicatures identified. The linguistic and nonlinguistic cues that trigger the speech acts were also identified. The study established that, to a large extent, the speech acts performed by preachers succeed. However, there are a few instances when they misfire and the preachers fail to get the desired response. The illocutionary acts performed are generally geared towards persuasion but the preacher does not always get the expected effect of his/her sermon. This is because some of the effects are mental and therefore cannot be observed, for example, if a speaker issues a warning, he can only hope the audience will heed it but he has no way of measuring this. Preachers employ certain strategies as a way of controlling the discourse in the pulpit in order to ensure audience participation and also to achieve better communication. It is recommended that a syntactic analysis of sermons could also be carried out to establish how words and phrases combine to make sentences in sermons for effective communication.