Preaching to the Tattoos and the Tambourines : a semiotic approach to incarnational preaching in the urban church and community.

Date of Award


Document Type



Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


The purpose of my project is to explore how a semiotic approach for incarnational preaching that will reach the unchurched or Tattoos in my community as well as build bridges between the churched, Tambourines and the Tattoo. This project will engage the culture, both internally and externally, of the Tried Stone Baptist Church in a series of sermons and to uncover a new narrative. In this series I used contemporary images in a relevant way in the attempt to make the gospel incarnate. Through a series of sermons, it is hoped that it would ignite a fresh passion in my congregation that they would be able (re)preach within the context and in the local community making us a truly missional church that engages the Tattoos in the community. The results of my project here shown me that there are several areas of my ministry that need to be changed or (re)framed to meet the needs of the image driven Tattoos in my community. One of the first things requiring our attention is our social media presence. My church's website needs to be more attractive to the surrounding culture with which we are trying to connect. For example, via our website, we can provide information and services for the single mother or those who are looking for jobs or health care service. Also, I can utilize social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in an effective way that demonstrates a community that both Tattoos and Tambourines can belong. Furthermore, I need to create a workshop to help Tambourines understand this generation and to provide them with strategies for influencing this new generation. Lastly, my biggest discovery in this project was that I discovered who I am as a preacher and a leader. As a leader, I discovered that I really do have a heart for the people in the community. However, in order for me to be more effective, I need more time to be available for the community. Unfortunately, I am bi-vocational and being a change agent in ones community requires time to effectively train, strategize and minister. However, this project will function as a springboard to do effective missional ministry in the downtown Bronx.