Union with Christ in Preaching during COVID-19: A qualitative research project

This research project is a qualitative study on the use of union with Christ in preaching amongst reformed evangelicals during COVID-19 in Brisbane, Australia. It considers whether union with Christ was explicit, implicit, or absent in preaching, and how union with Christ was used to help Australians as they faced the impact of the pandemic.

The study comprised of 10 participants who were reformed evangelical ministry workers in Baptist, Presbyterian, and Independent churches, and Para-church organisations. These participants provided a total of 161 sermons, full script copies, or online transcripts, dating to the peak periods of COVID-19 in Brisbane. From these sermons, it was found that union with Christ was present in preaching during COVID-19, but its presence was implicit in nature. It was also found that union with Christ was used significantly less than other doctrines when addressing the pandemic. But where it was used, the main issues addressed were suffering, disunity, and participating in the sacraments. In its concluding chapters, the paper suggests that there are multiple opportunities for preaching about union with Christ. The findings propose that ministry workers can preach about union with Christ more explicitly and sufficiently, and union with Christ can be used more often to address the problems of post-pandemic Australia.