Speaking the unspeakable : the launch of a church
Richard Russell Patterson
Launching a new church has been an expedition fraught with spiritual and psychological baggage; it' s not simply an act of compiling the right worship director and children' s ministries leader. An adequate understanding or at least appreciation of these spiritual and psychological issues is necessary to prevent damaging results for the pastor, congregation, and the world to which it intends to minister. However, with a proper appreciation of these issues, there exists the real possibility for developing a community of grace, hope, and healing in a world crying out for such a thing.
The issues presenting themselves include the role of narcissism in the development of the pastor and the congregation in our context. Particular attention should be given to the powerful weight this psychological phenomenon has on an institution such as the church in our culture. These issues go so far as to skew our right understanding of fundamental aspects of the church such as discipleship and evangelism.
Lastly, this issue of narcissism, left unrestrained and misunderstood, will ultimately affect that spiritual entity having authority over the church which comes to life at the intersection of a church and its Creator -- the angel of the congregation. Discerning God' s message to that angel has brought a sense of healing and empowerment to our community and a new sense of commitment to our collective call.
Degree Granting Institution
Doctor of Ministry
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