Christian life

The Unity Process and Its Effectiveness In Decreasing Cross-Cultural Divisions In Society Due to Racism

Author
Pamela Y Fields D.Min.
Abstract
This case study dealt with determining the usefulness of The Unity Process as a tool in combatting the racial divisions in the Dallas area. Research tools included pre- and post-surveys and interviews. The results were compared with The Unity Process. The three major findings from the research are the reality of the systemic nature of racism became apparent as well as the lived realities of minorities. From this awareness and understanding, participants became able to engage with others from different races and cultures. Finally, participants felt more competent and willing to engage and be an active advocate for minorities in America.

The Sanctified Journey: Labyrinths and Gospel Contemplation in a Wesleyan Context

Author
Matthew R.J. McEwen D.Min.
Abstract
Spiritual formation is the process of following Jesus and how we become like him. Although some view this process as a linear experience, the pattern of a labyrinth is another way to describe this spiritual journey. The image of a labyrinth is not only used as the model of spiritual formation, but is also the metaphor employed throughout a spiritual autobiography and a summary of a ministry research project. Research was conducted at Holt Free Methodist Church and involved a small group that had the opportunity to walk a canvas labyrinth while practicing Gospel contemplation. A narrative methodology was used for interpreting the data that was collected through field notes, the use of a denominational survey, and exit interviews. Just as individuals walk a labyrinth at a unique pace, the same result is seen in the practice of Gospel contemplation. The uniqueness of an individual is a key component to the process of spiritual formation. The outcome of this research project resulted in spiritual growth for the researcher, the participants and the congregation in general.

MATURING CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP THROUGH TIMES OF SUFFERING: A STUDY IN AN AMERICAN MIDWEST CONGREGATION - NEW HOPE CHURCH; ADEL, IOWA

Author
Thomas Hein D.Min.
Abstract
The project identifies some of the ways Christians grow in maturity during times of suffering. During these times some Christians grow in maturity, while others experience a setback in their spiritual growth. This is a pastoral study, meaning that it is primarily concerned with observation and analysis of the discipleship process in the lives of Christian believers. The project evaluates true and false beliefs about God and spiritual life that occur during the process of suffering in the lives of New Hope Evangelical Free Church (Adel, Iowa) adult believers. Fifty-seven church members answered questions in a quantitative survey inquiring about their spiritual life before and after their time of suffering. Interviews were conducted with fifteen of the survey participants for more in depth evaluation of their spiritual disciplines, attitudes, and beliefs.

The study evaluated some false beliefs about God and spiritual life that Christians may develop during times of suffering. In addition, the study evaluated what true beliefs about God and spiritual life sustained believers during times of trial. Finally, the study evaluated what spiritual disciplines helped people move toward greater spiritual maturity during a season of suffering.

The practical application outcome of the study is a small group workbook entitled, A Journey through Suffering: Processing the Painful Experiences of Life. This resource is designed to be an exegetical devotional guide to help people reflect on their suffering in the context of a biblical metanarrative. Prayerful reflection will potentially lead toward maturing discipleship that glorifies God.

The calls of caring project of Masan Central Methodist Church for personal and social holiness in Wesleyan tradition

Author
Jinkyo Chung
Abstract
This paper studied on the process of individual and social holiness through the ‘Calls of Caring’ project of Masan Central Methodist Church. The author examines how both the counseling volunteer and counselee grows throughout the service, and whether it can be a model of Wesley's Social sanctification. The author conducts paper surveys and face to face interviews, thus finding the possibility of becoming a model of social ministry to contemporary churches.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Focusing the local congregation on missional discipleship as a means of congregational renewal

Author
Joseph Jathaniel Cavitt
Abstract
How can the vitality of Colonial Park United Methodist Church be impacted by a central focus on a practical theology of missional discipleship as it is implemented in the life of the church? The author’s project focused on a practical theology of missional discipleship during the first eighteen months of his pastoral appointment working to develop spiritual leadership and missionally reorienting this congregation. Through listening sessions, classes, training, and organizational restructuring processes, the congregation has grown in mission and has shown statistical growth indicating a beginning of a turnaround.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Co-creators with God : enhancing spirituality through visual art

Author
Mark L. Barden
Abstract
The visual arts are instrumental in enriching Christian spirituality. This project engaged participants through videos, discussions, devotions, presentations, experiential activities and a field trip, to enable them to embrace visual arts to deepen their spirituality. The author designed and implemented a multi-week course, including a video series, for participants to explore the connection between their spirituality and the visual arts. The results indicated a positive impact prompting changes for growth by each participant in utilizing the visual arts as a spiritual discipline.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Developing a Multicultural ministry Strategy for one Heart Baptist Church, Columbus, Georgia

Author
Stephen S Yuh
Abstract
The purpose of the project was to develop a multicultural ministry strategy for one Heart Baptist Church, Columbus, Georgia. For this multicultural ministry strategy development model, the project director first studied the areas of professional strategic planning and development, and studied the practical application cases for multicultural ministry in order to establish and develop general strategic planning. Second, through the process of studies, the project director identified a theoretical basis for the local church to actively participate in the multicultural ministry, and developed a specific multicultural ministry strategy that can be applied in the present situation of the church. Third, the project director presented a developed multicultural ministry strategy for approval to a selected group of leaders of One Heart Baptist Church.

It also reflected the objective evaluation of experts on the achievement of the proposed ministry goals and professional goals for this project. Lastly, the project director had made suggestions for good practice through analysis and reflections after the preparation, implementation and evaluation process for this multicultural ministry strategy development model.

The Fear of the Lord: Its Meaning and Use as a Motivation for Christian Living

Author
Bradley R. Sickler D.Min.
Abstract
The fear of the Lord is a multifaceted concept. Rather than trying to narrow down the definition to one concept, this study defines the concept in terms of four broad vantage points: first, the fear of the Lord as an emotional experience with the living God; second, the fear of the Lord as an objective truth which can be taught to people; third, the fear of the Lord as a motive for behavior; and finally, the fear of the Lord in relation to the love of God. The study was motivated by a realization that it was rarely specified as a motive in Christian decision-making or Christian behavior among the congregation. To address this problem and pastorally respond to it, this study makes use of the discipline of biblical theology, tracing the theme of the fear of the Lord and its development from Genesis to Revelation (chapter 2). Four main concepts pertinent to understanding the fear of the Lord are then examined from the perspective of systematic theology (chapter 3), in order to define the meaning and purpose of the fear of the Lord from both a biblical and systematic perceptive [sic]. In order to help the congregation understand and live in the fear of the Lord, an assessment of what the congregation currently believes about the fear of the Lord is also needed. Chapter 4 presents the results of field research undertaken to assess these belief’s utilizing ‘Q methodology,’ a research technique that allows the researcher to conduct a qualitative study using quantitative methods. Chapter 5 concludes with a summary of the results of this study and offers reflections on how to move forward in light of those results, as well as a discussion of ways in which the field research might be improved.

Enriching Christian Hospitality at Malaby's Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church in Knightdale, North Carolina

Author
Barbara Starr Barner
Abstract
Hospitality is the welcoming of strangers, family, and friends. In the early biblical and historical traditions, hospitality focused on welcoming the alien and extending resources to them. Hospitality, however, need not be limited to the basic physical needs of the stranger, but spiritual needs are to be addressed as well. In the reflection of Jesus’ work on the cross, Christian hospitality should be the intentional, responsible, and caring act of welcoming or visiting strangers, enemies, the distressed, downtrodden, without regard for reciprocation. The goal of this project was to enhance Malaby’s Christian hospitality culture and take our personal interactions to a higher spiritual level, thereby, nurturing, caring, and maturing the body of Christ. The ultimate goal of this study was to have this work be an available tool to address similar church congregations that need to create or enhance a positive culture of Christian hospitality.

MEMBERSHIP RETENTION IN THE CHRISTIAN MEDICAL & DENTAL ASSOCIATIONS

Author
Allan Harmer D.Min.
Abstract
Affiliation with CMDA has historically been through membership. The number of members in an organization argues for attention and influence in the marketplace of ideas. It is a barometer of how participants view the value and relevance of an organization. Like other professional associations, CMDA's efforts to acquire and retain members has not produced the same results as in the past. The number of new members has not kept pace with those cancelling their memberships. Concern over CMDA's failure to retain members has motivated the present study.

The process of investigating the problem of membership retention included an internal analysis of CMDA's efforts, a literature review of professional associations and perspectives drawn from organizational and biblical change. Research suggested that a number of external forces in the last twelve years may have contributed to a drop in membership renewals: economic upheaval, dramatic generational shifts, technological changes, increased competition, and unprecedented changes in healthcare. Internally, due to its age and previous success, CMDA may have failed to respond to younger generation's expectations for greater value and benefits. Research also suggested that organizations failing to adjust to changing demographics may experience reduced influence and impact.

Survey and Focus Group data suggests that members want a more personal CMDA that facilitates the development of community on the local level, a greater focus on the needs of healthcare professionals and a greater priority on training-to-practice transitions, member engagement, marketing and resource development.
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