Church committees

Eucharist as a means of grace for church visioning : recovery of Wesleyan ecclesiology's eschatological aspect of the Eucharist

Author
Marian Sams-Crane
Abstract
This project suggested a new approach to address the challenge of developing a church vision. Drawing upon Wesleyan ecclesiology, the author suggested sharing a basic overview for understanding the eschatological aspect of the Eucharist and applying the experience of the Eucharist at the start of meetings to inspire the development of a church vision in the ensuing meetings. Data from initial surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and observations evidenced some positive effects on the amount of visioning that church leaders experienced. While further study is needed to be conclusive, the author affirmed the potential for this new approach to church visioning.

[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.]

Graceful adjustments : financial decline and staff downsizing in congregations

Author
Michelle Collins
Abstract
It’s no secret that religious institutions in the United States are facing unprecedented challenges. Membership levels, participation, and financial giving and support are shifting. Congregations often struggle to keep up with the rate of the change. Nowhere is this truer than in the financial realm, especially when they must consider downsizing their staff. This project examines classic staffing models, situations where downsizing has taken place, and a process for addressing staff transition times strategically. These help to address the challenge of how congregations can adjust with grace and thrive in the face of declining resources and changing realities.

[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.]

Nehemiah leads the way : finding hope during congregational crisis

Author
Kristen Ann Burkhart
Abstract
Leading a congregation through a church crisis is an adaptive leadership challenge. What kinds of practical pastoral leadership steps does it take to help a church recover from a crisis and refocus mission and ministry? How is a wounded congregation led into hope-filled healing? Researching the congregation’s social context and history gives insight into the need for refocused mission and ministry. Preaching an eight-week sermon series on Nehemiah and processing it through narrative research and focused ministry action established the foundation for a wounded congregation to rebuild. Adapting change to the church committee structure provides renewal and creates space to received hope-filled healing as culture is shifted from internal to external, from “us” to “Christ.”

[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.]

All things in good order: how senior pastors experience the Carver Policy Governance System in their congregations

Author
Timothy J. Brand
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how Senior Pastors experience the implementation of the Carver Policy Governance Model in their congregations. Every Christian congregation has a system of governance, an agreed upon method to administer and manage the day to day operations, and exercise the ministry in good order. Many congregations and pastors face great challenges and unrest because of church governance issues. This issue is critical for pastoral health and longevity, as well as, congregational vitality and viability.
This study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structure interview with seven pastors from various denominations who served their congregations as senior pastors for ten years or longer. The literature review and analysis of the seven interviews focused on three key areas: the implementation of the Carver Policy Governance Model into the Congregation, the unique advantages of the Carver Policy Model, and the unique challenges of the Carver Policy Model.
This study concluded that there are eight components necessary to implement a policy based Board of Directors as the governing body of a congregation: outside resourcing, biblically based content, special pastoral character, full implementation of the Carver Model with the addition of an elder’s board (or its equivalent), clear separation of the administration and spiritual components, a high level of relational trust, a continual use of evaluation, and the implementation of teams.

Changing Church Culture among Church Leaders by Moving from Meetings to Mission

Author
Andrew J Kumpel D.Min.
Abstract
This study researched the effect of replacing church committee meetings with missional teaching and experiences of evangelism for church leaders on perceived current and preferred organizational culture. A three-moth moratorium of all official church meetings allowed the researcher to conduct five training sessions on evangelism. The researcher collected quantitative data from both control group participants and experimental group participants using a pretest and posttest model using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. Findings revealed some changes in perception of both current and preferred organizational culture among research participants. Change in organizations is pervasive because of the degree and rapidity of change in the external environment.

Developing the confidence and competencies of church board chairs designing, facilitating and evaluating a training course to develop church board chairs for effective leadership in their local churches

Author
Cressman John Gordon
Abstract
Comparatively little focus has been placed on the leadership development of church board chairpersons. This thesis reports the findings from a six-month training course delivered to a group of actively serving chairpersons in the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada. The thesis project was designed utilizing the concepts of action research. Chair participants and two board governance experts evaluated the effectiveness of course. Board members from the participant's congregation assessed the impact of the course on the Chair's confidence and performance. The course curriculum and the pedagogy were found to be effective in building self-confidence and increasing self-awareness in the participants.

A theology of hospitality: identifying those who do not participate in Sunday worship and exploring ways to engage them in the life of the East Woodstock Congregational (UCC) Congregation

Author
Susan J Foster
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project explored the theology of hospitality within our United Church of Christ congregation. During an eight month period (September 2013 - April 2014) I led my congregation in intentional outreach to two specific under-represented populations that we wished to reach - men and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The goal of the project was to reach out to these groups to express our welcome and discover ways to involve them in the life of our congregation. The intent was to live out our belief in welcome and hospitality which Jesus demonstrated through his life and ministry. A men's fellowship was formed for the duration of the project. They chose to meet monthly for breakfast and conversation as a way to strengthen their bonds and create an opportunity to meet new people. A new church committee, the Open and Affirming (ONA) Action committee, was formed to intentionally reach out to the LGBT population. They created visual displays within the church building, hosted an outreach luncheon, and participated in a regional conference for LGBT youth. Both the men's fellowship and the ONA Action committee discovered that hospitality needed to be expressed both verbally and with actions in order to reflect the belief of our congregation that "all are welcome" in God's sight.

Collaborative leadership

Author
David Krueger
Abstract
This study explores the benefits of collaborative leadership in a ministry context. Three research questions guide this study: (1) How do pastors utilize change initiatives to cultivate collaboration with their boards? (2) How do pastors utilize timing to cultivate collaboration with their boards? (3) How do pastors utilize timing to cultivate collaboration with their boards? The study utilizes a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with nine church leaders from three different churches of various size in the Midwest. The results of this study demonstrate that the primary initiators within churches are the senior pastors. Three primary conclusions are drawn from this study: (1) it is crucial to understand change as an ongoing process when cultivating a collaborative board and to help others embrace and understand this change; (2) conflict must be constantly handled as an opportunity to grow as leaders; (3) good timing and good ministry is about the pastor's ability to spend time building trust with fellow leaders.

A process for educating congregational board leaders during a transition to policy based governance

Author
William H Flammann
Abstract
The project examines the applicability of policy based governance for a medium sized Lutheran congregation. It reports the method most frequently associated with John Carver, and considers also secondary literature regarding boards of directors and leadership functions in the church. While there are many suitable forms of governance and leadership structure, the author looks favorably upon the policy based governance method and reports how the method came to be recommended for the congregation he serves as pastor. The governance model is dependent upon a clear distinction between ends and means. Board level leadership is to be primarily concerned with ends. The pastor, as staff leader, is primarily concerned with means toward ends accomplishment. Since the structure differs markedly from the former structure of a church council, program boards and task committees, the author reports how it is essential for training to occur.

Equipping a new members committee to assimilate adult members into Pocahontas Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi

Author
Michael R Bird
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip a New Members Committee to assimilate adult members into Pocahontas Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi. The project director began this equipping process by researching the different models use din assimilation. He used this knowledge to develop a workshop which included lessons outlining a specific assimilation process to be used by the New Members Committee to assimilate new adult members. This New Members Committee was divided into four teams: Contact, Concerns, Connect, and Commitment. Six workshop lessons, taught by the project director, equipped committee members to define assimilation, explain how assimilation occurs, identify obstacles to assimilation, and comprehend how spiritual growth is essential to the assimilation process. With this information the four teams of the New Members Committee better understood the importance of contacting, praying, involving, and committing new members to the work of Pocahontas baptist Church.
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