Church work with young adults

ASSISTING EMERGING ADULTS IN THE TRANSITION FROM ADOLESCENCE TO ADULTHOOD

Author
David Hockman D.Min.
Abstract
This project is focused on the period of life known as emerging adulthood. Adolescents graduate from high school but then have a difficult time transitioning to adulthood. Emerging adulthood is not a generational designation like “Generation Z.” Rather, sociologists describe those age 18-30 as emerging adults. Young people in this age group are no longer adolescents, but they do not consider themselves full-fledged adults. Emerging adults face many challenges during this period in life in the areas of education, relationships, work, careers, living arrangements, and many more. They are looking for answers to questions such as: Who am I? Why am I here? What is life all about? These individuals need guidance in understanding their worldview, values, vocation, and personality and giftedness. Emerging adults need a decision-making paradigm to assist them in navigating the challenges and questions during this crucial stage in life.

Digitization & neodocetism : Generation Z’s understanding of their bodies in light of expanding digital existences

Author
Seth Troutt
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to examine how Christian therapists and professors describe the impact of digitization on Generation Z’s bodily self-concept. Generation Z has grown up with phones in their hands and with their friends in their phones. Pastors must consider the effects digitization will have on the iGen and give substantial reflection on how digitized ecclesiologies might contribute to gnostic instincts in the information age.
This study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with seven Christian therapists and professors with extensive experience working with Generation Z. The interviews focused on gaining data with three research questions: 1) How do Christian therapists and professors describe Gen Z’s self-understanding of their bodies? 2) How do Christian therapists and professors describe the impact of digitization on Gen Z’s views of their bodies? 3) How do Christian therapists and professors advise ministry leaders to minister to Gen Z concerning Gen Z Christians’ views of their bodies? The literature review focused on four key areas to understand ministry in this context: theology of the body, theology of technology, digital effect on bodily self-concept, and Generation Z’s relationship with digitization.
This study concluded that digitization does contribute to overly developed dualistic instincts in Generation Z. This reduces personhood to cognition, promotes dissociative instincts with regards to bodily processes, dislodges self from place, and fragments self-concept. Ministry leaders ought to resist the effects of digitization by means of teaching a robust theology of the body, training parents, creating embodied experiences, and helping Generation Z see the goodness of congruence in Christ.

Embodied Spiritual Practices for Brown and Black Bodies Exploring Sabbath Rest

Author
April Rae Gutierrez
Abstract
“Embodied Spiritual Practices for Brown and Black Bodies Exploring Sabbath Rest” addresses spiritual formation, discussing an approach to Sabbath Rest for healing and restoration that is countercultural on personal and societal levels. Through a retreat, participants engaged in embodied spiritual practices that promote rest as a tool for spiritual formation and transformation that is rooted in decolonizing theology and spiritual practices. Working in collaboration with The Board of Young Peoples Ministry and the Hispanic /Latino Ministry of the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church, the retreat model was reviewed by the committees for use in the work of spiritual formation for Black and Latinx Young Adults. The implementation of this project and retreat shows that culturally relevant spiritual practices that honor Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) stories and spiritual practices may deepen the encounter with God and relationships with participants within the retreat setting.

La educación teológica ante las nuevas tecnologías y su enfoque pertinente en las nuevas generaciones

Author
Roy Rodríguez
Abstract
This present research project carried out through the bibliographic modality and with a field research complement through the application of a research instrument called a questionnaire has as its essential purpose to make known the importance of the need to use social networks as an instrument of evangelization in this time of isolation and restrictions regarding personal social interactions. In the same way, to know the point of view of some ecclesiastical leaders concerning their points of view of the use of social networks as an instrument or transversal axis in the modalities of evangelization. Similarly, recognize that this research arises from the need that has led to isolation and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations that being able to carry out cults and other ecclesiastical activities with the usual openings have brought with it. As a result of this effect, it was necessary to investigate the level of understanding in the management of technological tools and social networks by the leaders and ministers of the congregations and thus know for sure if there was a ministerial body in the congregations conditions to carry out a task of evangelization through social networks and thus reach the largest possible number of new generations, which are very active in the use of new technologies as their preferred means of communication.

Seeker sensitive worship in a Reformed context

Author
Burt C Twomey
Abstract
This project is designed to assist local pastors and worship teams who desire to become more seeker sensitive in worship. Though it is written with a particular bent toward Reformed worship, it is designed to bring theological reflection and practical ideas for existing mainline Protestant churches who desire renewal in worship without forsaking their unique history. The project grows out of the experiences of a local congregation, Faith Reformed Church, Traverse City, Ml., over a five year period.

This project shows that it is possible for existing congregations to become more seeker-sensitive in worship through an approach that blends their own traditions with more open, expressive forms of worship. Seeker-sensitive worship, when done with integrity, can edify the believer while also attracting seekers to faith in Christ.

The biblical sage as paradigm for the practice of campus ministry

Author
Sherwin J Broersma
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis is to show that the biblical sage is a dynamic and compelling paradigm for the practice of campus ministry. Some campus ministers work out of no clear conceptual model while doing ministry. Others work out of a variety of models such as the priest/preacher, the evangelist, the prophet and the counselor. Each of these models has strengths and limitations as we shall attempt to demonstrate. Beyond this, it is my conviction that the paradigm of the sage is able to enrich each model.

This project paper focuses on the three major Old Testament works of wisdom: Ecclesiastes, Job, Proverbs; indirectly on wisdom Psalms; plus on elements of wisdom in the New Testament.

Closely related to the matter of models of ministry is the issue of self-identity in ministry. Campus ministers often suffer from identity confusion. They serve in a setting of faculty, staff, and students. The campus minister bears similarity to each of these, yet is none of them. The campus minister teaches, administers programs and continually learns. Still the minister realizes that none of these functions fully describes one's professional identity. Who then really is the campus minister? I want to argue that the biblical sage offers itself as a congenial and productive identity model for campus ministers.

TRAINING SMALL GROUP LEADERS TO LEAD THE EMERGING ADULTS OF TRINITY CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE

Author
John Michael Barefield D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor on Ministry project created a training program to train small group leaders to lead the emerging adults for Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Charlotte, North Carolina. This project shared the concerns of the church in losing emerging adults after they graduate from high school. The project explored the concerns of the emerging adult generation. The literature research included the writings of Chap Clark, Kara E. Powell, David Kinnaman, Corey Seemiller, Meghan Grace, Pew Research, and others.

This qualitative research project focused on how to train leaders to lead a small group of emerging adults. This project was conducted in three phases. The first phase presented in a six-part sermon series to the congregation. The second phase interviewed emerging adult participants. The third phase trained small group leaders to lead emerging adults.

This project helped the congregation, and small group leaders, to have a better understanding of emerging adults. The small group leaders gained confidence in leading emerging adults. The pastor learned to be sensitive to the needs, interests, and values of the emerging adults in his congregation.

CREATED TO CONNECT: RECAPTURING A GOSPEL UNDERSTANDING OF INTIMACY FOR EMERGING ADULTS IN A COLLEGE SETTING

Author
Erin Moniz D.Min.
Abstract
Christian emerging adults struggle in their relationships because they lack a robust theology of intimacy. This thesis examines and analyzes the problem by combining practical theology, generational studies, and a study of the culture of faith communities. Biblical support is offered by an exegetical examination of three Scripture passages that demonstrate the three intimacy motifs of family, sexuality/marriage, and friendship. Trinitarian and covenant theology reveal the theme of intimacy in the triune God and redemptive history. The doctrine of Union with Christ connects human and Divine intimacy through a Christological lens. An ethnographic study involving a focus group and sixteen interviews is analyzed in order to uncover the intersection of faith and intimate relationships in emerging adults. This thesis investigates the role of faith in the lives of emerging adult relationships and offers a biblical and theological theology of intimacy.

The road less traveled : pilgrimage and spiritual formation among younger Christians

Author
Nick J. Works
Abstract
"For hundreds of years pilgrimages were a vibrant expression of Christian spirituality. Following the Protestant Reformation pilgrimage as a spiritual discipline began to cease among protestants. In the last 50 years pilgrimage has made a cultural and religious resurgence in American life both religious and secular. At the same time younger Christians began to disconnect from the church in larger and larger numbers. These younger Christians became more mobile and travel much more often than older Christians. Pilgrimage as a spiritual discipline may be a spiritual practice that was attractive to younger Christians under the age of 40 that allowed them to practice their faith and remain engaged in their faith community. This study examined the religious travel practices of one United Methodist congregation to determine if younger Christians found pilgrimage practices as a suitable spiritual discipline." -- Leaf [2].

Research on the rooting of new believers in the ATA Church through the hospitality program

Author
Natalya Tsay
Abstract
"[In this project paper, the author explores the ways in which a congregation may] improve the level of hospitality among young people at [the] Ata Methodist Church through the hospitality program. The questionnaires were filled out before and after the hospitality program by 10 church members aged above 20. Some of them changed their attitude towards new people; others gained understanding about biblical hospitality. The author provided examples of practical workshops to the hospitality program to use it at other churches of similar scale. It will contribute into rooting of new believers at the church and expansion of God's Kingdom." -- Leaf [2].
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