Missions, City

Training and Equipping the Urban Church for Missional Engagement Utilizing Fivefold Ministry Gift Curriculum

Author
Gregory Emmett Bell Sr
Abstract
Philadelphia urban church members may not be receiving adequate training on how to participate in the mission of God. According to secular and Christian research, church attendance is declining along with adherence to the teaching and application of Scripture. Statistical analysis of both Christian and secular research, demographic, and crime data confirm the researcher’s hypothesis that the urban churches of Philadelphia need a curriculum for missional engagement. Model Studies of two other ministry schools were also conducted and critiqued to glean from each institution’s experience. The research, literature review, and model studies were used to determine the best approach to perhaps produce supernatural results in the community. This applied research project examines the impact of a missional engagement curriculum designed for laypersons within a Philadelphia urban church, on the fivefold ministry gifts, also referred to by the writer as the five apportioned gifts of Christ. Scripture and other Christian literature were carefully examined to ensure understanding and acceptance of the gifts for today in the body of Christ. The students were taught how to function in their gift as part of a fivefold gift ministry team and complete a ministry project at the end of the semester.

Space for grace : creative ministry in physical and online spaces

Author
Lisa Arledge
Abstract
Oasis, an urban mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, encourages millennials and people who do not normally attend church to experience God. Based on a theology of space within the Trinity, the researcher modified Oasis’s previous ministries to include small group interventions and original art and videos shared on an online blog. An online survey affirmed the values of creativity and shared experiences. The paper concludes with recommendations for Church renewal based on the intervention. Shared leadership, creativity, and flexibility will help young adults connect with God and each other and make the Church more accessible to all.

[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.]

THE INTEGRATION OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS SERVING AMONG FAMILIES IN HOMELESS CRISIS FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL MINISTRY

Author
Scott Mills D.Min.
Abstract
This project explored the transformational growth of high school students who served children in homeless crisis by implementing a pilot program at the Fort Wayne Charis House. The findings revealed student growth in three goal areas: greater cultural understanding, greater appreciation for life situation, and greater motivation to serve. The project explored biblical foundations and the causes and consequences of families in homeless crisis. It also examined similarities between “service learning” in the public schools and integrative ministry. Through this program, students built critical thinking skills, positive relationships, and a sense of responsibility as they engaged in serving their community.

Becoming A Stronger Credible Witness United Methodist Churches in the Metro District Strategic Engagement with the Growing Diverse People in our Surrounding Communities

Author
Stephanie M Hand
Abstract
These project objectives are to design, implement, and coach a new Multi Cultural Multi Ethnic Cohort to lead five United Methodist churches through a yearlong process of discernment, new learning, strategic visioning, and community engagement. The cohort will address religious culture shifts from majority Anglo to a more ethnically diverse one in the Metro District, Western North Carolina Conference, The United Methodist Church. Additionally, the cohort is charged with developing Ministry Action Plans and identifying Adaptive Challenges inside and outside the churches, to engage with and be transformative, credible witnesses to and with Metro's diverse homogenous faith communities.

Equipping urban missionaries to utilize research in the development of a church planting strategy for Colombo, Sri Lanka

Author
Bran S Kinsey
Abstract
This project is for the International Mission Agency team focused on Colombo, Sri Lanka, to develop a church planting strategy for the city. The project incorporates researching the city to evaluate the context and strategize accordingly. It uses a geographically distributed team approach, on-site and online training, statistical and descriptive research methodologies, and a four-element strategy formation model. A research profile of the city is developed, which informs and molds a comprehensive church planting strategy for the city.

Developing the spiritual formation of a core group of lay leaders serving in the postmodern, urban context of the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Author
Jon Richard Pennington
Abstract
The purpose of this project was for at least 7 of Chicagoland Communiy Church's core team of lay leaders to demonstrate significant improvement in their personal spiritual formation. Not only would this benefit the participants, but also it would raise the discipleship capacity of this small church in a challenging center-city environment. This purpose was accomplished with a modest level of success through 'scaffolding' teaching sessions, a sermon series, technological tracking of spiritiual discipliens, multiple forms of evaluation and testing, individiual meetings, and structured pastoral counseling sessions.

Socially-responsive ministries: a renewing vision for Hispanic American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, Ca.

Author
Saul Maldonado-Andrade
Abstract
This Thesis presents the biblical-theological foundations for a social service ministry that the Christian church may utilize in order to responsibly respond to the needs of its community. Elements from the hermeneutic circle, learned from Dr. Eldin Villafañe, are integrated to an analysis of social and religious contexts in the city of Los Angeles, California and in specific relation to American Baptist Churches. This work highlights relevant literary and theological foundations and a project design and methodology applied to the Baptist Social Service Center during the 2004 top 2007 period, and provides implications and recommendations for future studies.

Following Jesus together: the urban church participating in God's living system

Author
David W Searles
Abstract
This project explores how an urban church may see how God is already at work in the city and in the church and discovers how to participate in that redemptive work that is holistic, complex, global and highly interrelated. This is God's living system. The biblical account of God's creation and new creation form the basis for understanding living system theology. The "Expanded Jeremiah Model" (Jeremiah 29:7) provides for the church a dynamic and interactive paradigm for discovering and participating with God's living system. Repentance is necessary to be prepared to address the possibility of counterproductivity in a fallen world. A group learning exercise called "hexagoning" is utilized as a discernment tool for Central Assembly of god Church, Boston, which allows the congregation to understand God's gracious work in the church and in the city. This enabled Central Assembly of God Church to develop a ministry to Kenyan orphans, provide training for immigrant pastors, launch an urban mission, and initiate conversation among Assemblies of God missionaries about the city as a resource.

The roles of outsiders working in communities of the poor

Author
David Crosscombe
Abstract
This thesis-project will look at what the role of outsiders working in communities of the poor should be, with a special emphasis on the city of Philadelphia. The thesis-project sets forth the major issues related to this topic, a curriculum developed for Cairn University's First Year urban Experience Program and a system to measure outcomes of the curriculum is laid out, as well as examples of the success already seem in implementation of the core theology in practical ministry.

From pasture to well: facing demographic challenge and developing missional identity in an urban congregation

Author
Stephen P Verkouw
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project originates from reflection on the topic of evangelism, especially in relation to four major outreach projects of Grace Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA. Using action/reflection methodology, the project considers four outreach initiatives made by the congregation in the period from 1998 to the present -- a weekly community meal, a child care center, a neighborhood housing development organization, and collaboration with Narcotics Anonymous. The project includes reflection on these specific initiatives in mission to discern whether and how they hve been effective as part of Grace's larger attempt to renew its mission in the face of its own demographic decline and the urban transformation taking place in the congregation's neighborhood.
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