Contextualizing and Testing the BELLS Model in a Missional Community in a Canadian Diaspora Chinese Church

Gary Yigong Chen D.Min.
This portfolio aims to find a practical and effective way to increase missional awareness in the congregants at Toronto RenAi Chinese Christian Church and inspire them to be more active participants in this objective. This portfolio is composed of three major parts: a Personal Narrative and Ministry Context (Chapter 2), a Philosophy of Christian Leadership (Chapter 3), and a Field Ministry Project (Chapter 4). In Chapter 2, the author uses a narrative approach to describe how becoming a Christian not only profoundly changed his worldview and values but also focused his leadership philosophy from being power-based to service-based. In Chapter 3, through a literature review, the author elaborates on what servant leadership really means and argues that it should be a distinguishing feature of Christian leaders. In Chapter 4, the author explores whether or not the hands-on inquiry learning of the BELLS model in a missional Chinese church community context increased both participants’ missional awareness and the church’s willingness to reach people with the gospel in a culturally appropriate way. This exploration was conducted through a series of in-person and online gatherings, interviews, and weekly practices of BELLS in a missional community format. The author uses the BELLS model, the missional community strategies, and his own ecclesiology, missiology, and Christian leadership philosophy to guide the entire research project. Qualitative research data was collected and analyzed through interviews with seven participants, weekly DNA (Discipleship, Nurture, Accountability) Forms, and the author’s own participatory observations during in-person gatherings and online discussions. The results of the research project indicated that the practice of the BELLS model helped increase most of the participants’ missional awareness and passion for evangelizing their Chinese compatriots. It also helped most of them to live out their belief in the cultural context of the Chinese diaspora.

Equipping Coaches to Develop Great Commission Leaders at Macarthur Blvd Baptist Church in Irving, Texas

Travis Ryan Benge D.Ed.Min.
This project sought to equip Great Commission leaders at MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church (MBBC), Irving, Texas. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of MBBC. The chapter also explains the project’s goals, the need for equipping leaders, and how this project was conducted and measured. Definitions and delimitations specific to the project are also included.
Chapter 2 discusses the cycle of the disciple-making process. The chapter provides an exegesis of three passages of Scripture. The first is Matthew 28:18-20, the Great Commission. This passage shows that disciple-making begins with Jesus’s command to make disciples, demonstrating the entire process of discipleship, and states that disciple-making begins with evangelism and the conversion the Holy Spirit brings. The second section exegetes Matthew 4:18-22 to show upon conversion, and trusting and following Christ, believers are called to enter intentional discipleship relationships. The third section exegetes 2 Timothy 2:1-7 to demonstrate the importance of generational discipleship, which in this passage shows leaders being sent out. The final cycle of the Great Commission is the development, coaching, and deployment of disciple-makers.
Chapter 3 argues that developing faithful Christian leaders takes development in character and competencies. To have high character but not have the competencies to lead falls short of godly leadership. On the inverse, to have ungodly character and exceptional competencies falls short of the leadership to which God calls his leaders. This chapter is broken down into the necessity of leadership and the model for leadership. Both sections discuss character and competencies. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, recounting the content and teaching methodology of the specific course curriculum. Chapter 5 evaluates the project’s efficacy based on the completion of the specified goals. This project equipped coaches with the confidence and competency to develop shepherd leaders to lead groups with a Great Commission focus.

Development of an Innovative Model of Congregational Engagement in Hospitality with Newcomers to Canada

Solange Agnès Belluz D.Min.
The main purpose of this portfolio was to develop a cross-cultural congregational engagement framework that would facilitate greater participation of congregants in hospitality with newcomers and refugees at The Peoples Church in Toronto. A central principle that emerged was the need to shift our ministry perspective from doing things to people to doing things with people. The framework developed as a result of this research included eight key principle and four key components: Learn, Engage, Assess and Participate (LEAP).

Hospitality is about welcoming others and making them feel at home. As someone who came to Canada over 30 years ago as an international student, I am sensitive to the needs of newcomers and refugees and the role that congregants could play in creating welcoming and inclusive spaces for them. I am also a firm believer that leadership is influence and that, through cross-cultural transformational leadership, we could create an environment where congregants would be motivated to welcome well.

This research demonstrated that there is value in meeting the physical needs of newcomers and refugees. However, effective engagement with the migrants and displaced needs to go beyond food, housing, and education. The research highlighted the need to create spaces where they belong; where they could be anchored to; where they can recover the feeling of belonging that has been lost in migration.

Mission in Japan using Japanese mythology and the Bible : a guide to cross-cultural pastoral care

Wayne Jansen
This project is designed to provide missionaries to Japan with information needed to carry out cross-cultural pastoral care effectively by looking to ancient Japanese scriptures for meaning, and comparing selected narratives to those in the Bible containing parallel themes and motifs.

Chapter One, the Introduction, explains the cultural milieu in which the Western missionary finds him/herself.

Chapter Two introduces six chosen "subjects," including clients, patients, and professionals who have been chosen as case studies upon which the entire project is based, along with rationale for why they were chosen.

Chapter Three reveals what it means to live in Japan's strict hierarchical society, and how the Japanese cope with and effectively use the system to succeed.

Chapter Four demonstrates how important and necessary it is for Japanese to understand how to blend and adapt to their surroundings in order to be successful.

Chapter Five pursues the question of what exactly the religious soul of the Japanese is, and how the missionary is to understand his/her clients in order to meet their needs.

Chapter Six illustrates where the Japanese church stands today on various issues, and provides missionaries with information to help them understand their colleagues better, and to function appropriately in the Japanese setting.

The Epilogue touches on the project's limitations, and suggests possibilities for further followup studies.

This project shows that knowing Japanese mythology is productive in the cross-cultural pastoral context both in providing tools for ministry to the missionary/pastor, and in applying pastoral care correctly to Japanese clients.

The Gospel : the power of God for salvation mobilizing the church for evangelism to Muslims

Barbara Yandell
Global geo-political realities have unsettled and promoted massive movements of Muslims fleeing countries formerly restricting Christian witness into Europe and North America. Many current Islamic regimes have been destabilized contributing to Muslims experiencing cognitive dissonance, disillusionment and despair. Christians now have the opportunity and urgent commission to witness to Muslims on their block, at their workplace, attending schools with their children, and attending universities. The scale of the upheaval in Islam demands an all-Church emergency mobilization training effort to fast track Church engagement with Muslims.
Evangelical leaders that I have worked with my whole ministry career are asking for Biblically faithful training for evangelism and missions. Many existing courses on Islam commend highly contextualized methodologies, dynamic equivalent models, peacemaking and friendship. They do not teach the fundamentals of evangelism, of communicating the Gospel for the conversion of Muslims from Islam to Christianity.
The methods of research employed are narrative inquiry in collaborative action research with colleagues having vast experience in missions, evangelism, apologetics and discipling Muslim people. Field notes, roundtable reflection, interviews and Kirkpatrick’s evaluative process collected and gleaned best practices from case studies and from the Engage Course classes that have been offered so far.

Developing an Islam Mission Strategy for Rasimpasa International Church, Istanbul, Turkey

Kwangmyeon Kim
The purpose of the project was to develop an Islam mission strategy for Rasimpasa International Church which is located in Istanbul, the political and economic center of the Islamic Republic of Turkey. For this Islam mission strategy development model, the project director first studied the areas of professional strategic planning and development for church planting and studied theories and practical application cases for Islam mission in order to establish and develop general strategic planning concerning church planting. Second, throughout the process of this study, the project director identified theoretical bases for Rasimpasa International Church to actively participate in the Islam mission ministry and developed a specific Islam mission strategy that can be applied in this situation of the church in Istanbul, Turkey. Third, the project director presented a developed Islam mission strategy for approval to selected group of leaders of Rasimpasa International Church. It also reflected the objective evaluation of experts on the achievement of the presented misistry goals and professional goals for this project. Lastly, the project director made suggestions for the deep and good practice through analysis and reflections after the preparation, and implementation and evaluation process for the Islam mission strategy development model.

A Strategy for the Church Planting Ministry of Seara Mission in Amazonas Brazil

Gary Wayne Parker D.Min.
This applied research project is intended to propose a strategy for planting churches in the unreached river communities in the Amazon region of Brazil. This strategy seeks to facilitate the planting of responsible and reproducing churches that can thrive under local leadership using local resources for generations to come. There are four hypotheses that guide this study: Balance in evangelism and discipleship in unreached communities must be maintained. Local leaders must be preserved for local churches without depending on external support. Cross-cultural missionaries must prepare local leaders to do the majority of the public teaching in the churches that are planted. Cross-cultural missionaries must train local leaders to be responsible for the leadership of the churches that are planted. These hypotheses were evaluated in the bibliographic and biblical research. The SEARA mission was researched to determine if these hypotheses are currently evident in the mission’s methodologies. The results of this research are presented followed by a proposed strategy to be implemented in the future.

A practical theology for fundraising : practicing abundant life in community

Laura M. Norvell
"With mainline religious organizations in decline, many church leaders experience a similar decline in support for mission work. This paper asserts that the church can find new donors for their charitable mission work by looking beyond church membership, and in this way can expand its vision for what the kingdom of God can look like in its community. The author interviewed generous people unaffiliated with Christian congregations and shared the insights from these interviews with local church leaders, who then imagined how to connect new people to mission work. As a result of the shared insight, church leaders expressed an expanded vision of whom they could involve in mission projects. In the process, they also expanded their own understanding of and commitment to generosity." -- Leaf [2].

A study on the indigenous church with Three Self Principle in Sri Lanka through SMC (Sri Lanka Mission Community)

Woong Won Ha
". . . . [T]he author explored . . . the indigenous church with Three Self Principle in Sri Lanka through SMC (Sri Lanka Mission Community) . . . . [T]he author observed a model of indigenous church from the early church and St. Paul to the church history of mission in part one. When he studied the model of indigenous church, he found three Self Principle such as Self-Supporting, Self-Governing, and Self-Propagating for the healthy indigenous church and several attempts in the mission history of the church. In part two, the author researched how to build the healthy indigenous church with three self-principle through 15 churches of SMC for 3 months, in a practical manner. For that, firstly, he provided a consultation with 15 pastors of SMC church and a reporting back to their churches. Secondly, he created a seminar that challenged 15 participants to evaluate their ministries with three self-principle and sought solutions by them. Thirdly, he provided two workshops for feedback, ministry and finance evaluation for the healthy indigenous church with three self-principle. Finally, he concluded this project to find the advantages and disadvantages through an analysis and evaluation." -- Leaf [2].

A Critical Analysis of the Transmission of the Gospel to Spaniards by the Evangelical Church in Madrid

Wilson Fernando Dantas Soaris D.Min.
Although the numbers show people responding positively to the Gospel in Spain, the Autochthonous People of Spain [APS] and congregations composed of Spaniards are not following the same pattern. The reason for considerable growth in the nation without necessarily reaching the APS is due to the number of immigrants living in Spain, especially from Latin America.
This dissertation investigates the EC in the Autonomous Community of Madrid [ACM] from its beginnings and its methods used to transmit the Gospel to unbelievers, especially among the APS. The analysis seeks to determine why the majority of the ECs in Madrid do not have many APS congregants.
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