Spiritual life

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.

Chaplain Spiritual Assessment and Its Efficacy for the Palliative Care Team at Roper St. Francis Healthcare: An Interdisciplinary-Phenomenologic Inquiry

Author
Yhanco Monet
Abstract
A qualitative phenomenological research methodology was designed and implemented to answer the question: what is it that chaplains assessed which is perceived as useful for the Roper St. Francis Palliative Care team? Twelve Palliative Care practitioners, representing diverse specialties, were interviewed and surveyed to answer the research question. Evidence suggested that spiritual care and chaplaincy assessments were perceived as relevant to the Roper St. Francis’ Palliative Care praxis. However, the gathered data indicates that chaplains and Palliative Care practitioners would benefit from a more standardized/consistent spiritual assessment practice. A set of “Teaching Guidelines” and educational “Activities” was created with the goal of training chaplains in the art of doing Palliative Care spiritual assessments based on the research findings. A certified ACPE supervisor was interviewed about the viability and appropriateness of these “Teaching Guidelines” and “Activities.” This professional educator enriched the educative proposal and validated its potential to train staff chaplains as Palliative Care practitioners.

Educating Calvary Baptist Church, Asheville, NC, on the Value of Following the Christian Year as a Means for Spiritual Renewal Through Worship

Author
Jeffrey C. Hayes
Abstract
This project introduced the spiritual value of following the Christian year in worship. Through a series of sermons and study lessons that focused on eight major seasons (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time), participants were exposed to the history and spiritual purpose of each, respectively. Two surveys were administered, along with weekly evaluations, and interviews, to measure the project’s effectiveness. The desired outcome was a greater degree of knowledge and interest in worshipping through the Christian year. According to the final analysis, increased understanding, spiritual growth, and desire to worship through the Christian year did occur.

Meditation and Contemplation: Framework for a Coping Mechanism Among Small Groups at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Author
Gary W. Jordan
Abstract
“Don’t say God is silent if your Bible is closed.” - Church Sign This project aimed to encourage and enable a small group class at Mount Moriah Baptist Church to adopt meditative and contemplative prayer as a framework for a coping mechanism. In practicing this type of prayer life, participants anticipated to receive the benefit of being better able to cope with stressors of life. Utilizing a small group study, Lectio Divina, biblical examples, breathing techniques and various surveys, participants were enabled to experience a deeper interaction with Scripture, aided by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to hear God speaking to them and transforming their lives to the image of Christ.

Finding Peace in Union with Christ through the Practice of Contemplation

Author
Gary W Brouwers
Abstract
Believers in Jesus exist in a powerful unsion with the ecodn person of the Trinity. Through this union, believers have access to everything that Jesus is, including the ability to expereince peace regardless of circumstances. This thesis examinded how a growing awreness of one's union with Jesus affects one's experience of anxiety. Using a mixed method phenomenological study, 46 participants spent increasingly longer periods of time contemplating on thier union with Christ. Anxiety levels were tested using pretexts and posttests of Beck's Anxiety Indicator (BAI). Participants kept records of their experiences using Likert-style scales as well as written journals. Data from BAI, the individual records, and a focus group were triangulated and compared. The results indicated that anxiety levels were reduced in 63 percent of participants. In addition , the data revealed common themes among the experiences of the participants, including strong expressions of God's love, continuing effects of peace beyond the period of contemplation and an appreciation for the structure and accountability of the project. In addition, most participants reported experiences of frustration and confusion as they attempted to spend time in contemplation.

FROM ASHES RISE AGAIN: SPIRITUAL IDENTITY BASED RESILIENCY

Author
Charles Christopher Mason D.Min.
Abstract
The focus of this project was to consider the question of how to build and maintain resiliency. While the project was developed and implemented for chaplains in a health care system, the principles of spiritual identity based resiliency may be an answer for others looking for ways to be more resilient. Spiritual identity based resiliency at its core is a focus on understanding one’s personal value, meaning and purpose as a way to cope and be resilient in stressful and anxious situations. The project was designed to inform participants of the importance of orienting their lives on the basis of their spiritual identity, this is the means of being able to manage external and internal influential pressures that distort or confuse understanding of value, meaning and purpose. The result of a lack of focus on value, meaning and purpose is a lack of resiliency and may eventually lead to burnout.

PERCEPTIONS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH AMONG HOLY LAND TOUR PARTICIPANTS

Author
Scott Fouts D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to discover in what ways did spiritual growth occur in a congregational based Holy Land tour. The research also sought to determine to what extent spiritual growth occurred. The tour visited the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Jordan Valley.

The intent was to capture the participants feelings, perceptions, and actions about the tour experiences. They were surveyed, observed and interviewed to assess their perceptions of the encounters they were experiencing.

There were twelve themes which emerged. The participants expressed being touched by observing the spiritual growth of others and wanting more experiences in the Holy Land at a noteworthy level of intensity. They experienced the Holy Land encounter with a substantial level of spiritual growth throughout, seeing what they perceived Jesus saw, walking where they perceived Jesus walked, experiencing the ancient world coming alive, the impact of previous tours and worship through singing. The participants encountered geographic relationship, praying, the sacrament of baptism, the sacrament of communion, the self-perception of spiritual change and the hope of sharing their own experiences with others major spiritual ways. These themes caused the participants to grow in their faith at different levels.

Spiritual Care for Missionaries within the Ministry Context of Make Way Partners

Author
Milton R Smith
Abstract
Spiritual Care for Missionaries Within the Ministry Context of Make Way Partners is the report of a research project. The objective of this project was to study the spiritual care of missionaries within the ministry context of Make Way Partners (MWP). The ministry context of MWP is to prevent and combat human trafficking. The context of this project was in the country of Sudan, in and near Darfur.

In particular, the study addressed the possibility that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator might aid the leadership of MWP in predicting how missionaries might respond to stress in the field. Also, the project provided an opportunity to find a tool to help evaluate those missionaries who experience trauma due to the stress of the field. Additionally, this project gave an opportunity to reflect upon the mission strategy of MWP.

REMEMBERING FAITH EXPERIENCES IN THE OSTFRISIAN COMMUNITY AND IMPLICATION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Author
Jay Allen Johnson D.Min.
Abstract
All spiritual growth is contingent upon remembering the past. Insight has value only
when shared with others. A series of mnemonic devices found in Scripture are keys to maintaining a successful spiritual walk. These methods, proven throughout church history, require diligent retention and dispersal of information in the context of relational support. Ethnographic research in rural Ostfrisian communities indicates that when routinely practiced, these methods form broad spiritual patterns that reflect a deepening commitment to faith issues. This project reveals indicators that assist eidetic recall of spiritual events. Within individual groups, spiritual maturity across the generations can be traced to the consistent practice of these mnemonic devices.

Equipping the congregation of East Belmont Baptist Church in Belmont, N.C. for outreach through the development and implementation of an active prayer ministry.

Author
Jeffrey Dean Taylor D.Min.
Abstract
In a local congregation, joining the spiritual practice of prayer with the ministry of outreach provides the church with an effective ministry tool to connect the congregation to its community and beyond. The East Belmont Baptist Church searches for effective ways to carry out the mission of making Christ known to others by equipping themselves through study and sermons to use prayer as a ministry in the community. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, congregational members meet people where they are and minister to them through intercessory prayer. This allowed the congregation to minister to others through outreach and prayer.
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