Youth--Religious life

How a Study of Biblical Individualism and the Body of Christ Affects Young People’s
Willingness to Engage in Church Leadership at First Presbyterian Church, Alliance,
Nebraska

Author
Kim Y Jay D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis researched the issue of an independent and individualistic mindset of young people in their 20s to 40s at First Presbyterian Church Alliance in Nebraska. This mindset is associated with their unwillingness to participate in church leadership. Understanding the biblical and literary foundations of individualism and collectivism are the core approach to confronting this mentality which is exhibited in behaviors of egocentricity, selfishness, or egoism. The biblical and literary principles of individualism and collectivism are intrinsically harmonized with a sense of unity which is actualized in a recognition of self-value as an autonomous being. An individual as an autonomous and rational being should recognize his and her inner attributes and utilize them for the needs of others. The nature of unity is the corporate reality of all individuals which is represented in the characteristics of the body of Christ. Learning true individual value and unity would benefit the young people and encourage them to get involved in church leadership.

RESPONDING TO OUR HEMORRHAGING FAITH IN CANADA BY EXPLORING A FAMILY-INTEGRATED CHURCH MODEL AS A SOLUTION IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA

Author
Michael Thiessen D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to respond to the identified crisis in disciple-making by exploring the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a Family-Integrated-Church ministry model.
To accomplish this SWOT analysis, there were four steps to this research project: A literature review, Biblical research on the family, twelve semi-structured interviews with FEB pastors, and an elders’ review of our FIC model at Grace Baptist Church in Alliston, Ontario. By doing this research project, I hoped to understand this ministry model better and sought to focus our local church disciple-making practices.

The information gleaned from this research project confirmed for me some of what I already knew anecdotally; there is a crisis in children’s and young adult ministry of which the family is a key part of both the problem and solution. The next generation needs to be able to follow their parents, who are worshipping, praying, and serving before them, in order to be made into passionate disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Nature as a Means of Adolescent Spiritual Formation

Author
James D Thompson D.Min.
Abstract
The author researched what effect a ninety-day practice of journaling and guided contemplation of God in nature would have on an adolescent's sense of connection with God using the Convergent Parallel Mixed Method approach. Quantitatively, the intervention led to a statistically significant increase from the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale pretest to the posttest. Qualitatively, through student journals and reflections, five clusters of meaning emerged: the adolescent landscape, deeper connection with God, big questions, gratitude, and common nature. If God intends creation to point people to himself, then it is a significant problem if people have lost the capacity or the desire to pay attention to creation.

Embodied Contemplative Practices Within a High School Religion Curriculm

Author
Diane Mercadante D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores whether affective, embodied contemplative practices enhance cognitive learning in a Catholic high school religion classroom and encourage behavioral changes in students’ lives. The researcher introduced embodied contemplative practices to high school seniors using the lens of Appreciative Inquiry and Osmer’s four questions for practical theological interpretation, then offering students an opportunity to find meaning in their experiences using the Killen and de Beer theological reflection method. This thesis-project enters into a conversation with student experience, Gen-Z culture, and the Christian theological tradition to name the importance of embodied connection, affirm the practice of embodied Christian theology, and address the desire and need for embodied contemplative practices.

Learning to Pray Without Ceasing: Instilling the Importance of Prayer and its Connection to Social Justice in Youth

Author
Wesley Brian Jamison D.Min.
Abstract
Progressive churches continue to struggle with retaining youth, who often seen little merit in the church's traditions and rituals. These spiritual practices are essential to nurturing the strength and vision necessary to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This project offers a model for integrating these practices into the regular activities of youth ministry as a way of reconnecting them to the struggle for justice. It was tested by adding the observance of the daily offices of prayer to a youth mission trip and examining the views of participants concerning prayer and its connection to justice before, during, and after the trip. Noticeable changes were measured during and after the trip, indicating that youth came to see spiritual practices are more important to the work of justice. These findings suggest that the church would do well to look to its own history of monasticism as a model for youth ministry in the post-Christian era.

The Wisdom of Silence: Contemplative Practice for Adolescents in the Context of a Catholic Secondary School Curriculum

Author
Jan Rudolf Flaska D.Min.
Abstract
Let’s face it - contemporary adolescent life in the United States is filled with noise. Amidst the metaphorical and literal din of increasingly covert wireless technology, the heavy demand of social media and a cultural espousal of multitasking, the adolescent spirit can be a forgotten concern. There is, therefore, a need to reclaim the wisdom of silence in the lives of adolescents, inviting them to welcome these moments for the power they offer, and to embrace the call of Teresa of Avila in “turning the eyes of the soul… to the Lord.”

This project is intended to introduce and nurture contemplative practices, as presented in Christian literary spiritual classics, in the lives of adolescents in scholastic Catholic settings.
Offered in response to the frequent, unregulated noise of technology manifest in phones and other platforms for social media, adolescents will benefit in a multiplicity of manners from a regular encounter with spiritually grounded silence.

Joining the conversation : toward a synthetic approach to media formation among Christian homeschool students

Author
Brian Jacob Barry
Abstract
My local ministry context is a theologically conservative Anglican congregation, in which a substantial proportion of youth and children are or have been enrolled in home-based education. I designed and ran a pilot workshop for high-school students in home-based education, with a goal of offering training in boundaries, skills, and habits that allow for positive interaction with popular electronic media. A study of the biblical motif of sojourners and exiles provides a theological framework against which different models of Church and Culture are compared. It is found that Christians, as sojourners and exiles, embrace an alternative identity as the People of God, yet function as bona fide participants in their broader cultures, through which the missio dei is advanced. A robust eschatology prepares the Christian to navigate the inherent tensions and difficulties. A study of many efforts at formation around media identify three strategic categories into which these efforts fit, namely cultural abstinence, cultural conversation, and faith-formative practices performed within the Christian community. An eight-week media workshop was designed as a synthesis of these different practices, with focus on a Media Rule of Life, five skills of cultural conversation, and five corresponding spiritual practices. From the results of this pilot course, recommendations are made for development of future media formation approaches.

Celebrating Communion Why Youth Aren't Hungering to Come to the Lord's Table

Author
Cheryl A Carson
Abstract
This project proposes that many church-attending Christian youth find the sacrament of the Lord's Supper irrelevant and lifeless. The reasons for this disconnect are investigated and imaginative liturgical strategies are sought to help youth passionately engage in communion. Basic qualitative, narrative analysis, and quantitative research were utilized. Data was collected through personal interviews and focus group interviews. The results show that youth generally find communion routine and done so frequently as to be commonplace. However, the findings also reveal that these adolescents are indeed hungering to participate in communion with and experience the presence of the risen Lord.

Spiritual formation for youths through Lectio Divina, spiritual journal, centering prayer focusing on youth ministry of Wonju First Methodist Church

Author
Won Jueng Lee
Abstract
In this paper the author shows understanding of adolescence as an important period for youth spiritual formation. Christian spirituality is an intimate encounter with God, the source of change and maturity as a gift of God 's grace. Spiritual formation is a lifelong process, and adolescence is a valuable time to prepare for the spiritual formation. In Korean society, however, youths are suffering from spiritual and psychological poverty due to the college entrance exam-centered educational system and losing the opportunity of spiritual formation. Therefore the author presents three spiritual disciplines which are Lectio Divina, Spiritual Journaling, and the Centering Prayer for intimate encounters with God, spiritual satisfaction, and aiming to taking after Jesus Christ.

Enhancing Expository Preaching Skills in Order to Increase Awareness of the Theme of Discipleship among the Youth at First Baptist Church, Paris, Texas

Author
Nathan Law
Abstract
The purpose of the project was to enhance the project director's expository preaching skills in order to increase his awareness of the theme of discipleship among the youth at First Baptist Church, Paris, Taxes. The first step involved reseraching the field of expository preaching. The researcher also completed a sutdy on discipleship practices of the church. The project director then studied select passages from Mark based on the discipleship research, organizing them into a written series of sermons. This sermon series is expository in nature and highlights how to walk as a disciple. The project director then created evaluations and goals to ensure a high quality of work.
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