North America

Dwelling in the Word and in the World: Missional Engagement Through Storytelling

Author
John Foster Magnuson D.Min.
Abstract
The practice of Church mission engagement within a culture of specialization, individuality, and volunteerism has created the opportunity for the North American Protestant church to narrate mission through an identity and story of the individual. However, through the practice of reading scripture and reflecting alongside storytelling, a more robust missional identity can be found within the church. This identity through storytelling moves from viewing church members as an autonomous individual into seeing both church members and neighbors as necessary members of community, together participating in God’s mission in the world through companionship with God and one another. This work moves from a historical background of mission work within a local congregation to then explore the theological basis for connecting storytelling alongside biblical engagement in congregational mission. As a result of the project, a tool for missional story telling through scripture is presented to the reader.

A Strategy of Holistic Health for Pastoral Ministry in North American Chinese Churches

Author
Kevin Kai Zhang D.Min.
Abstract
The Chinese churches in North America have continued to grow and develop in the past thirty years. However, the health of the church has always been a major challenge for its growth. The pastoral ministry of the church is the key to a healthy church: the church cannot be truly healthy unless each of its individuals is.

This dissertation explores how the church can integrate the three pastoral approaches of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Inner Healing, and Spiritual Formation to build an effective pastoral ministry. The research of this study is completed through quantitative analysis. The sample comprises of 74 people who are active in pastoral ministries from five Chinese churches across North America.

The findings of this research suggest that the integrated use of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Inner Healing, and Spiritual Formation effectively helps believers to solve problems of body, mind, and spirit at all levels.

Finally, Holistic Health: Pastoral Training Manual is designed to equip congregations to help people in need through the integrated approach in pastoral ministry.

Using Multimedia to Train Men at First Baptist Church, Upland to Share Their Faith

Author
Stephan C. Kish
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to equip six men in sharing their faith through training utilizing multimedia. Three theological assertions provide the impetus for this project. First, disciple making is the primary responsibility of the church of which evangelism is the initial stage. Discipleship follows a positive response to hearing and understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ.9 Yet, there can be no hearing unless someone shares the Gospel (Rom. 10:14). Therefore, evangelism is to be a priority for the church. Second, believers, empowered by the Holy Spirit, share their faith. Christians sharing their faith is a direct result of the gratitude and enthusiasm of the Christian life (Acts 1:8). Third, God gives pastors a primary role of equipping the church to engage in its call to evangelism. As the shepherd to the local body, the pastor is the one who is responsible to build up the body (Eph. 4:12).

Creating a Strategy to Develop Effective Leaders in a Growing Post-Christian Society

Author
Sally Ann Carter D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a strategy to develop effective leaders at Calvary Hill Community Church ending its leadership deficit. The project participants were challenged to examine their personal lives as disciples of Christ, improve their knowledge of the Word and biblical doctrines, and enhance their ability to fulfill the Great Commission and The Great Commandment. The desired long-term results of this project are to provide a robust leadership development manual or toolkit that will provide a path that will lead people from being new converts to being mature disciples and ultimately becoming effective leaders who reproduce leaders. As the church prepares to be relevant in an increasingly Post- Christian society, leaders cannot continue to be inadequate and complacent about the work of the kingdom.

Training A Group of Teachers For New Believer Retention

Author
Kenneth G. Moren D.Min.
Abstract
Churches in the United States, regardless of denomination, are retaining fifty-one percent of new believers. This disheartening statistic was unacceptable to me and the leadership of Family Christian Center of Patterson, California. Unfortunately, we also had the same dismal retention rate of new believers and no strategy to resolve it. Thus, the need became the impetus to train a small group of teachers for new believer retention. The ABBA teacher training program was developed as a response to the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20) combined with theoretical principles for Christian service (Attachment, Belonging, Becoming, and Assimilation).
Instruction for the ABBA program is biblically based and formulated from Paulo Freire’s five ideas of dialogical learning and Robin Alexander’s theory of dialogical teaching. ABBA is implemented in a repertoire of teaching that includes talk, teaching aids, technology and tests. This methodology was presented in two different workshops one month apart which included homework assignments for participants. Volunteers from Family Christian Center were trained to teach new believers in doctrine, Christian service and spiritual gifts in conjunction with an emphasis on retention in the local church.
Two important reasons for new believer retention: (1) for the growth and maturity of the new believer; and (2) for the assimilation of the new believer into the church to connect with other believers and actionize their Christian service. The ABBA program was designed for multi-denominational use with flexibility to accommodate the church’s teaching schedule. The Candidate’s project has demonstrated a successful pragmatic response to the new believer retention dilemna.

Developing Holistic Health in Pastors and Christian Leaders through a Supervised Peer Support Network

Author
Mark Schweitzer D.Min.
Abstract
This project is designed to develop holistic health in pastors and Christian leaders through a supervised peer support gathering. During the twelve week gathering that met for two hours each week the supervisor created a relational dynamic that allowed the participants to share their lives and ministry in a safe environment as they learned to assess themselves biblically using holistic health as a framework. Each participant set holistic health goals and used accountability provided by the supervisor and peer group. The project made a significant impact in the holistic health as those who participated developed new patterns or further developed old patterns.

Training for Children’s Ministry Leaders in Orange County Southern Baptist Association to Develop Preteens as Leaders

Author
Joni A. Lum D.Min.
Abstract
Equipping preteens as leaders is an essential part of preteen discipleship that not
only grows the individual but keeps him or her engaged in the local church. Children’s
ministry leaders need to recognize the preteen years as distinctly different from younger
childhood and equip preteens to serve in their church. This process is kingdom building
as stronger leaders are developed and student attrition is minimized. This project included
creating training for children’s ministry leaders, evaluating training results, and coaching
leaders through the early steps of creating their own preteen leadership program. While
most agreed this training was good and important, most were not able to implement due
to the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Developing a Governance Transition Plan at Fisher’s Peak Community Church (SBC), Trinidad, CO

Author
Bruce L. Knight D.Min.
Abstract
Plural-elder congregationalism was the predominant form of governance practiced in New Testament churches. Elders were a specific leadership group with specific roles, who functioned in a plurality and were sustainable. This form of governance has been helpful to Southern Baptist churches. An organization will be more likely to transition from one form of governance to another successfully if a transition plan is developed before the transition is attempted. During six sessions, the project director led the project participants to develop a plan for transitioning Fisher’s Peak Community Church (SBC), Trinidad, CO, from single- to plural-elder congregationalism. The purpose of the project is to lead a group in developing a plan for transitioning FPCC to plural-elder congregationalism.

Strategic Planning for Congregational Unity

Author
Garrett J Ho D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to lead a team in establishing a direction for the English Congregation of MBCLA and its leaders. Direction includes the identification of a present location, definition of a future destination, and coordinated effort to progress from the former to the latter. Pastoral staff and key ministry leaders will participate in strategic planning for one month to formulate the church’s mission, clarify its vision, and align its values. Traditionally, an organization’s vision represents its future destination alone. In the context of this project, all three elements are aspirational as they define where the church wants to be. The mission statement explains why the church exists, while the vision statement unites the congregation toward a desired future. Core values describe the character of the church. Subsequently, the definition of these elements will enable staff and ministry leaders to evaluate their current practices in ministry. In the two months that follow, these leaders will make initial efforts to move the church from its present location toward the future destination by focusing on the mission, contributing to the vision, and embodying the values within their ministry responsibilities.

Equipping Members of FBC in Evangelism

Author
Breckenridge L Merkle D.Min.
Abstract
This project was designed to meet a need at FBC Black Forest for evangelizing the community with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The project was conducted using a case study group of nine individuals. The team was tasked to identify those who needed to hear the gospel and find opportunities to share with them on a regular basis. Upon processing the data, three skills were identified toward having a lifestyle of evangelism: (1) identifying your oikos, (2) clearly articulating your salvation testimony, and (3) engaging in evangelistic conversation. The church must take intentional steps forward to share the gospel in the communities surrounding the church.
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