United States

Pedagogical paradigm for leadership in a postmodern mega church context

Author
Joan Prentice D.Min.
Abstract
This paper presents a theological premise for understanding of the Church as it exists in Christ and its participation within the perichoretic relationship of the Triune God. The model is drawn from the interrelatedness and interpenetration of the three divine persons of the Godhead and the Church’s reality within that relationship. It sets forth a theology that is relational, and allows for a Christology, pneumatology and ecclesiology that is expressed in praxis. It is relational and missional in its outcome and situates a primordial understanding of the Church as an ontological and organic reality.

The Church’s behavior, that is, its work, worship, and mission is influenced by its own perception of self. In other words, the way we perceive ourselves as the church will be reflected in the way we do church and the way we are the church in the world, not just as institution, but as being; having its life, essential nature and personality inherent in the triune God of grace.

Gender Dysphoria And The Question Of Membership In The Local Church

Author
Shane A. Patrick D.Min.
Abstract
The past decade in American culture has increasingly become an exercise in deconstructionism in almost every way imaginable. The cultural touchstones of recent years include racially motivated protesting and rioting, claims of systematic racism and white supremacy, climate crisis, record-level inflation, a rise in cultural interest in neo-Marxist and socialist ideas, supply-chain gridlock, claims of election fraud, and record-high crime rates throughout the country. Another of these cultural touchstones, and the contextual focus of this project, is the active attempt of America’s increasingly secular culture to deconstruct and redefine sex, gender, and other sexual norms. The zeitgeist of this cultural moment includes a decoupling of sex and gender, and an attempt to encourage and normalize transgender identities and/or gender fluidity. This cultural deconstructionism also runs contra to the Christian worldview and Judeo-Christian values which introduces unique theological and ecclesiological challenges within the local church context. Among these challenges is the question of how to faithfully approach local church membership decisions with candidates who personally experience the burdens of gender ideology—which is the focus of this project.

INCREASING THE KNOWLEDGE OF TRANSURBAN DISCIPLESHIP AT JORDAN MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH OF LANCASTER, TEXAS

Author
Vernell Ross
Abstract
The purpose of this ministry research project is to increase the knowledge of transurban discipleship at Jordan Missionary Baptist Church of Lancaster, Texas (JMBC). Chapter 1 illuminates the history and the ministry context of JMBC’s African American membership and the goals of this project. Chapter 2 provides an exegesis of three passages of Scripture (Luke 14:25–35, 1 Kings 19:19–21, and Philippians 3:17–21) that examine biblical principles regarding personal Christian discipleship along with a brief overview of the usage of μαθητής (disciple) concerning Jesus’ command to “go make disciples” in the Great Commission. Chapter 3 examines relevant scholarship that presents a rationale for transurban discipleship by exposing racial discipleship while espousing and embracing Black evangelical theology. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, recounting the content and training method of the specific curriculum used as well as the measure utilized to determine if project goals were achieved. Chapter 5 evaluates the efficacy of the project based on the completion of specified goals. Ultimately, this project seeks to equip Christians with an understanding and praxis of vital spiritual disciplines that aid them in becoming more and more like Christ.

Vernell Ross, D.Min.
Supervisor: Carl Bradford, Ph.D.
The Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2022

Planning and Implementing Pastoral Succession at University Baptist Church Fairbanks, Alaska

Author
Grady Alan Cox D.Min.
Abstract
This Ministry Research Project aims to demonstrate a system for pastoral succession for congregationally governed Baptist Churches with by-laws requiring a pastor search committee system. Pastoral succession is a viable mechanism for pastoral selection in Baptist polity when certain factors are met, including predecessor’s tenure, successor’s qualifications and calling, and congregational understanding and support. Chapter 1 explains the opportunity for pastoral succession to create healthier churches and outlines the context, rationale, goals, and methodology used for this specific project. Chapter 2 examines biblical examples and exhortations from Scripture about succession of spiritual leaders in the Old and New Testaments (Moses/Joshua, Elijah/Elisha, Paul/Pastors, Jesus/Apostles). Chapter 3 argues for the advantages of pastoral succession through historical examples (St. Augustine, Gregory of Nazianzus, Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Fuller), and explores practical advantages supported by biblical leadership theory. Chapter 4 describes the planning, implementation, and results of a pastoral succession at University Baptist Church Fairbanks, AK. Chapter 5 evaluates the effectiveness of pastoral succession through set goals, defines theological principles supporting succession, and highlights best practices and common mistakes. Finally, it analyzes the possibility of using a similar process for healthy and intentional ministry leadership transitions.

Developing a Text-Driven Preaching and Learning Culture at Redemption Hill Baptist Church in Albany, NY

Author
Robert Eloy Martinez D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to develop a healthy text-driven preaching and learning culture among the disciples at Redemption Hill Baptist Church in Albany, NY. Chapter 1 introduces the ministry context and story of Redemption Hill Baptist Church, along with the overall goals represented in this project. Chapter 2 shows the biblical and theological support for developing a text-driven preaching and learning culture within the local church through an exegesis of three passages of Scripture (Ephesians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 4:1-4). Chapter 3 presents historical and practical support for the need of a healthy church culture that is centered on text-driven preaching and learning. Chapter 4 moves to describe the actual project implemented, concentrating on the biblical content, and the teaching methodology within the course that was developed and taught over a twelve-week period of time. Finally, chapter 5 is focused on evaluating the project that was completed while also regarding the success of the goals implemented, along with any variations desired.

The Revitalization of a Network of Churches: A Strategic Plan for Future Effectiveness of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International

Author
Randy Allen Harp D.Min.
Abstract
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI) was birthed in 1950 and rapidly grew to become the country's largest network of independent Baptists. Beginning shortly after the deaths of many of its key founders, the BBFI has been in a state of decline for decades. This project presents a strategic plan for the future effectiveness of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International.

Chapter 1 introduces the thesis and explains the methodology. The methodology includes research, interviews, surveys, a comparative study of a like organization, and work with a strategic planning task force. This chapter also addresses some theological issues and the practical application of the project for the BBFI. Finally, it highlights the goals of the project.

Chapter 2 explains the process of implementation. A generational study of the BBFI, along with key events and key leaders, is documented. The purpose, design, and participation of the survey and interviews are explained. The General Conference of Swedish Baptists, now known as Converge, is examined. The formation and execution of the BBFI Strategic Planning Task Force are outlined.

Chapter 3 provides an assessment of the entire project. The survey distributed for this project is directly compared to surveys distributed in the early 1990s by BBFI leaders. Insights are summarized from interviewing elected leaders and an outside expert on the BBFI, Elmer Towns. This chapter also assesses the stated goals of the project, specifically the strategic plan presented to BBFI leaders.

Chapter 4 summarizes the conclusions of the project. It evaluates the project's purpose and goals. It shares the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of the project. It reflects on theological insights gained and shows how the project can be applied to the BBFI. This chapter also includes some personal reflections and concludes with recommendations for further research.

Equipping Members to Practice Biblical Soul Care in Life Groups at Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina

Author
Bryan Daniel Nelson D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
This project sought to equip members of Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina to practice biblical soul care in Life Groups. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of Providence, the purpose and goals of this project, and the methodology used. Chapter 2 addresses care as a vital component of healthy discipleship; showing biblical soul care flows from God, is motivated by love, reflects Christ, and is best practiced in community by exegesis of several passages of scripture (2 Cor 1:3-7, 1 John 4:7-12, and Heb 10:24-25). Chapter 3 highlights the history and language of soul care, the relationship between care and discipleship, the responsibility of soul care for every believer, and necessity of care being rooted in God’s Word. Chapter 4 outlines the project and addresses specific methodology and equipping content. And Chapter 5 evaluates the efficacy of the project based on the completion of its specific goals.

Equipping Deacons of Iron City Baptist Church, Iron City, Georgia for Biblical Servant Leadership

Author
David Allen Williams D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip deacons of Iron City Baptist Church, Iron City, Georgia to serve the church as servant leaders. The first chapter goes into great detail of the context of not only the church, but also the surrounding community. By way of understanding the context of the church and community, one can see the great need for biblical servant leaders as well as determine whether this project is helpful to you in your context. Chapter two intently researches the biblical foundation of the office of deacon, as well as argues for the role of the deacon to be one who leads, as well as one who serves. The third chapter narrows its scope to argue for a shared leadership model among the servant leader deacons of any given church. Chapter four is the implementing of the project itself. It includes all that is needed to duplicate the project at your church, such as the four-session training material, as well as how I recruited participants, developed the curriculum, and taught the curriculum. The final chapter is simply personal evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the project. I discuss things that I learned as a result of the project, things that went well as well as some things that I should have done differently. In the appendixes you find all the various aspects that you need to print and use for your own training, such as the training material itself, the recruitment letter, the pre-and post-test, etc. May the Lord bless you as you glean from this project for your own project or implement in your church.
David Allen Williams, Doctor of Ministry in Christian Leadership
Advisor: Dr. Shane Parker, Ph.D.
School Name: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2022

A Critique of Multi-Site Churches and Southern Baptist Ecclesiology

Author
Mack Dale Roller Jr. D.Min.
Abstract
There are very few subjects in the church growth arena attracting more controversy than the subject of Multi-Site Churches (MSC). On one hand, MSCs have been touted as being successful in “reaching” more people with fewer resources, making it a very efficient and effective strategy for church growth. On the other hand, the structure of MSCs have been called into question. Some claim this movement runs wide of Baptist ecclesiology, resulting in a deluded and distorted representation of the NT teaching concerning the doctrine of the church. Southern Baptist opponents claim MSCs are a breach of Article VI of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. The question at hand: Is it possible for one church to maintain Southern Baptist ecclesiology, particularly adhering to the BFM2000 Article VI, and adopt the MSC strategy? The research will address Southern Baptist ecclesiology from a biblical and historical perspective. An evaluation of the definition and history of the MSC movement as well as an evaluation of the various structures of MSC strategies will provide essential for a solid conclusion. A review of the critics, as well as a response to their prominent objections, is necessary to achieve thorough evaluation. It is the claim of this research project that it is possible for an MSC to adhere to Article VI of the BFM2000. It is the prayer of this researcher that this work will serve Southern Baptist churches as they seek to obey the Great Commission.

Training Members of New Life Gospel Church in Keller, Texas to Understand the Love of God for Sustained Spiritual Growth

Author
Tiejun Wang
Abstract
New Life Gospel Church (NLGC) Keller, TX a Chinese immigrant church, has been at a bottleneck for quite a while. The situation was analyzed through biblical research, historical review, and theoretical study. The analysis revealed that the Christians of NLGC Keller were still living in a state of spiritual war. Then, the project was designed to focus on solving this issue through ongoing heart transformation by the love of God.
The project is called “heart transformation project.” Only God’s love can transform the heart. Therefore, Christians’ hearts must be put into the circulation of God’s love. The argument is whether God’s love can continue transforming Christians’ hearts. If Christians’ hearts can continue transforming through receiving and giving God’s love in the love-circulating system, the church will certainly grow up sustainably.
Focusing on heart transformation, the project can be utilized as a discipleship training program. Through the process of transformation by God’s love, Christians are expected to grow up quickly to become acceptable to God after His own heart.
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