Bethel Seminary (Saint Paul, Minn)

Disciple-making: Key Ingredients for Building God’s Kingdom

Author
Sidney Wes Emory Sr D.Min.
Abstract
The first century Church was founded in response to the disciple-making processes of Jesus. His disciples were transformed by following Jesus in a way that obedience, transformation, community, education, worship, and the expansion of God’s kingdom became the central themes of their lives.
This study addressed the need to understand the disciple-making process found in Scripture in a way that will yield the results that are found in the Book of Acts primarily those found in Acts 2:42-47.
Christian churches of every denomination, tradition, model, and size have been called to make disciples. The Scripture, literature, interviews, and surveys researched in this project were designed to discover transferrable suggestions that could focus all believers on the results of following the plans of God to build his kingdom using the process of disciple-making.
The results of the project revealed that the key to building the kingdom of God is found in the practices and plans of the ultimate disciple-maker, Jesus. It recommends having the correct mindset in of making disciples a part of everyday life, creating a deeper understanding of the worship of God, living relationally connected to other people in a process of becoming more like Christ, and focusing on God first in everyday life

MULTIETHNIC AND MISSIONAL: GOD’S HEART FOR AN INTEGRATED AND DIVERSE CHURCH

Author
Justin Hiebert D.Min.
Abstract
The American church is largely segregated and homogenous. This has not only stunted the growth of the church but led to an ineffective and limited mission vision. The contemporary American church must reclaim the biblical mandate to be both ethnically diverse and missionally minded. Through a qualitative research methodology this research project focuses on creating a healthy and sustainable multiethnic identity and leadership structure. Through interviewing and visiting some of the leading multiethnic churches of the Central Valley of California, the researcher lays out a clear understanding and argument for multiethnic churches. This paper examines the book of Acts, interviewing insights from key pastoral leaders, and provides a key table and summary of actionable next steps.
The insights from the book of Acts reveals that God’s original intent for the church is to be both multiethnic and missional. Contemporary literature highlights the necessary traits and qualities for healthy and sustainable leadership. Finally, interviews with leaders engaged in ministry show the foundational attitudes and characteristics leaders must possess to lead their churches through a successful transition to multiethnic.
For leaders engaging in multiethnic ministry, there are five key leadership characteristics that they must practice: humility, personal holistic health, community engagement, an intentionality in seeking out different voices, and a celebration of diversity.

A Phenomenology of Authentic Leadership

Author
Joshua James Tilley D.Min.
Abstract
Objective: To grasp the characteristics and essence of authentic leadership as seen and experienced through the lives of those who have served under and/or over those they perceive and identify as “authentic” or “high quality” leaders.

Method: A literary review and a biblical review were conducted to establish the current scholarship related to authentic leadership. A new phenomenological study was conducted in October of 2018. 12 individuals were interviewed either in person, by phone, or via a video chat.
Results: The result was a literary study, a biblical review, and a new phenomenological study of authentic leadership.

Conclusions: Through the phenomenology and subsequent qualitative research, the researcher came to the conclusion that authentic leadership is provided, felt, and acted upon in different ways by different people in different cultures, but the one universal essence of authentic leadership is the paradox of “relief” and “peace” preceded by a sense of “anxiety” and “pressure,” which is provoked within the follower by the leader. Trust is built through the process.
A model of existential peace is offered to demonstrate this meaning, but no model for creating an authentic leadership is presented as a phenomenology does not provide the groundwork needed to establish such a theory. All cultures represent leadership in different ways, so further research would need to be conducted to create such a model.

Narratives Church: A Missional Church Planting Path for Cultivating a Unified Theological Vision

Author
Mark Miller D.Min.
Abstract
This research project focused on the development of a unified theological vision for the missional movement. The researcher conducted a thorough investigation of Scripture and current biblical material in order to discern the barriers existing within the missional movement. The researcher looked at key areas that shape the missional church planting movement: leadership development, theological interpretation of the early church, church planting methods and practice, ecclesiology, and the application and interpretation of Ephesians 4:11. Four church planting organizations participated: North American Mission Board, Acts 29 Network, Association of Related Churches, and Converge Worldwide. A questionnaire given to each movement revealed that there is indeed a disconnect from one movement to the next in terms of areas mentioned above.

Awana Together: Empowering Parents as Spiritual Mentors for Their Children

Author
Sara-Jane Heacox Sosa D.Min.
Abstract
The post-Christian culture in the United States presents a significant challenge to the spiritual growth of adults and children. At Plymouth Covenant Church, ministry leaders recognized that young parents often lacked a biblical foundation. Many did not feel competent to lead their children spiritually. These parents needed a vibrant personal faith as well as good role models. As a result, ministry leaders designed a more effective way to empower parents as spiritual mentors for their children. They created a new ministry that would provide personal faith development for parents, a supportive faith community, family-focused programming, and solid biblical teaching. This new ministry was a family version of Awana that they called Awana Together.

The problem that this project addressed was the need for a family ministry model at Plymouth Covenant Church that fostered a partnership between the church and families that empowered parents as spiritual mentors for their children. It used an intrinsic case study approach to evaluate Plymouth Covenant’s unique ministry, Awana Together, to determine if it provided a pathway for a better partnership between the home and the church in empowering parents as spiritual mentors. The research included evaluations of biblical passages and current scholarship, surveys of past and present Awana Together participants, focus group discussions with ministry leaders, and in-depth questionnaire responses from three different families. The research revealed that Awana Together was successfully designed to meet the goal of empowering parents as spiritual mentors for their children.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? EFFECTIVE PREACHING IN A POST-CHURCH CULTURE

Author
Randall Dean Ahlberg D.Min.
Abstract
This project addressed the need for preaching principles that more effectively communicate to those living in the realities of our current cultural. In examining the sermons of the apostle Paul, it was evident that he significantly contextualized his message to his various audiences, demonstrating for all preachers the need to engage in not only good exegesis of the text but in good exegesis of the audience. The researcher attempted to gain a better understanding of the culture of the community surrounding his church in Andover, Minnesota and ways to communicate clearly to this culture. The primary tool used was a survey conducted at a community festival on church property. The survey was designed to measure the level of biblical knowledge of the participants and also to investigate the relationship between church attendance and the demonstrated levels of biblical knowledge. The assumption of the researcher was that preachers often assume their congregations know more than they do, and this assumption was proven to hold merit. Finally, in assessing the above information, a set of homiletical principles were developed that embrace both a commitment to biblical preaching and an awareness of the realities of post-church American culture. One of the conclusions of the author is that a neglected aspect of homiletics is our need to wrestle through the striking differences between oral and written communication styles. The preacher’s preparation must keep these dynamics in mind if he/she hopes to communicate the timeless truths of the Bible to a time-bound audience.

An Investigation of Self-Care Practices and Principles Among the Pentecostal-Apostolic Clergy

Author
Chelsea A Hall
Abstract
The perspectives and practices of self-care among Pentecostal Apostolic (P-A) clergy from United Pentecostal Church International, Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship, and independent organizations, were investigated through a convergent-parallel mixed-method design. Analysis of self-reported survey data with triangulation of biblical, theological and psychological literature reviews produced four principles of self-care essential for P-A clergy. Self-care must be holistic, focused on personal not congregational well being, practice active non-judgmental self-awareness, and accept personal limitations. Self-worth resides in God's acceptance, not ministerial success or failure. Participants reported embracing the necessity of self-care without adequate practice and displayed a fragmented understanding of the concept and concept application.

A Model for the Development of the Leaders of a Regional Gospel Movement

Author
Daniel R Nold
Abstract
The problem this research project addressed was the need for a leadership development model for a regional gospel movement. The researcher explored biblical principles of leadership development exemplified in the life of Moses (a noted movement leader). The researcher then turned to the books of Acts and Ephesians to glean leadership development principles from the gospel movement which occurred in Ephesus. This was followed by a review of literature focusing on gospel movements and their leaders. Finally, the researcher conducted a study of sixteen leaders using grounded theory methodology. The results were used to construct a model of leadership development for a regional gospel movement.

From Apathy to Mission: A Critical Transition for Pastors and Leaders of Faithful, Yet Changing Congregations

Author
Dale R Stiles
Abstract
Throughout the researcher's 20 years of ordained ministry in the Lutheran Church he has continually been interested in the critical role effective biblical discipleship practices have on the 21st century church as well as the church of the future. It is evident in many communities of faith and among individual believers that there is a problematic lack of passion, urgency, and interest in faithfully carrying out one's call to discipleship. For this project five individual congregations and their pastors were studied and assessed as models that have bridged the gap from apathy to mission and from casual observer to faithful disciple. Data was gathered through general observation, open-ended questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, and surveys. Through grounded theory and a phenomenological approach to research, core concepts that can aid communities of faith in bridging the gap from apathy to mission were identified.

A Model for Small Church Leadership to Support Thier Minister's Self-Care

Author
Jeremy S Allard
Abstract
The complexity of vocational ministry is difficult to manage and maintain. Balancing the complex nature of the church, relationships, family life, spiritual and personal life provides the minister with a struggle that rarely ceases. Pursuing self-care within this environment can provide relief to the struggle but is difficult to do alone. The study seeks to provide a model for local church leadership to support their minister so he or she can successfully manage ministry and personal life through self-care practices. The project identified ministers employed in Stone-Campbell churches with a weekly attendance of less than 125 in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A survey was sent to these ministers asking what types of support they receive from their congregation and leadership. The results of the survey identified five ministers who received the highest support. These five ministers were interviewed to determine the relationship between the church leadership support and their self care practices. The biblical and theological review examined the imago Dei's relationship with the elements of self-care with a priority towards spiritual formation. The literature review identified six strategies for successful self-care practice. The interviews identified three relationships that influence the practice of a minister's self-care. These relationships are the foundation to the model for how church leadership can support their minister's self-care.
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