The Effect of an Approach to Mission that Focuses on the Spiritual Formation of the “Remnant”
The thesis of this project was that "Participating in a pastoral ministry training program that focuses on spiritual formation, developing healthy relationships, and practicing a life of prayer in community will deepen each participant’s experience of God’s presence, and give each participant a renewed and clarified sense of mission." This thesis maintains that ministry in the church should focus on the spiritual formation of the most committed people in the church, called the “Remnant,” rather than on marketing the church to non-members. The concept of the Remnant in this thesis is based on the teaching of Anglican writer Martin Thornton. This thesis argues that the prayer, spiritual growth, and ministries of the Remnant will have a vicarious influence on the larger church and the world; the spiritual growth of the Remnant will naturally lead to increased ministry and mission. In this thesis, the biblical theology of the Remnant is complemented by Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST), which teaches that growth in healthy functioning by an individual in a system will contribute the health of the system. The thesis argues that the biblical theology of the Remnant and BFST are complementary approaches to understanding the relationship of the individual to the group and the impact of the individual on the group. This thesis project studied the result of four years of “pastoral ministry classes” that were aimed at the spiritual formation the Remnant in the church. These classes focused on a cultivating the participant’s lives of prayer and on understanding growth in healthy functioning in terms of BFST. It concluded that the classes gave most of its participants a renewed and clarified sense of mission, a new awareness of how their behavior impacts others, and helped the participants’ to development a new framework for helping others in healthy ways.
Degree Granting Institution
Doctor of Ministry
Leadership In Community Spiritual Formation
Type of Work
Number of Pages