Baptist Churches/Congregational Churches

Practicing Sabbath to Reduce Stress Among Ministers in the Tyger River Baptist Association, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Author
James Hailstock
Abstract
The Sabbath is the zenith of God’s creation and the climax of living. The key to reducing stress among ministers is the Sabbath lifestyle which includes practicing the disciplines of prayer, silence, feasting and fellowshipping in addition to identifying the signs and symptoms of stress. The Sabbath lifestyle empowers ministers with coping skills that can be personalized and implemented consistently as they progress and deal with the daunting demands and responsibilities of ministry. This project tested and compared the stress levels of the research and control groups before and after teaching four courses (disciplines) in the context of a Sabbath lifestyle to the research group only. During the retreat, four activities relative to the four courses were practiced by the research and control groups to determine if the courses had an impact on the activities to reduce stress among ministers. The project also revealed the effectiveness of the instructor, research site, courses, retreat, and activities. The project revealed strengths, weaknesses, and missteps. The results established that the courses did influence the activities to reduce stress among ministers.

Assessing the Effect of Worship Education and Worship Renewal at First Baptist Church Kings Mountain, North Carolina

Author
Jonathan Bundon
Abstract
For many Christians, worship has been reduced to the entertainment value centered on self rather than the Triune God. Ignorance must be combated with worship education and worship renewal. For the worshiper, how one prepares for corporate worship affects their worship experience and informs their private worship. The four-week study, Spirit and Truth, introduced members of First Baptist Church Kings Mountain to worship education and renewal and challenged them to assess their own worship practices. Quantitative and qualitative test results and observations validated this project's needs. In addition, the project afforded opportunities that might contribute to a life-long experiment of maturing in worship. The project evidence supports further study of worship education and worship renewal in the church. For many Christians, worship has been reduced to the entertainment value centered on self rather than the Triune God. Ignorance must be combated with worship education and worship renewal. For the worshiper, how one prepares for corporate worship affects their worship experience and informs their private worship. The four-week study, Spirit and Truth, introduced members of First Baptist Church Kings Mountain to worship education and renewal and challenged them to assess their own worship practices. Quantitative and qualitative test results and observations validated this project's needs. In addition, the project afforded opportunities that might contribute to a life-long experiment of maturing in worship. The project evidence supports further study of worship education and worship renewal in the church.

The Effectiveness of Utilizing Various Memory Cues in the Preaching Event at Sandy Plains Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina

Author
Garin Hill
Abstract
Every Sunday pastors across the spectrum attempt to preach in memorable ways. So if traditional wisdom is actually true – most churchgoers forget the sermon immediately upon leaving church – then does that qualify as memorable? While realizing no sermon lingers forever, this project explores ways to give the sermon a longer shelf life in the parishioner’s memory. Specifically, by utilizing picture, story, and object lesson in various sermons, this experiment conducted at Sandy Plains Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina, examines which memory cues (if any) are most effective in keeping the sermon fixed in the long-term memory of its hearers.

Understanding the Complexity of Family: Examining Family Systems and the Process of Relationship for Families and Congregation of First Baptist Church Woodbury, TN

Author
William H Hay V
Abstract
Understanding the Complexity of Family: Examining Family Systems and Processes of Relationship for Families and Congregation of the First Baptist Church of Woodbury, Tennessee is a project designed to share family systems theory with families and church. Through six didactic sessions (triangulation, anxiety, self-differentiation, over and under functioning, crucial conversations, projection) and reflective journaling, families are encouraged to recognize the processes of being family and the parallel processes of family that are present in the life of a congregation. Using quantitative and qualitative instruments, results show that family and congregational functioning can be improved through raising awareness of systems process.

Bridging the Latino--Anglo gap: A transition towards a cross-cultural church at First Baptist Church, Robbins, North Carolina

Author
Ernesto Robledo
Abstract
In its 2,000 years of existence, the church has remained mostly segregated in regards to the inclusion of other cultures within one setting. Christians from various traditions have spent centuries trying to be more like Jesus as they worshiped in many different settings. Even though the church has been active for so long, the reality is that she has been predominantly white. Through an intentional pastoral project, twenty-four individuals participated in a four-week bilingual Bible study and a community-wide missionary event. These purposeful interactions proved that the church can change her traditional ministry pattern by engaging members of the Latino and Anglo congregation in a cross-cultural experience at First Baptist Church of Robbins, NC.

A PILOT PROGRAM OF SERMON-BASED COMMUNITY GROUPS FOR INTER-CITY BAPTIST CHURCH

Author
Daniel Winnberg D.Min.
Abstract
This project was a pilot program for adults to engage in sermon-based community groups. The goal of the project was not to define a long-term plan, but rather learn lessons for a potential future implementation of sermon-based community groups incorporated as a part of the shepherding strategy for the pastoral staff of Inter-City Baptist Church in Allen Park, Michigan.

The genesis of the project began at The Church of the Open Bible in Burlington, Massachusetts, where I served as pastor along with fellow elders. We discussed different strategies to aid us in shepherding the believers in God in our assembly, including practical steps to disciple one another. After a few small-group book studies and trial sermon-based groups were completed, it was decided to pursue a pilot program for sermon-based community groups. After having resigned as pastor there, I was afforded the opportunity to complete the project at Inter-City Baptist Church, where I served previously on pastoral staff. The project was completed with three groups: one that met on Sunday evening, a men's only group on Monday morning, and a third on Wednesday evening.

This project surveyed some biblical theological principles as a basis for sermon-based community groups. The project also surveyed some current key literature on the topic of small groups in general and sermon-based groups in particular.

The project concluded with an evaluation meeting with the pastoral staff. A good discussion took place on how the pilot program was executed, evaluation of the benefits of such a program, and a few options to be evaluated for potential future implementation in the life of the church.

DEVELOPING A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR TRANSFORMING THE WAYS IN WHICH AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCH MINISTERS IN A MULTI-ETHNIC CONTEXT

Author
K. Edward Copeland D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project created a strategic plan to transform the way a historically African-American church named New Zion Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois, does ministry in a multi-ethnic context. This project report detailed the process by which that strategic plan was formulated, evaluated, and designed to be implemented.

The project report began by providing the biblical and theological foundations for ethnic diversity within God's worshipping community. The project report also examined the current literature on multi-ethnic congregations and the contextual dynamics of African-American church history that impact ministry praxis.

The project was divided into a research phase and a synthesis phase. The research phase was designed to understand the current and projected demographics of the region and to ascertain the church's capacity and willingness for intercultural hospitality in light of the surrounding community's burgeoning immigrant Latino population. The synthesis phase of the project analyzed and interpreted the data and developed and evaluated a strategic plan with the help of the church leadership, membership, and ministry partners.

The project report concluded with a summary of the internal and external challenges New Zion must face in order to implement the strategic plan and the implications of this project for the local church and the church at large. Two insights gained from this project include that local Latinos viewed their cultural connection to Catholicism as a more significant barrier to interacting with an African-American congregation than doctrine or worship praxis and that biblical hospitality is essential to bridging ethnic and cultural divides.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIBLICAL PREACHING IN TRANSFORMING LIVES INTO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF PECATONICA, ILLINOIS

Author
David Myers D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of preaching in the local church is to cause the hearer to grow into the image of Christ. In Eph. 4:11-32; Paul shows the responsibility of the pastor/teacher or shepherd to "perfect the saints." God has given the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the church as means for every believer to grow. The pastor of First Baptist church of Pecatonica, Illinois, developed six messages from the Ephesians 4 passage and preached them in the Sunday morning worship services of the church. The people were given pre-sermon and post-sermon surveys as well as a five-day devotional each week. The purpose was to determine if spiritual grow took place over this time through the messages preached. It was concluded that spiritual growth does come from preaching but that it is hard to see in a short period of time.

Helping the Parents of Middle School Students Communicate Biblical Truths of Sexuality at the First Baptist Church of Lenoir, North Carolina

Author
Thomas Russell Hinton
Abstract
An educational program was developed to discover the role of the church in promoting healthy parent/child communication about sexuality. Believing scripture affirms sexuality as a blessing from God, parents and middle school youth were recruited and led through the study. Surveys measured attitudes, opinions, and understanding of biblical knowledge, anatomy, and communication levels. After the program the families were given two months to observe parent/child communication. Final surveys indicated that the church can play an active role in promoting parent child communication about sexuality, and participants reflected a positive outcome by recommending the continuation of this program as a part of the on-going youth ministry of the church.

Glimpses of Heaven among Friends: The Utilization of Film to Draw Interest in Small Group Studies at the First Baptist Church of Albemarle

Author
Roger William Thomas
Abstract
A small group study about heaven in scripture and contemporary film was developed in order to create interests in small groups. Believing small groups, discussions of the after life, and the power of storytelling are affirmed throughout scripture, individuals were recruited and led through the study. Surveys measured opinions on heaven and small groups among the entire congregation and the small group participants. Following the study, the participants were surveyed one final time on both subjects. Ultimately the study did not always change minds with concern to the afterlife, but the overall opinions of small group experiences seemed to be broadened.
Subscribe to Baptist Churches/Congregational Churches