Christian life

The Fear of the Lord: Its Meaning and Use as a Motivation for Christian Living

Author
Bradley R. Sickler D.Min.
Abstract
The fear of the Lord is a multifaceted concept. Rather than trying to narrow down the definition to one concept, this study defines the concept in terms of four broad vantage points: first, the fear of the Lord as an emotional experience with the living God; second, the fear of the Lord as an objective truth which can be taught to people; third, the fear of the Lord as a motive for behavior; and finally, the fear of the Lord in relation to the love of God. The study was motivated by a realization that it was rarely specified as a motive in Christian decision-making or Christian behavior among the congregation. To address this problem and pastorally respond to it, this study makes use of the discipline of biblical theology, tracing the theme of the fear of the Lord and its development from Genesis to Revelation (chapter 2). Four main concepts pertinent to understanding the fear of the Lord are then examined from the perspective of systematic theology (chapter 3), in order to define the meaning and purpose of the fear of the Lord from both a biblical and systematic perceptive [sic]. In order to help the congregation understand and live in the fear of the Lord, an assessment of what the congregation currently believes about the fear of the Lord is also needed. Chapter 4 presents the results of field research undertaken to assess these belief’s utilizing ‘Q methodology,’ a research technique that allows the researcher to conduct a qualitative study using quantitative methods. Chapter 5 concludes with a summary of the results of this study and offers reflections on how to move forward in light of those results, as well as a discussion of ways in which the field research might be improved.

Enriching Christian Hospitality at Malaby's Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church in Knightdale, North Carolina

Author
Barbara Starr Barner
Abstract
Hospitality is the welcoming of strangers, family, and friends. In the early biblical and historical traditions, hospitality focused on welcoming the alien and extending resources to them. Hospitality, however, need not be limited to the basic physical needs of the stranger, but spiritual needs are to be addressed as well. In the reflection of Jesus’ work on the cross, Christian hospitality should be the intentional, responsible, and caring act of welcoming or visiting strangers, enemies, the distressed, downtrodden, without regard for reciprocation. The goal of this project was to enhance Malaby’s Christian hospitality culture and take our personal interactions to a higher spiritual level, thereby, nurturing, caring, and maturing the body of Christ. The ultimate goal of this study was to have this work be an available tool to address similar church congregations that need to create or enhance a positive culture of Christian hospitality.

MEMBERSHIP RETENTION IN THE CHRISTIAN MEDICAL & DENTAL ASSOCIATIONS

Author
Allan Harmer D.Min.
Abstract
Affiliation with CMDA has historically been through membership. The number of members in an organization argues for attention and influence in the marketplace of ideas. It is a barometer of how participants view the value and relevance of an organization. Like other professional associations, CMDA's efforts to acquire and retain members has not produced the same results as in the past. The number of new members has not kept pace with those cancelling their memberships. Concern over CMDA's failure to retain members has motivated the present study.

The process of investigating the problem of membership retention included an internal analysis of CMDA's efforts, a literature review of professional associations and perspectives drawn from organizational and biblical change. Research suggested that a number of external forces in the last twelve years may have contributed to a drop in membership renewals: economic upheaval, dramatic generational shifts, technological changes, increased competition, and unprecedented changes in healthcare. Internally, due to its age and previous success, CMDA may have failed to respond to younger generation's expectations for greater value and benefits. Research also suggested that organizations failing to adjust to changing demographics may experience reduced influence and impact.

Survey and Focus Group data suggests that members want a more personal CMDA that facilitates the development of community on the local level, a greater focus on the needs of healthcare professionals and a greater priority on training-to-practice transitions, member engagement, marketing and resource development.

Incorporating giving as an integral part of worship at Blessed Harvest Institute of Charlotte, North Carolina

Author
Brian Gerard Fite
Abstract
Giving is one of the most effective forms of worship we have available to us, but it has become the most exploitive and misunderstood element of the worship service. The methods and language used to frame giving within worship have led to exploitation resulting in unwillingness to wholeheartedly participate in giving as an element of worship. The literature addressing giving and the biblical interpretations are lacking in accurately speaking to the issues that arise in applying Old and New Testament scripture to address giving as an element of worship. There are a growing number of articles attempting to address the covetous nature involved in the methods and language used in inviting people to give to God. This work evaluated the giving practice in Blessed Harvest Institute by evaluating some Old and New Testament scriptures and determining how the interpretations are to be applied in the methods and language used to frame the giving experience in the worship service. Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 14:22-29, Malachi 3, Acts 3-5, 2 Corinthians 8-9, and other scriptures were used to understand the methods and language of giving biblically. Giving is to be a freewill expression of worship executed in an environment of liberty. It is necessary to reframe the concept of tithing not to be an obligation but a personal choice to express worship to God. Any prompting will remove worship from giving. Worship is a free expression that must be voluntary; therefore, giving must be voluntarily expressed, not grudgingly, by compulsion or of necessity, in order to be an element of worship.

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.

Equipping selected leaders at First Baptist Church, DeLeon, Texas, with team-based ministry competencies

Author
Daniel Harper
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected leaders at First Baptist Church, DeLeon, Texas, with team-based ministry competencies. This doctoral project involved three parts. First, the project director researched the field of team ministry through the creation of an annotated bibliography, focusing on the topics of team ministry and leadership. The information gathered from the annotated bibliography was used to create a report on best team ministry practices. Second, the project director utilized this information to develop a team ministry workshop. This workshop was comprised of four sessions that were each divided into two parts. Finally, the project director utilized the workshop to equip a selected group of leaders in team ministry competencies.

The Abide Project's Effect on Experiencing God's Presence in Daily LIfe

Author
Dean Wertz D.Min.
Abstract
The thesis seeks to answer: How will a three-month all-church focus on abiding in Jesus affect the participants' experience of God's presence in their daily lives? The Abide Project was facilitated in the fall of 2018 for children, youth and adults at Hope Community Church (Denver, CO0; included sermons, small groups and daily reminders; and was measured by mixed-methods. The quantitative assessment (compared pre and post-training scores from the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale by Dr. Lynn Underwood) and the qualitative assessment (8 phenomenological interviews) concluded that the project increased the participants' experience of God's presence in their daily lives. An invitation to abide from John 15:1-11 would increase the participant' attentiveness and experience God.

Building Christian Family: From Understanding to Practice

Author
So Ying Chu D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis mainly explores believers' understanding and practices of establishing a Christian family. It also attempts to understand the real needs of believers’ family as well as to provide strategies for developing family ministry. Hopefully it will be used by churches as a reference for evaluating the needs of their own church congregation and using appropriate strategies in response to the problems. The solution to the faith-related problems faced by modern Christian families is to have the family move towards an authentic Christian life, so that they can overcome the challenge and become a witness for the glory of God.

Spiritual Formation in a Hong Kong Chinese Context: A Personal Journey, a Teachable Model Based on 1 John 2:12-14, and a Research Report

Author
Daniel Hung Fai Cho D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, the author describes Christian spiritual formation as a growth process with common stages and tasks with reference to 1 John 2:12-14 while acknowledging the uniqueness of spiritual experience for each individual Christian through spiritual autobiography. The common spiritual growth stages and tasks were developed as a model derived from an exposition with reference to 1 John 2:12-14. The uniqueness of Christian spiritual formation is acknowledged by a spiritual autobiography, which describes the author’s experiences with God and spiritual realities throughout his life. The universality of Christian spiritual growth is then suggested and illustrated through a model of spiritual growth from the passage. Lastly, a research project investigates the author’s teaching effectiveness in a Personal Growth course with ten students as participants in a Hong Kong (China) seminary using a combination of the two previous sections as teaching components in the journey of Christian spiritual formation. The findings and comments in this report bring to light some valuable teaching advice for Hong Kong seminarians concerning the duality of Christian spiritual formation. This report shows the effectiveness of incorporating the writing of a spiritual autobiography and exploring various learning tasks associated with 1 John 2:12-14, in that these were beneficial to the spiritual growth of Hong Kong seminarians.

Faith Goes to Work: An Impact Study of Integrating Christian Convictions with Workplace Practices

Author
Terry D Koehn
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact the missional practices of a small group of Elk City United Methodist congregants through their participation in an eight-week experience focused on the integration of faith with work. The process involved responding to pre-test and post-test surveys, learning and discussing relevant concepts, and reflecting on related articles and videos.
The results of the small-group process revealed that the participants become more adept in thinking theologically about work. The participants also grew in their ability to value God's purpose in the work of others and to develop God-honoring goals for their own work.
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