Church growth

Selected Case Studies Investigating the Principles of Visionary Leadership of the Senior Pastor in the Revitalization of a Declining Church

Author
Ronnie L. Stanley Jr. D.Min.
Abstract
As early as the 1980s, church growth specialists began to sound an alarm concerning the death, decline, and revitalization of churches. These specialists identified an association between pastoral leadership style, the presence of a compelling vision that identified how the church should look in the future and key actions that would result in the cessation of the decline and initiation of revitalization.

The readers will discover that there is an association between the visionary leadership of the pastor and the principles used to impact at least eight different spheres of the ministry that have been entrusted to him.

This dissertation defined “visionary leadership” as leadership that inspires people to change because of two things: the Senior Pastor’s model and message. The project will examine the role the of selected senior pastors and the impact of their visionary leadership on the revitalization of a declining church.

The primary means of investigation and research in this project was the use of eight case studies of pastors, which will assess their leadership style and its impact on revitalization. Some of these pastors entered their churches more than twenty years ago, and some began three years ago. In each case, their churches have experienced marked growth after a period of decline.

The literature review provided an informed approach to this project by examining sources that explored vision, vision communication, transformational leadership, outreach, assimilation, and church growth.

Criteria for the Development of a Small Group Model for the Second Baptist Church Of Macaé

Author
Ivis Costa Fernandes D.Min.
Abstract
Many churches live in search of the new model of ecclesiastical functioning that will lead them to the proper care of the flock and to growth. Some varied from one model to the next, in an endless search. Others have been frustrated and are disappointed with the possibility of healthy growth. This is the reality of many churches regarding small group models. What will help churches to develop healthy small groups is a comprehensive understanding of the topic, from some essential perspectives.

The objective of the research was to identify criteria that would guide the Second Baptist Church of Macaé to build a new model of small group ministry suited to its reality and needs. The literature review pointed to six hypotheses of guiding criteria. From in-depth interviews with eight pastors and church leaders with strong small-group ministries, the hypotheses were confirmed.

The research concludes with a proposal of procedure for the implementation of the ministry in the church, as well as suggestions of themes for future studies, which can help in the deepening of practical questions of the research.

To Be Churched or Unchurched: The Millennial's Dilemma

Author
Robert J. Phillips D.Min.
Abstract
This project will address the decline of the millennial generation’s church attendance within the 08033 zip code during the past decade. There are times a church can have the appearance of being a successful church, but the zeal of both the clergy and the respective congregation is slowly diminishing. The older generation continues to do their best to keep the ministry viable and alive to some degree, but at the same time, a younger generation, many times made up by millennials does not see the importance of the communal aspect of church other than what occurs on Sunday morning. It is becoming more obvious that that we are dealing with a generation of believers that are not like our parents or grandparents. Tradition appears not to be the millennials calling card. We will show that millennials love God, not just the church service that has stood for decades. Today’s church must provide opportunities for them to serve based upon their needs for church and commitment. The statistical data was gathered by the author of this thesis through several one-on-one discussions with the clergy of the five surveyed churches and with several millennial residents of the town of Haddonfield, New Jersey. Examples in the ministry of the apostle Paul were gathered from the MacDonald Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald and A Theology of the New Testament by George E. Ladd.

Identificación de Factores Que Contribuyen al Crecimiento de ta Sede Hispanohablante del Modelo Multisitio de Grace Church, in Greenville, Carolina del Sur.

Author
Robby Richard D.Min.
Abstract
El objetivo de la presente investigación es identificar los factores, desde la perspectiva del liderazgo de la iglesia, que contribuyen al crecimiento de la sede hispanohablante de Grace Church, en Greenville, Carolina del Sur, EE. UU., y, por ende, que contribuyen al alcance de la comunidad hispanohablante en su contexto con el evangelio.

El modelo de iglesia multisitio está formado por congregaciones que se consideran parte de una misma iglesia local y se reúnen en diferentes lugares geográficos y espacios físicos. A pesar de que no cuenta con una larga trayectoria de años, ya ha evidenciado signos positivos de eficacia para el alcance evangelístico de diversas comunidades pluriculturales. Estas huellas de competencia del modelo se hacen visibles en resultados observables en la experiencia práctica de su aplicación y en datos disponibles en diversas fuentes.

La presente investigación reveló que los factores propuestos en las hipótesis formuladas son, en efecto, válidos. Además, aportó información valiosa sobre otras dos características específicas del ámbito organizacional y eclesial que fortalecen la relación entre la sede hispanohablante y la iglesia anglohablante. Estas constituyen la base esencial para la efectividad de los elementos propuestos en las hipótesis.

Para aquellas iglesias que deseen implementar el modelo multisitio, es recomendable tomar en cuenta el entorno demográfico donde se desea abrir una sede, las características propias del tipo de la comunidad eclesial que se desea, y los principios únicos que cimientan toda comunidad hispana.

The effects of big picture presentations of the biblical story on the missional orientation of church goers

Author
Kyungsoo Kim
Abstract
Nearly a half-century of Christian scholarship points to the ongoing issue of missional deficiency within the Church, a pressing concern that coincides with Christianity’s observed decline in the West. Research on the subject indicates a widespread de-emphasis on God’s mission within Christian institutions, from churches great and small to the seminaries that train their leaders. This consequentially obstructs the missional development of individual believers, the true units of the Body of Christ, who were sent by Christ to carry out God’s mission and advance God’s Kingdom not only overseas, but in their local communities. Given this stagnant and self-defeating state of the Western Church, a remedy that restores the Church through breakthrough missional growth must be found. For this study, a cross-disciplinary methodology was constructed from the substance of scripture, the unifying lens of biblical theology, and relevant social scientific models specifically concerned with the idea adoption process and the effectiveness of training practices. The research conducted reveals that yes, a focused missional message with a unifying emphasis on scripture can observably improve the missional orientation of believers, realigning them with God’s mission in their daily lives. The implications and applications of the results are significant, showing that all test group participants improved significantly in their missional knowledge and missional postures/attitudes after receiving the big picture message. There were also significant indications that participants were forming missional intentions/decisions that could inform future implementation of missional behaviors for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. This study provides ample evidence that the key to developing the missional orientation and awareness of churchgoers is a big picture approach to the biblical story, which traces the origins and trajectory of God’s mission from the days of Moses to the end of days.

Wesleyan revitalization of the church rooted in a theology of abundance

Author
Anthony Jason McCullough
Abstract
"How can Prattville First United Methodist Church employ a theology of abundance through engagement in the Wesleyan means of grace to overcome a religious identity of overwhelming scarcity? The author's project explores and focuses on this question through a re-envisioning of ministry structures within a local United Methodist congregation through contextual assessment, community collaboration and Biblical engagement. Through theological engagement with the subject of Biblical abundance, this project paper will articulate how a church can move from the power of a belief in scarcity to a practical holiness rooted in professing God's good news. Through small group conversations, experiential worship services, Bible studies, a sermon series, and intentional formation efforts, First United Methodist Church has grown in its orientation towards Biblical abundance, renewed religious identity and revitalization. The paper serves as a reflection on this transformation process with hopes to empower other local churches as they seek to discern and initiate revitalization in their congregations." -- Leaf [2].

A study on revival and building healthy spiritual soil of Korean Methodist Church of Queens with traditional soil

Author
Chul Yun Lee
Abstract
"The purpose of this paper was to find the possibility to transform the traditional Korean immigrant church in New York, USA into a church with healthy spiritual soil. As the new pastor of Korean Methodist Church of Queens, which had been on traditional soil for 33 years, the author deeply [was] concerned about what it takes to be a healthy church. So to accomplish this purpose, the author designed two programs : "Banaba training" and "Incarnational leader training." In conclusion, these projects showed positive results that, after implementation, helped transformation and maturity in the spiritual character and attitude of the leaders of Korean Methodist church of Queens." -- Supplied by the author.

Redeeming failure : how the stories of failed church plants point toward fruitfulness

Author
Matthew G. Johnson
Abstract
"New church starts in the United Methodist Church experience failure at a surprisingly high rate. The author spoke with six United Methodist Church planters to learn about the ways they experienced fruitfulness in ministry even as their projects were not deemed successful. Many of these stories have not been previously told and the author found it meaningful and important to share the stories of the important work that these planters accomplished. Using the information gathered from these stories, the author makes suggestions as to how church planting in the United Methodist Church might change to offer greater support and success to those people who are attempting to start new churches." -- Leaf [2].

A study on the indigenous church with Three Self Principle in Sri Lanka through SMC (Sri Lanka Mission Community)

Author
Woong Won Ha
Abstract
". . . . [T]he author explored . . . the indigenous church with Three Self Principle in Sri Lanka through SMC (Sri Lanka Mission Community) . . . . [T]he author observed a model of indigenous church from the early church and St. Paul to the church history of mission in part one. When he studied the model of indigenous church, he found three Self Principle such as Self-Supporting, Self-Governing, and Self-Propagating for the healthy indigenous church and several attempts in the mission history of the church. In part two, the author researched how to build the healthy indigenous church with three self-principle through 15 churches of SMC for 3 months, in a practical manner. For that, firstly, he provided a consultation with 15 pastors of SMC church and a reporting back to their churches. Secondly, he created a seminar that challenged 15 participants to evaluate their ministries with three self-principle and sought solutions by them. Thirdly, he provided two workshops for feedback, ministry and finance evaluation for the healthy indigenous church with three self-principle. Finally, he concluded this project to find the advantages and disadvantages through an analysis and evaluation." -- Leaf [2].

Re-committed : remembrance of baptism as a means of church growth and lifelong discipleship

Author
Levi Santure Gardner
Abstract
"The growth of churches is predicated upon the membership claiming the inheritance of baptism and living into the expectations of their initiation into Christ's holy church. The author analyzed the role of baptism in the life of a congregation where most do not remember or recall the moment of their baptism. In this evaluation, the author created tools for persons [in the United Methodist Church and other Christian traditions] to recommit to their baptism and the spiritual gifting that emerges from this practice. By so doing, the author intended to foster an environment of spiritual fruitfulness and congregational growth." -- Leaf [2].
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