Church renewal

THE NECESSITY OF GOSPEL-CENTERED PREACHING IN KOREAN CHURCHES: THE PROBLEM OF CONFUCIANISM AMONG KOREAN CHRISTIANS

Author
Samuel No Cheol Park D.Min.
Abstract
The Korean Church is experiencing a very sudden and serious collapse. There can be many sound reasons for its collapse, however, the most critical problem is Confucianism that is deeply rooted in the Korean Church from the beginning to today. All the power that the church needs comes from the true gospel, but Confucianism in the Korean Church hindered the true Gospel to be the Gospel. Therefore, this major project defines the biblical meaning of the true gospel and danger of changing gospel to other gospel just like what happened in the Galatian Church in Paul’s day. To identify the validity of the assertion of the project, the author chose three influential preachers in the Korean Church and received their answers for the five questions that the author carefully made up; and also received one sermon from each preacher to present criteria about the gospel-centered sermon along with author’s three sermons. As a result, it is true that Confucianism has been infiltrated into the Korean Church from the beginning of its history and created a legalistic atmosphere and brought the absence of the power of the true gospel. All three preachers agreed with the author that Confucianism must be eradicated from the Korean Church, and Korean preachers must start to preach the true gospel to bring the life of Christ abundant in the Korean Church.

Stepping into the unknown : how imaging tools can help rebuild the church for a changed reality

Author
Rudolph Hendrik Van Graan
Abstract
After a discussion on the meta-shift in mainline churches in the United States, the trauma associated with decline, and suggesting building blocks for the future, the author offered three imaging tools, the Vision Board, SoulCollage® and the Visual Faith Project, that might help search committees and leadership teams in small and vulnerable congregations in the United Church of Christ discerning a vision and tangible goals for the future. Although these tools are focused on the individual, the author showed how each one of these tools could be used in the context of a group or a congregation as a whole.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

An exploration of John Wesley's transformational leadership, with a special focus on church revival and church growth and its challenge and relevance for the Wembley Methodist Circuit (WMC)

Author
Kofi Dennis Tekyi-Ansah
Abstract
The U. K. Methodist Church is in gradual decline, because it now exists in a postmodern, post-Christendom milieu. There is also a lack of effective transformational leadership skills among its leaders. A new ontology and new praxis are needed to address this new reality. This essay integrates transformational leadership characteristics and its practical application within John Wesley’s “Twelve Rules of a Helper,” updated by Mark L. Gorveatte in his Book “Lead like Wesley” as a catalyst tool, to equip the leaders of the Wembley Methodist Circuit (WMC) to initiate church growth. It is argued that these tools are not an end, but a major catalyst that can enable the Methodist Church to experience growth and revival.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Seeing visions and dreaming dreams : a case study of revitalizing god's visions for Westminster United Methodist Church

Author
Malcolm R. Stranathan
Abstract
Upon returning to two-hundred-year-old, county-seat church, the new lead pastor and a diverse group of twelve members worked to discern God's vision for the congregation. Two years on, this project was implemented to evaluate and refocus ownership of God's vision by the congregation. Using congregation behavioral surveys, a worship series based on Joel, and a balcony team (congregation's leaders and the lead pastor-- who served as consultant) planned, implemented and evaluated the congregational members' ownership of God's mission, vision and core values. A VisionWork tool evaluated the vitality and fruitfulness of existing ministries and created a refocused passion and revitalized mission to serve the community beyond the church's walls.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

The dream of discovery : preaching strategies for Wesleyan connection and identity

Author
J. Adam Sowder
Abstract
The author researched and developed preaching strategies to help integrate a local United Methodist church into a life of Wesleyan connection and identity. This effort was to stop their decline and aid their identity challenge, which included the retirement of their founding pastor of 33 years. This case study used the ethnographic method through participant observation and field notes. Metrics were collected and produced throughout the year and a half in which the project took place. These metrics show a stop of local church decline with ensuing growth in Wesleyan connection and identity through spiritual, numerical, and financial means.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Church leadership and the crisis of theological identity

Author
Michael Drew Shelley
Abstract
The crisis of leadership supposedly ravaging the Church in the 21st century obscures a deeper crisis of theological identity in which churches, pastors, and lay leaders have forgotten who they are, the home to which they belong, and the mission to which God calls them. The presenting symptoms of this crisis of identity are pastors and churches stuck in places of ineffectiveness, hopelessness, unhealthy expectations of each other, and general malaise. The project for renewed pastoral and lay leadership at Crossville FUMC has focused on the means of grace by which the Triune God creates the being of the church and from which emerge the corresponding practices of leadership which prepare the congregation for its ministry in the community. Pastors and people reclaim their identity by engaging the crisis of identity through theological questions of identity, “Who is God who creates the Church?” And, “who are we as the Church before God?” In so doing, churches clarify their identity as disciples of Jesus claimed by God in our baptism, members of God’s household with a place at God’s Table, and a community of disciples forever called into God’s mission. . . .

[Note: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited. The abstract was shortened in length to adhere to the submission requirements.]

Held together and sent out in grace : the interplay between prevenient grace and evangelism

Author
Kent A. Lundy
Abstract
Nationally, the average United Methodist invites one person to Church every 38 years (www.um-insight.net)! In what way can we leverage our understanding of Prevenient Grace to increase the number of invitations the congregants of Churubusco UMC extend to others? The author researched how differing emphasis of invitations helped persons invite others to church. Individuals were placed into small groups for this study period. The analysis suggested that a full understanding of Prevenient Grace is best expressed within small group accountability.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Wellsprings in the wilderness : forming shared ministries as a United Methodist renewal strategy

Author
Kevin R. Conrad
Abstract
In our current situation, named an ecclesial and cultural wilderness, a return to the wellsprings of theology as a source of ecclesial renewal is essential. In the tradition of Wesleyan practical divinity, the project focuses on formation of cooperative parishes as a theologically sound means of reordering the life of the church with the hope of missional renewal. The outcome of the project demonstrates how ecclesial and theological renewal complement each other. The author researched how formation of intentional Christian community can unleash new missional connection and capacity in a rural setting.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Cultivating God's farm : using agricultural and biblical stories and seasons to re-seed hope in small rural churches

Author
Rebecca Leigh Collison
Abstract
Through linking agrarian, biblical, and small rural church stories from the lens of farming the land, spiritual growth can be initiated and hope restored to the struggling small rural church. This project was conducted through small group study and discussion in small rural churches in a district of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church. Specific attention was given to one small church over a two-year period where qualitative and quantitative growth was realized as the individuals reclaimed their roots in God’s story and planted seeds of hope through rich layers of shared faith and stories.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Focusing the local congregation on missional discipleship as a means of congregational renewal

Author
Joseph Jathaniel Cavitt
Abstract
How can the vitality of Colonial Park United Methodist Church be impacted by a central focus on a practical theology of missional discipleship as it is implemented in the life of the church? The author’s project focused on a practical theology of missional discipleship during the first eighteen months of his pastoral appointment working to develop spiritual leadership and missionally reorienting this congregation. Through listening sessions, classes, training, and organizational restructuring processes, the congregation has grown in mission and has shown statistical growth indicating a beginning of a turnaround.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]
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