Church work with young adults

Will Training Young Adult Christians to Evangelize Using the Five Thresholds Increase Their Confidence and Comfort in Sharing Their Faith?

Author
Peggy Ann Gibson
Abstract
With the declining of church attendance in generations younger than baby boomers, churches must shift their focus from maintenance to mission in order to avoid an existential threat. Reaching the younger generations will require a more personal approach than new programs and events. Overcoming skepticism and distrust are key factors in reaching the younger generations. The Five Thresholds Model will increase the confidence of young adults in the overall practice of evangelizing and, more specifically, in the practices of sharing their faith and inviting others to respond. The peer-to-peer evangelism training increased participants’ comfort level and confidence in sharing their faith with others.

CHALLENGES RELATED TO THE TRANSMISSION OF FAITH TO THE SECOND GENERATION IN A SMALL SUBURBAN CANTONESE CHINESE CHURCH

Author
Teresa Gianakakos D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project explored potential issues related to the transmission of faith to the second generation in a small suburban Cantonese Chinese church. It was initiated when the first generation at the church began to age, and the second generation who grew up in the church became disconnected and some even left the faith entirely.

Three qualitative research methodologies were employed to investigate the possible factors of second-generation exodus. Ethnographic observation, in-depth interview, and survey questionnaire were implemented. The first two methodologies extended to both the first and second generations at the church to explore their faith status, past experiences and perception of influences by Chinese and Western culture. The third methodology surveyed Chinese churches outside of this church to compare and contrast resulting data.

The methodologies were effective in eliciting data useful in recommending some possible considerations of ministries at the church. To produce these recommendations was also a goal of this project. The key conclusion was the first generation must be firmly established as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and live a transformed, holy life. Such transformation will not only touch the second generation, but also impact the surrounding community.

Towards a Holistic Education: Forging Integrative Approaches between Campus Ministers and Theology Faculty at Catholic Universities

Author
Rachelle M. Kramer D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores to what extent a synergy could be created between campus ministers and theology professors at U.S. Catholic colleges and universities that might contribute to a more holistic development (spiritual, moral, intellectual) of their students. The project overall seeks to learn how a holistic education can best be understood in Catholic higher education today as well as the factors that foster and hinder it. The experience of campus ministers and theology faculty, emerging adult theory, the Catholic Tradition, and integrative learning theory serve as dialogue partners in order to unearth new insights and concrete actions for the future.

ACTING JUSTLY: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RELIGION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR STUDENTS AT LAFAYETTE COLLEGE

Author
Alexandra M Hendrickson D.Min.
Abstract
Many students experience a disconnect between religious practice and social justice, even though social justice is a core value. Showing the connections between religion and social justice encourages these students to have a positive understanding of religion.

What effect will a six-week, small group on social justice in the Abrahamic traditions, have on their understanding and appreciation of religion as central to their ongoing formation?

The group of students I worked with experienced a strong connection between religion and social justice. After participating in the Religion and Social Justice small group, they hold positive, engaging, and holistic understandings of faith.

Believing God in a Chinese context : a practice of promoting the deeper mutual understanding between Christian faith and Chinese traditional culture

Author
Jungang Wang
Abstract
Most Chinese people, within whom traditional culture is deeply embedded, reject Christianity because they see only conflict between the values of the culture they cherish and the Christian faith. After the author lays out the biblical-theological foundations for the lecture series by analyzing the biblical resources, this dissertation explains the practical process of this research project including the survey before the lectures themselves, the observation description of the lectures, and the communications after the lectures. The analysis suggests that the lecture series is an effective way to remove misunderstanding of young adults in the Beijing Nankou Church. It not only benefits young adults but also the whole congregation.

[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.]

Spirit-led design : creating a congregational model for innovation

Author
Beth Ludlum
Abstract
The author led a research team that created a pilot program to test how human-centered design thinking can be adapted and applied in congregational settings. The team repurposed and supplemented existing resources to create a year-long curriculum for five congregations to experiment with new approaches to engage young adults. The team monitored effectiveness by soliciting reports at three junctures during the year; conducting individual interviews with participants; and collecting data through surveys. The program analysis suggests that a defined process, effective tools, and regular accountability are essential for congregations to be truly innovative rather than slipping into “quick fixes” or familiar programming.

[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.]

All things to all people : creating engaging, empowering, and evangelistic entry points of grace for millennials in 21st century traditional churches

Author
Allen L. Hollie Jr.
Abstract
Millennial engagement in traditional churches in the African American Community have experienced a vast decline in the 21st century. Pew research reports that 63% of the silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945) identifies with historically black denominations, while only 41% of black millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) say the same. Three-in ten (29%) African Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 claim to be religiously unaffiliated. Considering these statistics, many churches face the danger of extinction due to the lack of entry points promoting consistent engagement among millennials. The pressing issue then becomes how Black Churches as a whole (and more specifically, the Greenforest Community Baptist Church) can create engaging, evangelistic, and empowering entry points for millennials. This project will expound upon Paul’s mission strategy of becoming "all things to all people, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 [NSRV]) to serve as a theological framework for establishing evangelistic entry points for millennials into traditional churches.

[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.]

Space for grace : creative ministry in physical and online spaces

Author
Lisa Arledge
Abstract
Oasis, an urban mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, encourages millennials and people who do not normally attend church to experience God. Based on a theology of space within the Trinity, the researcher modified Oasis’s previous ministries to include small group interventions and original art and videos shared on an online blog. An online survey affirmed the values of creativity and shared experiences. The paper concludes with recommendations for Church renewal based on the intervention. Shared leadership, creativity, and flexibility will help young adults connect with God and each other and make the Church more accessible to all.

[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.]

Engaging Millennials: The Quest to Revive their Participation and Commitment at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, Gastonia, NC

Author
Kimberly Moore
Abstract
There are times when a church can have the look of success, but the zeal of that ministry is slowly diminishing. The older generation continues to do their best to keep ministry viable and moving, but there is a younger generation who does not see the importance of committing to anything beyond the Sunday morning experience. Through a series of Bible studies, sermons, outreach and moments of fellowship, this project engages the millennial generation and discovers ways to move them toward some level of commitment and participation within the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, Gastonia, NC. It is becoming more and more evident that we are dealing with a different generation of believers. This millennial generation loves God, but they do not care for tradition or routine. They are more tasks driven than program driven. Therefore, we must provide opportunities for them to serve based upon present need versus long-term desire.

EQUIPPING CHRISTIAN EDUCATION WORKERS TO SERVE AUTISTIC AND DEVELOPMENTALLY DELAYED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES

Author
Kelvin Roberts D.Min.
Abstract
There are currently gaps that exist in how the church provides support and spiritual formation for autistic children and those with other similar developmental delays. The purpose of this project is to examine the gaps that exist in the church's support of children with special needs, and the impact that the church can have by serving and supporting this population.

Traditional theological views on autism and similar conditions as well the universal church views on these conditions were examined. One objective of this project was to determine the effect these views have on the church's ability to serve and support these families, as well as to determine the amount of education necessary to provide the congregation, staff, and church leadership.

Interviews were conducted with three different families of children with special needs who have made unsuccessful attempts to attend church services. Interviews of one social service organization and two churches already addressing these issues were also conducted.

A Delphi survey with five special education experts who are also Christians was administered to glean strategies from the public-school system in teaching these children and supporting their families. Finally, compiling this information, a training course was developed in conjunction with a special education field leader that is designed to train church staff on how to work with and support special needs children and their families. The development of this training module is the key finding of this project.
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