Clergy and laity

Great Expectations: Elevating a Congregation's Sense of Vocation to Biblical Heights

Author
Thomas E Richter
Abstract
This project asserts the thesis that preaching about the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers can help move the members of Cullman First Baptist Church in Cullman, AL, towards an every-member ministry model of ministry. The project consisted of a seven-week sermon series and a concurrent collaborative small group. The project director evaluated his project through comparing a pre-project questionnaire with a post-project questionnaire, through sermon feedback forms, and through small group interviews. The research indicates an 8.8% improvement in congregational knowledge and excitement in the areas of self-understanding and sense of vocation as part of God’s royal priesthood.

Perfect Love Casts out Fear: Exploring the Effectiveness of a Person-Centered Disability Awareness Seminar in a Congregational Setting

Author
Joshua H Jones D.Min.
Abstract
People with disabilities and their families frequently experience barriers toward inclusion and belonging in multiple spheres of life. These barriers are also present in Christian congregations. However, many congregations express a godly desire to love people with disabilities and their families without these obstacles.

The Old and New Testaments provide examples of how God’s people sought to love people with disabilities in their midst creatively and intentionally in response to God’s gracious actions, invitation, and command. Recent research in disability studies routinely highlight the necessity of being attentive to the uniqueness of each person with disabilities and his or her family. Recent work in the realm of sanctification also encourages Christians to practice active righteousness and vocation with an emphasis upon loving specific neighbors.

In light of current research, this project attempted to better understand the effects of a person-centered disability awareness seminar about the pastor’s own child in a single congregation using a mixed methods approach. A pretest posttest design was used in the quantitative phase of the research utilizing the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons with Disabilities (MAS) to measure attitudes (N = 42). A focus group was used in the qualitative phase of research (N = 7). Results suggest a person-centered disability awareness seminar can be an effective way to improve attitudes and relational engagement in a congregational setting.

Identificación de las Estrategias Para Acompañar a la Familia Pastoral Que Ha Sido Herida Emocional y Espiritualmente por Miembros de Sus Congregaciones

Author
Alejandro Roque D.Min.
Abstract
Se han hecho estudios acerca de pastores heridos que eventualmente abandonaron el ministerio. Sin embargo, poco se ha trabajado en la investigación acerca de la familia pastoral herida emocional y espiritualmente por miembros de sus congregaciones y de las estrategias de acompañamiento pastoral que les restaure exitosamente como familia y al ministerio.

El enfoque de este proyecto ha sido investigar y encontrar las estrategias de acompañamiento a la familia pastoral que ha sido herida y afectada de manera negativa. Las heridas emocionales y espirituales provocaron que algunos pastores y sus familias abandonaran el ministerio, la iglesia y en algunos casos hasta la separación o divorcio. La narrativa del proyecto habla acerca del impacto de las adversidades causantes de las heridas y del resultado en la vida de la familia de los pastores entrevistados.

En este proyecto se entrevistó a ocho pastores. Las familias de estos pastores fueron impactadas negativamente por los problemas ocasionados por miembros de sus congregaciones lo que les causó heridas emocionales y espirituales. Debido a los problemas en sus congregaciones, los pastores enfrentan múltiples presiones y exigencies de parte de sus iglesias, y las heridas emocionales y espirituales que esto les causa no han sido tratadas debidamente. La familia pastoral herida no ha recibido, por parte de sus denominaciones, el apoyo espiritual y emocional que les conduzca hacia la restauración. Por esta razón, se ha encontrado la necesidad de este proyecto: el encontrar estrategias de acompañamiento para traer sanidad a la familia pastoral.

Este trabajo de investigación incluye las estrategias de acompañamiento que ayudarán de una manera efectiva a que los pastores sean restaurados emocional y espiritualmente.

Nurturing clergy and laity relationships for effective ministry

Author
Drexel N. Mitchell
Abstract
"This project explores the challenges of the decline in clergy and laity relationships within local Christian Methodist Episcopal Churches on the Fort Worth District which has significantly impacted upward trajectory in creating an atmosphere of effective ministry. The project revealed that clergy and laity alike share mutual positive and negative concerns that, if bridged together with intentionality, provide a viable schematic for fostering evangelistic growth and the spiritual formation of disciples. Conclusively, the pastors, lay persons and churches of the Fort Worth District have displayed and experienced improvement in the area of church administration and refocused ministries that have the potential to increase growth spiritually and numerically." -- Leaf [2].

DEVELOPING ELDERS AT GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH OF SEAL BEACH

Author
Robert Wriedt D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project created a training program for potential elders at Grace Community Church of Seal Beach. The first section of the project is a biblical and theological study of Christian leadership generally and eldership specifically that locates elder training within Christian discipleship. It then moves on to an integration of the contemporary literature on elder and board training, seeking to combine the best of theologically driven works (such as those by Anyabwile, Rinne, and Strauch) with writers focused on practical concerns (such as Busby or Malphurs and Mancini) as well as secular leadership theorists (such as Kouzes and Posner, Greenleaf, and Carver).

The qualitative research project itself focuses on how to train elders using a nine-week small group format. Since elder training is rooted in the growth of character (“Be”), knowledge (“Know”) and practice (“Do”), each week’s meeting included sections on theology, ministry skills, and Christian character. Participant growth was measured by interviews before, during, and after the conclusion of the nine weeks, as well as by observed behavior within the context of the group. The project appendices include full descriptions of the course content that was taught and the readings that were assigned to participants.

One of the key findings from this project was the necessity of training elders prior to their invitation to serve as elders, rather than waiting for them to begin service on the board or even before they were asked to serve as elders in the upcoming year. An analogy would be to compare it to pre-engagement counseling, rather than pre-marital or marital counseling. Participants stated that the training provided clarity of what was expected of elders was very helpful in their discernment process, which excited some and caused others to opt out of the process.

CREATING A LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY TO ALIGN AND EQUIP LEADERS AT GRACE LUTHERAN MINISTRIES

Author
Joel Howard D.Min.
Abstract
Grace Lutheran Ministries in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, strives to affect both its congregation and community through ministry. As ministry grows, it is essential for Grace to implement a strategy for developing leaders and deploying them into ministry. This major project focused on the essential nature, culture, and strategies for empowering leaders from not just the paid staff but from among all of God’s people and then developing them in areas of character and competency. The project also focused on the importance of alignment in the leadership development process.

The project utilized three research methods. First, a Biblical, theological, and literary study of leadership development was done in the areas of character, competency, and alignment. Second, questionnaires and a focus group were used to understand the current view of leadership development and alignment among Grace’s leaders. Third, the nominal group technique was utilized to brainstorm key ideas and strategies for the leadership development strategy.

A strategic plan was developed that began with creating a leadership culture around the unified use of language through leadership principles. Then, four strategic goals were created to develop, deploy, and debrief leaders at Grace through the use of small groups, coaching, and large group settings. Finally, the effectiveness of the leadership principles and strategic goals were evaluated by Grace’s senior staff through a SWOT analysis.

A Qualitative Analysis of Church Leadership Conflicts in Evangelical Churches in Northern Nigeria With a View to Building a Better Transformational Leadership Model

Author
Timothy Danladi Nwan D.Min.
Abstract
The project addresses leadership conflicts among church leaders in evangelical churches in Nigeria with the view toward building a better transformational leadership model. To address these conflicts the project centered upon transformational leadership phenomena, showing that a leadership development training program model for the future leaders must be seen as a priority in all the evangelical churches in Northern Nigeria. Such a model would be based on the researcher’s qualitative research study, which used thirty-six participants from evangelical church denominations as a case study. The study included both interviews and fieldwork-based research, in which the case studies of church leaders were analyzed to understand their perspectives on their leaders, as well as their impact on the community of faith and the culture from a biblical perspective. The project intends to motivate church leaders to learn to respond effectively to conflict resolution in their ministries. The researcher will use this model approach to better equip and organize seminars and workshops for church leaders and other emerging leaders through the researcher’s non-profit organization, the Leadership Training Center (LTC), in Northern Nigeria

Mystagogy: A Mode of Theological Reflection in the Formation of Parish Leadership

Author
Silas Shawn Henderson SDS D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores the place and value of mystagogy within a model of comprehensive faith formation and its usefulness for the ongoing formation of parish leadership, particularly in the formation of Roman Catholic catechetical and liturgical leaders. Using Thomas Groome's Shared Christian Praxis and Jane Regan's image of "Communities of Practice" as guides, this thesis-project proposes a view of mystagogical reflection that parish leaders (paid staff members and lay volunteers, with their pastors) could use to develop a vision or plan of ongoing formation, specific to their context, grounded in and inspired by the encounter with Divine Mystery that is at the heart of liturgy.

探討保羅在哥林多教會的衝突處理與權柄建立:
榮耀神的教牧實踐
An exploration from the Corinthian church on conflict resolution and authority building:
A God-glorifying pastoral practice.

Author
MANJUNG ABRAHAM TSAI D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis explores the relationship of pastoral authority and conflict resolution in a way that will glorify God, along with the process of building up such pastoral authority. Paul’s letters to the Corinthian Church contain specific events that provide realistic and historical material on which to base theological concepts regarding the resolution of conflict and the exercise of pastoral authority. Therefore, the researcher utilizes the perspective of equal and unequal powers in an organizational structure to analyze the conflicts in the Corinthian church. The investigation of these Scriptures is based on the presupposition that pastoral authority in conflict resolution needs to attain a certain level of competency and practice in three specific fields: adhering to pure biblical positions, pursuing mature spiritual character, and possessing excellent leadership skills.

Midwife for the Missio Dei: A Peer Learning Model for Developing Clergy Leadership and Missional Congregations

Author
Beth Sanders
Abstract
The "Midwife for the Missio Dei" project evaluates a spiritual midwife model of clergy leadership for advancing the church's mission. The project uses semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and participatory group observation to collect data on change in clergy participants' leadership of missional growth before and after implementation of skills derived from the practice of midwifery. The data collected measures change in discernment ability and effectiveness in advancing mission. The research shows that spiritual midwife leadership can effect a positive change in clergy leadership ability in furtherance of the mission of the church.
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