Clergy and laity

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.

A Model for Small Church Leadership to Support Thier Minister's Self-Care

Author
Jeremy S Allard
Abstract
The complexity of vocational ministry is difficult to manage and maintain. Balancing the complex nature of the church, relationships, family life, spiritual and personal life provides the minister with a struggle that rarely ceases. Pursuing self-care within this environment can provide relief to the struggle but is difficult to do alone. The study seeks to provide a model for local church leadership to support their minister so he or she can successfully manage ministry and personal life through self-care practices. The project identified ministers employed in Stone-Campbell churches with a weekly attendance of less than 125 in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A survey was sent to these ministers asking what types of support they receive from their congregation and leadership. The results of the survey identified five ministers who received the highest support. These five ministers were interviewed to determine the relationship between the church leadership support and their self care practices. The biblical and theological review examined the imago Dei's relationship with the elements of self-care with a priority towards spiritual formation. The literature review identified six strategies for successful self-care practice. The interviews identified three relationships that influence the practice of a minister's self-care. These relationships are the foundation to the model for how church leadership can support their minister's self-care.

To Be Loved or God's Beloved, What Defines a Pastor's Identity?

Author
Daniel S Hagan
Abstract
There exists for a pastor a tension between being loved by the people and living as God's Beloved. Expectations of the congregation do not always line up with the clergypersons' own sense of calling and perceived gifts and graces. Research included an ethnographic study, featuring both an auto-ethnographic aspect that considers the emerging relationship of pastor and congregation and interviews with congregational leaders and United Methodist clergypersons within South Georgia. Learning from Henri Nouwen, pastors can remain grounded in their true identity, Belovedness, through the four movements of the Eucharist: being taken, blessed, broken, and given.

Proactive Systematic Pastoral Visitation in Shepherding the Contemporary Church

Author
Daniel P Chittock
Abstract
The objective of this project was to consider continuing, intentional pastoral visitation determining its pertinence to contemporary church life and identifying any effects resulting from this ministry. Given the relative scarcity of this pastoral work the project began with a defense of its propriety. The cardinal consequence of the visitation emerging from the research was the vitality of relationship between pastors and people, and seen as practical and integral to the advancement of a trust relationship of love between shepherd and those shepherded with respect and pastoral care.

Conceptualizing and engaging with pastoral authority

Author
Scott R Maurer
Abstract
While secular academia has begun to explore followership, there is a dearth of research in the Christian world. In response, the researcher interviewed sixteen congregants and six pastors from churches in the Washington, DC area about how they conceptualize and engage with pastoral authority. The researcher analyzed the interviews using a modified grounded theory approach. Analysis suggested congregants have an overreliance on a pastor's personal authority and an underdeveloped conception of a pastor's role authority. Drawing on the field research, relevant literature, and the Hebrews 13:7 and 13:17 biblical texts, the researcher offers a practical theology of authority and submission.
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