Clergy and laity

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.

Integrating biblical teaching and organizational wisdom in the work of pastor-church relations, Christian Reformed Church in North America

Author
Cecil Van Niejenhuis
Abstract
This project addressed the lack of integration of biblical teaching in the work of pastor-church relations, Christian Reformed Church of North America. The goal was to demonstrate and encourage a thorough integration so that organizational wisdom might be informed, anchored and enriched by scriptural teaching. This goal was achieved through program development. The core biblical theme of hospitality was traced through Scripture, and juxtaposed with the four-lens approach of Bolman and Deal's Reframing organizations. Each of these lenses was linked to one of the four New Testament gift passages, and to the biblical theme of hospitality.

Leading Through Succession: Why Pastoral Leadership is the key to a Healthy Transition

Author
C Andrew Flowers
Abstract
The goal of this dissertation is to encourage pastors to see that succession planning is an important part of their job. I will investigate cultural changes, secular succession practices, and church leadership methods in an effort to show why it is important for pastors to take the lead in succession. This is not a procedural manual with particular recipe to follow. Rather, this is a leadership training tool that calls pastors to guide their church through the often traumatic process of succession.

Last Call: A New Practice of Receiving a Pastor in the Baptist Church Based Upon a Biblical Paradigm that Challenges the Call System

Author
Harold Eugene Vann II
Abstract
Baptist polity operationalizes the call system, a process that congregational churches use to select, elect and deselect pastors. An aspect of that polity is autonomy that declares each local Baptist church is a self-governing entity. In this context, lay authority has the potential to be misused and the laity can deselect a pastor at their will. This project, a case study is the presentation of a church to show how the call system works from candidacy to deselection. This study calls for an additional layer of pastoral oversight and recommends that pastors lead Baptist laity in securing pastors. The problem addressed by this project is imbalance in power and authority held by Baptist laity and manifested in the call system. Finally, a new plan is presented for receiving a pastor that is led by a Board of Pastors, which restores balance, and is built on a theological/biblical paradigm that indicates that God gives and sends pastors that are received by a congregation.
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