Discipleship

MULTIETHNIC AND MISSIONAL: GOD’S HEART FOR AN INTEGRATED AND DIVERSE CHURCH

Author
Justin Hiebert D.Min.
Abstract
The American church is largely segregated and homogenous. This has not only stunted the growth of the church but led to an ineffective and limited mission vision. The contemporary American church must reclaim the biblical mandate to be both ethnically diverse and missionally minded. Through a qualitative research methodology this research project focuses on creating a healthy and sustainable multiethnic identity and leadership structure. Through interviewing and visiting some of the leading multiethnic churches of the Central Valley of California, the researcher lays out a clear understanding and argument for multiethnic churches. This paper examines the book of Acts, interviewing insights from key pastoral leaders, and provides a key table and summary of actionable next steps.
The insights from the book of Acts reveals that God’s original intent for the church is to be both multiethnic and missional. Contemporary literature highlights the necessary traits and qualities for healthy and sustainable leadership. Finally, interviews with leaders engaged in ministry show the foundational attitudes and characteristics leaders must possess to lead their churches through a successful transition to multiethnic.
For leaders engaging in multiethnic ministry, there are five key leadership characteristics that they must practice: humility, personal holistic health, community engagement, an intentionality in seeking out different voices, and a celebration of diversity.

Awana Together: Empowering Parents as Spiritual Mentors for Their Children

Author
Sara-Jane Heacox Sosa D.Min.
Abstract
The post-Christian culture in the United States presents a significant challenge to the spiritual growth of adults and children. At Plymouth Covenant Church, ministry leaders recognized that young parents often lacked a biblical foundation. Many did not feel competent to lead their children spiritually. These parents needed a vibrant personal faith as well as good role models. As a result, ministry leaders designed a more effective way to empower parents as spiritual mentors for their children. They created a new ministry that would provide personal faith development for parents, a supportive faith community, family-focused programming, and solid biblical teaching. This new ministry was a family version of Awana that they called Awana Together.

The problem that this project addressed was the need for a family ministry model at Plymouth Covenant Church that fostered a partnership between the church and families that empowered parents as spiritual mentors for their children. It used an intrinsic case study approach to evaluate Plymouth Covenant’s unique ministry, Awana Together, to determine if it provided a pathway for a better partnership between the home and the church in empowering parents as spiritual mentors. The research included evaluations of biblical passages and current scholarship, surveys of past and present Awana Together participants, focus group discussions with ministry leaders, and in-depth questionnaire responses from three different families. The research revealed that Awana Together was successfully designed to meet the goal of empowering parents as spiritual mentors for their children.

Developing a Regional Understanding of Church Growth of Chinese Churches in the U.S. and a Plan for Disciple-Making Based Church Growth at a Local Chinese Church

Author
Fong-Yuen Ding D.Min.
Abstract
A DMin major paper effort was made to understand church growth of Chinese churches in the U.S. It is suggested that church growth should be considered along with other biblical goals, and the principles of church growth should be considered as reminder for our being faithful. The dynamics of church growth were stated as a guide for faithfulness. A survey among four Chinese churches in the U.S. east coast region was conducted, and another in a local Chinese church in Knoxville among its attendees was also conduct. A strategic plan for disciple-making based church growth plan was developed.

An Examination of Discipleship in Army Chapel Ministries Overseas

Author
Jesse McCullough D.Min.
Abstract
Military chapels face unique situations that churches do not. These circumstances complicate making Biblical disciples, especially in an overseas environment. As pastors called to preach the gospel and make disciples, Army chaplains must discern how to fulfill the command of Christ while also working as an Army staff officer. Measuring whether growth is occurring may provide information to help chaplains keep what is working and change what is not. This project is designed to gauge whether chapels in an overseas environment, specifically Germany, are truly making disciples in accordance with the Biblical mandate. The research combines context, theological basis, and surveys of congregants to attempt determining which factors contribute to growth and which are unimportant. Advice for lessons learned and further research are included.

The Role of the Roman Catholic Catechists in Shaping Adolescents Equipped to Address De-Womanization in Igbo Culture of Nigeria

Author
VIRGINUS Onyekachi OSUAGWU D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores to what extent the effective training/formation in transformative catechesis for Roman Catholic catechists of South Eastern Nigeria can equip them to form male and female adolescents who can contribute to building respect and upholding the dignity of Igbo women. It is intended to be a contribution to the conversation about social justice in the Igbo Roman Catholic Church, with regard to respecting the dignity of every human being, especially women.
The author employs the praxis-theory-praxis approach of practical theology in situating what effective social justice training/formation of Igbo catechists could mean within their unique ecclesial, social and cultural contexts around the theme of discipleship. The author concludes that effective training/formation of Igbo catechists in transformative catechesis (discipleship, witnessing, social justice) is key to the transformation of Igbo adolescents, the Igbo Roman Catholic Church and ultimately, the Igbo culture.

北美華人中小型教會,
如何建造大使命導向的門徒訓練
Developing a Great-Commission Driven Discipleship Strategy in a Small to Mid-size North American Chinese Church

Author
Simon ChinWen Chen
Abstract
The purpose of this dissertation is to encourage small to mid-size North American Chinese churches to identify clearly their purpose, to be motivated by the Gospel, and to promote the global mission of discipleship. Using a quantified questionnaire-survey, this dissertation analyzes how church leaders view the existence of their churches and their relationship to the Great Commission.
This dissertation finds that there firstly needs to be a change of mindset. When there is a breakthrough in ideas, practice will follow suit. The next part presents a blueprint and strategy designed for church leaders to follow, aiming at promoting mindset change. The blueprint includes the structure, system, and execution of discipleship training with suggested practical lesson plans.
In conclusion, one of Jesus’s purposes on earth was to spread the Gospel to all people. His disciples were not only followers, but also people changers whose own lives were transformed first. When we clearly identify the meaning and mission of the church’s existence, we will see that the primary responsibility of the pastor is to cultivate and train disciples. When Jesus began ministering in the first century, He established a disciple-making team that changed and transformed the world. The story must live on by the great power of the Gospel and the eternal redemption according to His covenant of grace.

Equipping Selected Members of Florida Avenue Baptist Church, Avon Park, Florida, with Essential Assimilation Skills

Author
John D Girdley
Abstract
The purpose of this projecct is to equip seleccted members of Florida Avenue Baptist Church, Avon Park, Florida, wiht essential assimiliation skills. The project director will research assimilation to identity the skills needed to integrate people into the church. Next, he will create a curriculum to teach these critical skills to selected members. Finally, the project director will teach this curriculum to equip selected members with the skills necessary to incorporate guests and members into Florida Avenue Baptist Church.

Presenting everyone in Christ exploring how pastors intentionally help congregants towards spiritual maturity through their preaching ministries

Author
Mark Goudy
Abstract
Preaching in a worship service is often overlooked as a key disciple-making strategy. Using qualitative research methods, this study explored principles and practices of proficient pastors who help congregants towards spiritual maturity through preaching.The literature review and analysis of interviews failed to identify preaching strategies that ensured congregants' maturity. Themes noted as helpful for effectually motivating and empowering towards maturity included in-depth gospel proclamation; heart-focussed application; a gospel-centred hermeneutic; a balanced diet of expository material; learning from others; a desire to grow spiritually themselves; sensitive sharing of personal struggles and need of God's sustaining grace

Discipling Christian C-level business executives

Author
Thomas Lutz
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how Christian C-level executives experienced an increased motivation to pursue spiritual maturity after gaining clarity about their kingdom purpose. This study was designed using applied qualitative research, specifically a case study of six men who participated in a discipleship group for nine months. All participants identified significant change in one of five areas: the understanding of kingdom purpose, of God's view of their work, of their view of their work, of spirituality, and finally of their engagement with their life plan.

Equipping Selected Leaders of First Baptist Church, Pitkin, Louisiana, in Biblical Discipleship Skills

Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected leaders of First Baptist Church, Pitkin, Louisiana, in biblical discipleship skills. The project director examined research on discipleship, disciple-making, and workshop development. The project director utilized this research to develop teaching plans for the six-essential disciple-making skills workshop. The selected leaders of First Baptist Church, Pitkin, Louisiana were equipped with the skills from the research in a workshop consisting of five-hour-and-thirty-minute sessions from Saturday, June 3, 2017, and continuing each week through July 1, 2017.
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