Evangelical Churches

IDENTIFICATION OF FACTORS RELEVANT FOR THE CREATION OF A DISCIPLESHIP CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Author
Timothy Dahlin D.Min.
Abstract
This project had as its purpose to identify issues that evangelical leaders in Latin America raise regarding discipleship and ministerial formation in their contexts and, second, to identify effective ways in which these issues might be addressed through a program created by ProMETA, a training institution with which the researcher works. The researcher had taught an online course focusing on biblical models of discipleship. The students, who represented five Latin American countries, expressed dissatisfaction with the current practice of discipleship in evangelical churches in the region. This motivated the researcher to carry out this project. Following a review of relevant literature which highlighted contextual, theological and educational concerns, the researcher conducted a qualitative inductive investigation. He interviewed eleven leaders representing Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Argentina in a sequence of three interviews. Those interviewed included pastors, individuals dedicated to youth and discipleship ministries, a seminary professor, and a representative of a ministry devoted to training leaders in the Majority World. They expressed serious concerns about the current practice of discipleship as being limited in scope, overly cognitive in its nature, and giving insufficient attention to the assimilation of the life and teaching of Jesus. Participants also noted that current church practice was not responding adequately to rapid changes in the region. The group affirmed the value of a program at a level other than masters to address these needs. They recommended a curriculum focused on providing an adequate vision of discipleship, character development, and tools to implement discipleship in the local setting. The group interviewed provided many suggestions for the promotion and implementation of such a program. They also affirmed the importance of local leadership and the involvement of the local church for the success of such a program.

BREAKING FREE FROM PERSONALITY-DRIVEN MINISTRY

Author
Steve Tomlinson D.Min.
Abstract
This major project, Breaking Free from Personality-Driven Ministry, investigates the tendency of pastors of evangelical churches to develop a cult of personality around their ministry. The project considers the biblical mandate to pursue humility, exegeting both narrative and didactic passages from the New and Old Testament, and then considers secular and Christian literature on the topic of humility and leadership. The field research includes qualitative and quantitative data seeking the perspectives of both clergy and lay leaders on what effective, humble leadership should look like and evaluates the responses in light of the biblical material and literature studied. The conclusion of the project is that humble, non-personality-driven church ministry is not only possible but should be pursued in a context of team leadership, accountability, and personal disciplines. Central to the project's findings is the need for a leader to nurture and pursue a gospel-focused vision.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? EFFECTIVE PREACHING IN A POST-CHURCH CULTURE

Author
Randall Dean Ahlberg D.Min.
Abstract
This project addressed the need for preaching principles that more effectively communicate to those living in the realities of our current cultural. In examining the sermons of the apostle Paul, it was evident that he significantly contextualized his message to his various audiences, demonstrating for all preachers the need to engage in not only good exegesis of the text but in good exegesis of the audience. The researcher attempted to gain a better understanding of the culture of the community surrounding his church in Andover, Minnesota and ways to communicate clearly to this culture. The primary tool used was a survey conducted at a community festival on church property. The survey was designed to measure the level of biblical knowledge of the participants and also to investigate the relationship between church attendance and the demonstrated levels of biblical knowledge. The assumption of the researcher was that preachers often assume their congregations know more than they do, and this assumption was proven to hold merit. Finally, in assessing the above information, a set of homiletical principles were developed that embrace both a commitment to biblical preaching and an awareness of the realities of post-church American culture. One of the conclusions of the author is that a neglected aspect of homiletics is our need to wrestle through the striking differences between oral and written communication styles. The preacher’s preparation must keep these dynamics in mind if he/she hopes to communicate the timeless truths of the Bible to a time-bound audience.

A Case for Lament: Strategies to Augment Cross-Cultural Discipleship Efforts at Bridge Community Church and Cornerstone Church

Author
Sahr Mbriwa
Abstract
American evangelical Protestant churches in multicultural settings are predominantly monocultural. While some churches might be open to the idea of cross-cultural engagement, their discipleship process and methods tend to be greatly influenced by the dominant culture of the church and rarely influenced by the subdominant culture. This can hinder cross-cultural discipleship and engagement. In addition, one rhythm is glaringly absent in our discipleship: lament. Lament is essential to cross-cultural discipleship. This paper will explore the relationship between lament and cross-cultural discipleship. It will also offer four lament-based strategies to augment cross-cultural discipleship efforts in two monocultural evangelical Protestant churches: Bridge Community Church and Cornerstone Church.

The authority of scripture in the preaching of C&MA pastors in the Southern District

Author
Dale P Crank
Abstract
This project examines the practices that the pastors of the Southern District of the Christian & Missionary Alliance use to promote the authority of Scripture through their preaching ministries. A six-point Lykert scale was used to quantify the opinions of the pastors surveyed to the practices traditionally seen as promoting the authority of Scripture. Scores were computed for each statement and were analyzed based upon the ages, the educational levels, and the length of time in ministry of the pastors.

The Metanarrative of Scripture: A Program Development and Evaluation Measuring Associated Increases in Biblical Comprehension, Hermeneutical Aptitude and Attitudes towards Scripture at Ethnos360 Bible Institute

Author
Wiley S Keen
Abstract
The curriculum of Ethnos360 Bible Institute includes a survey or exposition of all 66 books of the Bible, but does not include a course that ties these courses/books together as a unified whole. Based on a review of the literature, there are three major areas of Christian development that are linked to the metanarrative of Scripture: (1) comprehension of the Bible, (2) hermeneutical aptitude, and (3) positive attitudes towards Scripture. It was hypothesized that a course on the metanarrative of Scripture would demonstrate associated increases in these three areas. This project developed such a course for Ethnos360 Bible Institute, and measured the effectiveness of this course to impact areas of hypothesized growth. The method chosen for this research project was a program development and evaluation. Informed by the literature and consultation with various Bible teachers and missionaries, a course was created that developed the major plot-line of the Bible and called attention to the ramifications of that plot-line to comprehension, hermeneutics, and attitudes/values. To measure the effectiveness of this course, an instrument was developed and implemented as a pre-test/post-test. The instrument provided quantitative data that was analyzed and evaluated in this project. The data verified all three of the hypotheses, finding statistically significant increases in biblical comprehension, hermeneutical aptitude, and appreciation among students who took the course. Understanding the Bible as one over-arching story is a vital part of the Christian's development, enabling them to handle the Word of God in a responsible manner and find their place in the Story of God.
Subscribe to Evangelical Churches