Laity

Church leadership and the crisis of theological identity

Author
Michael Drew Shelley
Abstract
The crisis of leadership supposedly ravaging the Church in the 21st century obscures a deeper crisis of theological identity in which churches, pastors, and lay leaders have forgotten who they are, the home to which they belong, and the mission to which God calls them. The presenting symptoms of this crisis of identity are pastors and churches stuck in places of ineffectiveness, hopelessness, unhealthy expectations of each other, and general malaise. The project for renewed pastoral and lay leadership at Crossville FUMC has focused on the means of grace by which the Triune God creates the being of the church and from which emerge the corresponding practices of leadership which prepare the congregation for its ministry in the community. Pastors and people reclaim their identity by engaging the crisis of identity through theological questions of identity, “Who is God who creates the Church?” And, “who are we as the Church before God?” In so doing, churches clarify their identity as disciples of Jesus claimed by God in our baptism, members of God’s household with a place at God’s Table, and a community of disciples forever called into God’s mission. . . .

[Note: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited. The abstract was shortened in length to adhere to the submission requirements.]

Exploring white fire : bibliodrama as a tool to spur theological reflection on leadership among St. Paul's United Methodist Church lay leaders

Author
Matthew A. Paugh
Abstract
In line with The United Methodist Church's emphasis on strengthening lay leaders and its charge for administrative committees to engage in "biblical and theological reflection," the author designed a retreat featuring Bibliodrama as a method to explore the biblical text. Bibliodrama exercises focused on Moses and Jethro (Exod. 18:1-27), Deborah and Barak (Judg. 4:1-24), and Jesus and the disciples (Mark 10:35-45). Through surveys, questionnaires, and interviews, the author finds that Bibliodrama provides an effective tool to enable lay leaders to participate in biblical and theological reflection on the nature of leadership.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Revive us again : a holistic leadership development module for lay leaders in transition

Author
Kellie V. Hayes
Abstract
Revive Us Again: A Holistic Leadership Development Module for Lay Leaders in Transition examines the efficacy of implementing holistic leadership development curricula empowering and energizing lay leaders experiencing crisis and transition. It presents research conducted through 1. Questionnaire ascertaining current assessment of leadership development. 2. Focus Group to determine preset culture 3. Direct Observation of leader’s behavioral patterns during gatherings and discharging responsibilities. 4. Feedback following intervention for impact, and 5. Narrative research documenting experience and changes. The feedback showed marked improvement in morale, comprehension and cohesiveness. Holistic leadership development modules can produce self-aware and spirit-led lay leaders who are resilient in transition.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Creating a missional church in Nepal through the lay leader (Aguwa) training program : focusing on Aguwas in the Ramechap area

Author
Sung Hoon Bea
Abstract
In the dissertation, I propose what to do for the renewal of the Nepalese Church in the Ramechap area in Nepal. In emphasizing that the Nepalese Church should be a missional church modeled on the mission of God (Missio Dei) in order to be a healthy church, I suggest . . . a specialized training program for Aguwas, who are lay leaders in the Nepalese Church. Through the Bible-based education program, Aguwas will be leading figures that can lead the Nepalese Church to transform, and by their leadership the Nepalese Church will be a missional church that is self-reliant, self-sufficient, and autonomous.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

The Training, Role and Professional Development of a Confessional Lutheran Lay Diaconate

Author
Michael Morehouse D.Min.
Abstract
The Training, Role and Professional Development of a Confessional Lutheran Lay Diaconate
What was the biblical basis, history, tradition, and practice of a Lay Diaconate in confessional Lutheran congregations? How had such served the Church? A Lay Diaconate has been trained and utilized in congregations of Southern Arizona for nearly three decades. Its officeholders were locally trained, primarily by Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod pastors. This project’s purpose, therefore, was to study that which was in place and to develop exportable teaching resources. It produced and included two courses: “Diaconal Ministry,” and “Visitation of Sick and Shut-ins.” It provided two Lay Diaconate apologetics brochures and a historical time-line of changes to the diaconate

Vocation as a Focus for Mission Effectiveness with Mid-Level Leaders at a Catholic University

Author
Mark J. Laboe D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project proposes that the work of Catholic mission effectiveness at a large, diverse Catholic university in the United States can be enriched through a rediscovery and re-founding of the theological notion of vocation, which can serve as a distinguishing contribution of Catholic education in an increasingly pluralistic society. Furthermore, focusing attention on the important role and vocation of mid-level leaders, who often hold a significant influence on organizational culture, can be a strategic focus for the work of advancing a culture of vocation as well as sustaining the institution's founding charism and mission in the face of the diminishing influence of the sponsoring religious community.

Collaborative inquiry, laity in a local church and the biblical imperative to do justice

Author
Paul M Lisl
Abstract
The "Doing Justice" project uses the transformative pedagogy of collaborative inquiry to deepen the understanding and practice of the biblical imperative to do justice of laity in a local church. The project involves a five week scriptural based collaborative inquiry group. Measurement tools include field notes, interviews and archival documents. The research shows that collaborative inquiry's values of just and fair participation, repeated cycles of action and reflection through discourse and storytelling, and meaning making leading to transformation contribute to a deeper understanding and practice of the biblical imperative to do justice of laity in a local church.

Creating a process for developing male servant-leaders at Mountain View Community Church at temecula, California

Author
John W Wells
Abstract
The thesis of this project supports the idea that a serious disparity of male servant-leaders exists within the church. A call to action necessitates that the church provide a pathway and an ongoing process for men to become servant-leaders. The project results were limited, due to a decline in the number of men who completed the project versus those who began the project, but yet encouraging. Project participants were invited to discover the theology, concepts, and characteristics of servant leadership. Participants experienced Jesus Christ as the ultimate model of servant leadership and were encouraged to follow His example in daily life, especially the church. The results revealed that becoming a servant-leader must be an intentional process. Servant-leadership is an attitude that is more caught than taught.

Equipping selected adults in First Baptist Church, Plant City, Florida, to serve in volunteer church staff positions

Author
Stephen T Morris
Abstract
The purpose of the project was to equip a group of adult laypersons to serve in volunteer positions on the staff of First Baptist Church of Plant City, Florida. Engagement in prestudy, a workshop experience, and practical followup experience, equipped participants to serve within their areas of expertise, giftedness, interests, and availability. The equipping model formed the framework for developing and implementing the workshop. Expert guided research of other churches through books, journals, interviews, and other resources informed the equipping workshop content.
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