Laity

Training leadership to empower the laity

Author
Stephen Samuel Kaziimba
Abstract
Those who read the history of Uganda, and those who have lived long enough in Uganda are aware of the bloodshed regimes in 1970-1985. Uganda has suffered a lot under the leadership of Idi Amin and Milton Obote. The country has gone through political, social, economic, and religious changes. These changes have posed many challenges to the church in my context, the Anglican church of Uganda. It is clear that there is a need to engage lay Christians in response to these spiritual and pastoral challenges in our country and church, specifically in the Mukono Cathedral. The laity should not be engaged in church ministry to help the clergy, but to do the ministry because it belongs to them. In addition, the laity are gifted greatly, but they are not used enough.

Does it mean that the laity are taking away the work of the ordained? Surely not, because this ministry belongs to the laity before it belongs to the ordained as discussed in this paper. This paper also discusses the biblical mandate to equip all the people for God's ministry. Paul discusses the gifts which were given to the church for the purpose of equipping the saints (cf. Ephesians 4:11-12). By equipping the saints in this context the laity, we are strengthening the church which is the body of Christ.

Jesus Christ gave us an example of how important equipping is. He identified a few men, and then trained and taught them for the ministry. His methods are worth taking. This paper gives us a case study of a leadership training done in Mukono to prepare the ordained to equip the laity. All the recommendations indicate that there is a need to involve the laity in God's ministry. There is a need for the collaborative ministry.

Preaching the Gospel with their Lives: A Call and Responsibility of Catholic Married Couples

Author
Karen Eileen Seaborn D.Min.
Abstract
Vatican Council II expands the theology of marriage beyond that of procreation and education of children to include bearing witness to Christ in the world. In professing and living their marriage vows, Christian married couples proclaim Christ’s love in word and action—for each other and the church and the world. This study provides the theological foundation for marriage as one of the seven ritualized sacraments in the Catholic Church. It draws on the Christ/church/sacrament model espoused by Vatican II theologians showing Christian husbands and wives to be the efficacious word of God spoken to each other and the church and world. It explores the church's evolving theology of marriage by surveying civil and liturgical rites of marriage from the church’s beginning to present time.
This thesis connects the married couple’s call to bear witness with the church’s preaching mission by attending to Scripture, church teaching, and preachers to show that husbands and wives who faithfully live their marriage vows through the entirety of their lives together, preach the kingdom of God in word and action from the pulpit of their everyday lives. It gathers wisdom from the discipline of marriage and family counseling, attends to practices that assist married couples to be more efficacious preachers of Christ’s love and notes destructive communication patterns that cause them to be countersign of Christ’s love. A description of the ministerial intervention is provided: a day of reflection, formation, and conversation for newly married couples based on the Rite of Marriage. It includes a compilation and analysis of data from three participant questionnaires: pre-workshop, end-of-workshop-day, and thirty days later. The thesis concludes by establishing why this study matters to the church and offers possible next steps for the future of this study.

MIND THE GAP: THE DELTA BETWEEN SUNDAY FORMATION AND WEEKDAY WORK FOR LAY BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Author
Anthony P Clark
Abstract
"This thesis-project examines the gap between the Sunday formation and the weekday experience for lay business professionals in The Episcopal Church (TEC) and argues that lay business professionals are not adequately equipped by the church for the ethical challenges they face in the workplace. The thesis-project proposes a biblical theology of a royal priesthood as the best way to understand the formative community of the people of God. The moral theology section of
the thesis-project argues that this royal priesthood is best shaped and formed in the virtue ethics tradition for most effective engagement with ethical issues in the workplace. In addition, lay business professionals offer their insights on the effectiveness and the improvement of formation in the church through field research that includes qualitative interviews and surveys. Finally, the
thesis-project discusses the implications for congregational ministry based on the biblical theology of a royal priesthood, moral theology focused on virtue ethics, and field work observations. "

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.
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