Lay ministry

Training and Equipping the Urban Church for Missional Engagement Utilizing Fivefold Ministry Gift Curriculum

Author
Gregory Emmett Bell Sr
Abstract
Philadelphia urban church members may not be receiving adequate training on how to participate in the mission of God. According to secular and Christian research, church attendance is declining along with adherence to the teaching and application of Scripture. Statistical analysis of both Christian and secular research, demographic, and crime data confirm the researcher’s hypothesis that the urban churches of Philadelphia need a curriculum for missional engagement. Model Studies of two other ministry schools were also conducted and critiqued to glean from each institution’s experience. The research, literature review, and model studies were used to determine the best approach to perhaps produce supernatural results in the community. This applied research project examines the impact of a missional engagement curriculum designed for laypersons within a Philadelphia urban church, on the fivefold ministry gifts, also referred to by the writer as the five apportioned gifts of Christ. Scripture and other Christian literature were carefully examined to ensure understanding and acceptance of the gifts for today in the body of Christ. The students were taught how to function in their gift as part of a fivefold gift ministry team and complete a ministry project at the end of the semester.

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.]

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

Sensitizing the Preacher for a Multi-Religious Context in the Diocese of Palayamkottai in India

Author
Anto Peterraj D.Min.
Abstract
The multi-religious context in which India preaching has to adorn herself with the garb of sensitivity is the backdrop of this thesis. Against this backdrop the author proposes that a preacher can be trained to appeal to the cognitive, emotive, spiritual, and psychological aspects of the listeners for a transformed life interpreting Christian Scripture and Tradition in the multi-religious pastoral context of India in general and of the Diocese of Palayamkottai in particular. The thesis is divided into five chapters.

Chapter One, after spelling out the background, the need, the process, and the scope of the study, sets the context of the Diocese of Palayamkottai with a special reference to religious pluralism in India in general and in Palayamkottai in particular.

In Chapter Two, after briefly analyzing the homiletical understanding before Pope Francis in the light of General Introduction of the Roman Missal and Verbum Domini, we meet the two dialogue partners of our study from the viewpoint of effective proclamation of the Gospel and embracing different traditions with respect, viz., Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium, and Bede Griffiths’ Sannyasa.

Chapter Three divides into three sections: In section one, the challenges that a preacher, a preaching, and a listener face in a multi-religious context are presented; section two proposes models (participatory, narrative sermon reflected in the life of the preacher) for a better preaching in multi-religious background, while section three will try to resolve the challenges in the light of the proposed model.

In Chapter Four a sampling study is done by picking up seven preachers.

Chapter Five is a practical guide that will serve as a manual for a preacher offering different models of preaching.

Toward the Spirituality of Oneness: A Remedy to the Attitude of 'We versus They,' A Case of the Turkana and Pokot Communities in Lodwar and Kitale Catholic Dioceses, Kenya

Author
Jane Frances Nabakaawa DM D.Min.
Abstract
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify, examine and address the factors contributing to attitude of “we versus them” amongst human societies. We use the Pokot and Turkana ethnic groups as a case study. Through social analysis and the theological reflection, that is, the dialogue of the problem with Magisterium of the church about the spirituality of oneness based on our Lord Jesus’ prayer, “Father that may be one…” (John 17:21), it discusses ways of how humanity can eradicate this divisive attitude by learning how to live as “one” with the aid of Christian (Catholic) spirituality. On the basis of this examination, a number of Pastoral recommendations are proposed on ways in which the catechists as lay ministers at the grassroots can be able to contribute to the rigorous efforts of combating the sin of division to the unity in diversity which we focus on and term as the spirituality of oneness. Thus adding a new dimension of how humanity is to live as one as it captures the daily dynamics, transformative quality of spirituality as a lived experience linked to our relationship to the Ultimate, with others and society and the cosmic world.

Youth Ministry Planning Tool for Smaller Churches

Author
Nathan Opsata D.Min.
Abstract
This major project created a step-by-step process to help youth ministry leaders plan their youth ministry year. The planning tool was especially designed to guide volunteer-led teams of smaller churches through the planning process in a systematic and complete way by recognizing the strengths and limitations of smaller churches and volunteer leaders. The main deliverables of the step-by-step planning process were to evaluate existing programming, divide the leadership team according to gifting, and to develop a set of guiding documents, including a directory, programming calendar, weekly template with job descriptions, and teaching schedule.

Five smaller evangelical churches were given the tool prior to planning their programming. Interviewing leaders from these youth ministry teams revealed that the tool was helpful in each church, especially for evaluating the success of programming objectives and generating ideas of changes to make. However, the step-by-step process did not allow teams to easily select which components they wished to use and was difficult to adapt for solo-led youth ministries. Furthermore, some ministries and leaders resisted implementing the systems-approach, especially formal job descriptions, in their smaller, family-style ministries.

The Practice of Pastoral Care in the Local Church : Equipping Officers, Staff, and Small Group Leaders

Author
Michael T Boulware
Abstract
The project addresses the need to equip untrained leaders in the local church whom the church is asking to offer pastoral care to the people of God. It begins with an examination of the biblical calling of the leaders as officers, staff members, or small group leaders. It lays a biblical foundation of how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is central to understanding and practicing pastoral care. Next, it examines the Law of God as a principle filter through which all pastoral counsel must pass, and explores how such a filter cannot discount the importance of the cultivation of relationships.

Divine imagery in the spiritual lives of women lay ministers

Author
Esther H Sanborn
Abstract
Currently, the majority of lay ministers in the U.S. Catholic Church are women; wisdom can be gained from experience of women who have persisted long-term in lay ministry. Divine imagery in the spiritual lives of twelve women lay ministers from greater Chicago was explored through qualitative interviews. Using practical theology methods, findings of this ethnographic research was engaged with dialogue partners from Christian tradition and contemporary disciplines--Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle, psychology-spiritual development theories, and feminist theological perspectives. From these mutually critical conversations emerged implications for the formation of lay minsters and proposals for ongoing praxis.

An Assessment of the Mission Ministries of Arlington Heights United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, Texas

Author
Mary K Spradlin
Abstract
This project proposes to help one congregation move from a one-way model of missional giving toward a model of mission ministries that emphasizes relationship-building, empowerment and community development. Congregation members attended a community development conference, participated in small group book studies, and engaged with a blog focused on an empowerment model of mission ministries. These activities prompted small but significant changes to existing ministries. Additionally, members of the congregation are motivated to pursue further evaluation of existing ministries and creation of new ministries that encourage relationship-building and follow an empowerment model rather than a handout model.

Impact Study Equipping Congregational Leadership with Skills to Preempt Explosive Conflict

Author
Sue Marie Baskette
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact congregational leadership in a group from southeast Pennsylvania through participation in a six-week small group experience to equip them with skills to preempt explosive conflict. The assessment of the project included the administration of both a pre-test and a post-test questionnaire. The goal with the highest results revealed an increased awareness of listening as an active form of communication. Increased awareness as to the role active listening plays in achieving successful outcomes was also noted. Additionally, the interconnectivity of successful listening with a moderate level of self-awareness was realized.
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