Leadership, Religious

The importance of reading congregational culture for effective church leadership

Author
Edwin Eng Wei Wong
Abstract
This project paper seeks to provide practical tools to help pastors and leaders understand congregational culture to effectively lead their ministries. Drawing pointers from the servant-leadership practices of Nehemiah as well as other resources, the author formulates approaches to managing transition and leading change. Recommendations, based on broad observations from a survey on a small group of itinerant pastors in Singapore, are subsequently drawn.

[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.]

An exploration of John Wesley's transformational leadership, with a special focus on church revival and church growth and its challenge and relevance for the Wembley Methodist Circuit (WMC)

Author
Kofi Dennis Tekyi-Ansah
Abstract
The U. K. Methodist Church is in gradual decline, because it now exists in a postmodern, post-Christendom milieu. There is also a lack of effective transformational leadership skills among its leaders. A new ontology and new praxis are needed to address this new reality. This essay integrates transformational leadership characteristics and its practical application within John Wesley’s “Twelve Rules of a Helper,” updated by Mark L. Gorveatte in his Book “Lead like Wesley” as a catalyst tool, to equip the leaders of the Wembley Methodist Circuit (WMC) to initiate church growth. It is argued that these tools are not an end, but a major catalyst that can enable the Methodist Church to experience growth and revival.

[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.]

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.]

Empowerment through storytelling : the story of the patriarch Jacob as a life-transforming experience for women

Author
Elena Melnikova
Abstract
The project responds to women’s hesitance to accept leadership in church regardless of numerous examples found in Methodist heritage. Data analyses indicated that women need empowerment coming from a Bible story interpretation, its personal appropriation and self-awareness gained through sharing stories. The author wrote from the pluralistic ministry perspective and used feminist theology and the Old Testament story of the patriarch Jacob to empower women through storytelling to take on leadership in ministry. The project curriculum addressed questions of calling, promise, growth, conversion and maturation, and could be widely applied in the church and seminary education.

[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.]

Eucharist as a means of grace for church visioning : recovery of Wesleyan ecclesiology's eschatological aspect of the Eucharist

Author
Marian Sams-Crane
Abstract
This project suggested a new approach to address the challenge of developing a church vision. Drawing upon Wesleyan ecclesiology, the author suggested sharing a basic overview for understanding the eschatological aspect of the Eucharist and applying the experience of the Eucharist at the start of meetings to inspire the development of a church vision in the ensuing meetings. Data from initial surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and observations evidenced some positive effects on the amount of visioning that church leaders experienced. While further study is needed to be conclusive, the author affirmed the potential for this new approach to church visioning.

[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.]

Equipping Selected Men of First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, Oklahoma, with Servant Leadership Skills

Author
Robert J Schobert
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected men of First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, Oklahoma, with servant leadership skills utilizing the Equipping Program Model.

The project director's first goal was to research the field of servant leadership in order to identify servant leadership skills. He then developed curriculum to meet his second goal of equipping selected men of the church with selected servant leadership skill. The curriculum consisted of six lessons with associated lesson plans, student handouts, and computer presentation slides. The professional goals were to increase the project director's knowledge of servant leadership to increase the project director's skill in curriculum development.

The project director equipped selected men with servant leadership skills through the instruction of the developed curriculum. He titled the curriculum "Created to Lead, Called to Serve: Foundations in Servant Leadership" and provided curriculum delivery to twelve participants as a discipleship training course in accordance with the church training calendar.

The development and testing of a curriculum for inquiry-based leadership in the Ecclesia Network for the advancement of God's mission

Author
James Rodney (J.R.) Briggs
Abstract
The purpose of this research project is to create, implement, and test an inquiry-based curriculum within churches in The Ecclesia Network in order to evaluate and equip leaders in churches across the United States. The researcher selected six groups in different regions of the United States to conduct surveys, interviews, and small group meetings to evaluate the effectiveness, fruitfulness, and clarity of the inquiry-based curriculum Asking Better Questions. This paper presents the process and the results of this evaluative study. The results offer recommendations for improvement and refinement of the Asking Better Questions curriculum. Kingdom communities who ask wise, compassionate, courageous questions will be the ones leading us into the future to the glory of God.
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