Getting your feet wet without drowning : transformational change in adolescents from domestic short-term missions

Andrew Stern
The purpose of this study was to examine how church leaders who participated in a domestic short term mission (STM) during high school engage local community needs years later. While STM is a prevalent and costly event in church youth ministry, little study has been done to measure the impact of adolescent STM on future church leaders.
This research utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with seven church leaders. As adolescents, they participated in a domestic STM. The interview analysis concluded that participants’ domestic high school STM had significant immediate and long-lasting impact in their vocational calling, leadership development, work in their community, and biases around race and culture.
The literature review reveals that STM has a biblical basis. STM is evidenced in wall-building in Nehemiah 3. The impact of wall-building in Nehemiah 3 is transformational for both individuals and the community in Nehemiah 5.
Contemporary research concludes that STM is a cornerstone of church youth ministry. This study showed the importance of adolescent STM in revealing and affirming ministry calling and leadership gifting. This research affirmed that STM facilitates transformational learning when it is coupled with service learning practices. This transformational learning broke down bias around race and culture. Neurobiological research affirms that adolescent brain development supports this transformational, perspective-changing learning during STM. Global learning objectives aid STM planning and evaluation. Church leaders advocate for STM because they value its role in beginning the process of breaking down bias.
Coinciding with recent STM research, this study affirms that domestic STM is better suited to adolescents when compared to international STM. Domestic STM provides sufficient but not overwhelming challenge to foster transformational learning for adolescents. As one participant said, adolescent domestic STM fosters “getting your feet wet without drowning.”

Henry Stout, pioneer missionary : his life, his mission, his world

Gordon D Laman
Upon numerous occasions, from the very first time I visited Saga and Nagasaki Prefectures in 1 9 60, I have heard the name of Henry Stout. During the twenty years I served in that region as a missionary of the Reformed Church in America, many times I was asked about this man who was one of my early predecessors . Snatches of information I heard suggested that he
had been a very important person. Reading I had done on the history of Protestant witness in Japan had made little-or no note of his contribution . More recently, my growing interest in the early history of the work of the Reformed Church in America in southwestern Japan led me to the discovery of how really valuable the ministry of Henry Stout had been to the development of that work. H.V.S. Peeke, a contemporary, said of the Stouts in 1922, "This couple were strong in piety and purpose, and their imprint is left upon the Kyushu field today to a degree, perhaps not fully realized by their successors."

I have now come to realize that their tremendous influence and significant contribution have never been widely recognized or properly appreciated. I perceive Henry Stout to be the sin­gle most-important missionary pioneer from the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition to work in southwestern Japan in the nineteenth century. However , he is little known, and evidently no detailed biographical presentation of his life and work has ever been made available to date. It is my hope that the fol­lowing pages will provide useful information and insights, not only about this person, but also into the missionary task and life situation in which his lifetime of service was offered. I consider Henry Stout to be an all but forgotten foundational figure of the church in Japan.

Dwelling in the Word and in the World: Missional Engagement Through Storytelling

John Foster Magnuson D.Min.
The practice of Church mission engagement within a culture of specialization, individuality, and volunteerism has created the opportunity for the North American Protestant church to narrate mission through an identity and story of the individual. However, through the practice of reading scripture and reflecting alongside storytelling, a more robust missional identity can be found within the church. This identity through storytelling moves from viewing church members as an autonomous individual into seeing both church members and neighbors as necessary members of community, together participating in God’s mission in the world through companionship with God and one another. This work moves from a historical background of mission work within a local congregation to then explore the theological basis for connecting storytelling alongside biblical engagement in congregational mission. As a result of the project, a tool for missional story telling through scripture is presented to the reader.

A Strategy for the Church Planting Ministry of Seara Mission in Amazonas Brazil

Gary Wayne Parker D.Min.
This applied research project is intended to propose a strategy for planting churches in the unreached river communities in the Amazon region of Brazil. This strategy seeks to facilitate the planting of responsible and reproducing churches that can thrive under local leadership using local resources for generations to come. There are four hypotheses that guide this study: Balance in evangelism and discipleship in unreached communities must be maintained. Local leaders must be preserved for local churches without depending on external support. Cross-cultural missionaries must prepare local leaders to do the majority of the public teaching in the churches that are planted. Cross-cultural missionaries must train local leaders to be responsible for the leadership of the churches that are planted. These hypotheses were evaluated in the bibliographic and biblical research. The SEARA mission was researched to determine if these hypotheses are currently evident in the mission’s methodologies. The results of this research are presented followed by a proposed strategy to be implemented in the future.

A study on the revitalization of local church through environmental missions : focusing on ecumenical ecology

Gwang Sub Lee
". . . . Can Jeonnong Methodist Church be established as a green community church that accepts the environmental crisis and responds to it as an essential issue of faith? And can this environmental practice become a valid tool for communicating with the church's surrounding region? Then will the church show a way to move forward as a village church? The three mission theologies discussed in this paper are suggested as methods to overcome this problem. The first is ecumenical mission theology. This theology is used as the perspective for looking at environmental and ecological problems. The second is "Laudato si'", written by Pope Francis. The integrated ecology presented in "Laudato si'" gives a deep insight into practical theology with a strong foundation in spiritual theology. The third is the village ministry theory, which has recently been spotlighted as a natural result of local ecumenism. Environmental faith inherently aims for recovery by using communication and harmony. These three theological frameworks allow an assessment of whether green faith can be implemented through practical theology and missiology. . . ." -- Leaf [2].

A study on the indigenous church with Three Self Principle in Sri Lanka through SMC (Sri Lanka Mission Community)

Woong Won Ha
". . . . [T]he author explored . . . the indigenous church with Three Self Principle in Sri Lanka through SMC (Sri Lanka Mission Community) . . . . [T]he author observed a model of indigenous church from the early church and St. Paul to the church history of mission in part one. When he studied the model of indigenous church, he found three Self Principle such as Self-Supporting, Self-Governing, and Self-Propagating for the healthy indigenous church and several attempts in the mission history of the church. In part two, the author researched how to build the healthy indigenous church with three self-principle through 15 churches of SMC for 3 months, in a practical manner. For that, firstly, he provided a consultation with 15 pastors of SMC church and a reporting back to their churches. Secondly, he created a seminar that challenged 15 participants to evaluate their ministries with three self-principle and sought solutions by them. Thirdly, he provided two workshops for feedback, ministry and finance evaluation for the healthy indigenous church with three self-principle. Finally, he concluded this project to find the advantages and disadvantages through an analysis and evaluation." -- Leaf [2].


Steven Koster D.Min.
Media ministry publishes gospel content on paper, on the air, and online, but few robust feedback systems are in place to measure the spiritual impact of gospel broadcasts. This study articulated a theoretical foundation of a biblical theology and review of pastoral practices on children and parenting, published a resource on biblical parenting for distribution through the Internet, and then asked the audience for feedback.

The resource was rooted in a study of how the Bible regards both children and the task of parenting. The study also explored models of faith formation, pastoral parenting best practices, and a review of the religious landscape of contemporary youth. A 93-page electronic booklet (PDF) called “A Handbook of Biblical Parenting” was developed and shared with over a thousand people online, who were then invited via email to complete an online questionnaire.

The response rate was less than 2%, yet the audience was demographically in line with the expected audience. Most respondents were actively parenting young children, expressed an improvement in their parenting confidence, and found the resource practical, using its ideas several times. Most considered faith important to their parenting and found the resource to be encouraging, biblical, and educational. Most consumed the PDF deeply, even though most used a handheld mobile device. A repeated use of this prototype process would require a greater response rate to be consistently useful. Formatting for a small screen would be wise. The questions would require adaptation for other topics. Alternatively, a shorter version of the questionnaire could focus the inquiry more directly on gathering actionable information.

International Seminary Students As Potential Mission Partners: A Case Study For Trinity School For Ministry, SAMS and Diocese of Kirinyaga, Kenya

Deborah L. Carr
This thesis was the record of Trinity students who worked together to lead conferences for Sunday school teachers in Kirinyaga, Kenya. It was a review of the challenges and opportunities we faced as Anglicans trying a new way to develop an international partnership. Five adaptations to the typical short-term missions of Society of Anglican Missionary and Senders were: 1) seminary friends served as hosts, 2) joint leadership, 3) use of locally available materials, 4) shared funding, and 5) singular focus on making disciples. It concluded with 12 common sense methods toward better mission practices.
This thesis was the record of Trinity students who worked together to lead conferences for Sunday school teachers in Kirinyaga, Kenya.


Caitlin Thomas Deyerle D.Min.
With a goal of developing a new practice of mission to address the disconnect between a congregation and its surrounding community and engage the historical and ongoing limitations of mission practices, this project sought to engage the skills of pastoral care to create a relational focused practice of holy listening. A five-week Lenten Listening program was developed to cultivate this practice and use it to create a deeper partnership with local educators. The evaluation methods used were a survey of the congregational participants before and after the program, and in-person interviews with the educators following the program. The project addresses racial and socioeconomic differences between church and community as a primary barrier to mission partnership.

An Examination of Stonebriar Community Church’s Mission Project in Chhattisgarh,
India, 2003-2014, and the Lessons That Were Learned That Can Benefit a Western
Evangelical Church or Mission Agency Engaged in Cross-Cultural Mission Work

Thomas J Hayes D.Min.
The first missionary effort by Americans to engage in cross-cultural Christian
mission was by Adoniram and Ann Judson. They set sail from Salem, Massachusetts, on2
February 19, 1812.1 Since that day, a steady stream of missionaries and mission work has
departed from the American Church. There have been periods of incredible growth as
well as periods of marginal interest. However, from the twentieth century and extending
into the twenty-first century was a period of time in which the American Church led the
global efforts of cross-cultural mission work. During that more than one hundred years,
the American Church sent more cross-cultural workers into more nations than any other
country in the world. The American Church leadership of the global mission effort was
not simply relegated to the number of cross-cultural workers sent: the American Church
also financed more mission efforts than any other country, formed more diverse types of
mission agencies, and created whole new styles of ministries during this unprecedented
time period of mission growth
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