Restoration/Stone Campbell Movement


Discerning Best Practices for Multiethnic Church of Christ Mergers

Author
Jordan T. Tatum D.Min.
Abstract
This project was aimed at discovering best practices for multiethnic Church of Christ mergers. Three churches were discovered that had formed by the merger of a White Church of Christ with a Black Church of Christ. A study of the multiethnic dynamics of the early church provided the biblical and theological foundation for this project. Special attention was given to Galatians, Romans, and Ephesians, as well as the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15. The researcher discovered that the Church was multiethnic from its inception. The researcher then researched the literature concerning multiethnic churches in America, Churches of Christ, and church mergers. These three streams of literature converged in this project and based on the literature the researcher created the research instruments for this project. The researcher then traveled to the three congregations. Questionnaires were distributed at the end of Bible class times. The researcher also took field observations at these locations. Phone calls were set up to interview key leaders after these trips. The data was then coded and analyzed for trends. The following key findings for best practices in multiethnic Church of Christ mergers were discovered. Churches should pursue unity with other churches. Mergers take time and leaders must be patient. Putting together the right steering team is vital. In most mergers, only one of the two ministers will last more than five years. The eldership should reflect the diversity of the church.

STUDYING THE IMPACT OF INTRODUCING A FOR-PROFIT SUBSIDIARY TO A LOCAL CONGREGATION

Author
Bradley Scott Stagg D.Min.
Abstract
This doctoral research project studied the impact of introducing a for-profit subsidiary to a local nonprofit congregation. The study reveals congregational leaders experienced emancipatory feelings of hope and spiritual agency when utilizing the innovation tool of a business Miniplan. Liberating congregations from the oppression of financial scarcity freed church leaders to consider new ways to address increasing costs, particularly deferred maintenance of aging buildings. This project used Participating Action Research as its research orientation, since it is ideal for business and church research. All participants reported significant spiritual growth in stewardship; emancipatory feelings of hope; and generalizability for the larger church.
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