Spiritual exercises

Developing Christlike Disciples with the Fourfold Spiritual Journey Model at Westwood Alliance Church

Author
Wai Fung Chow D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, the author explores spiritual formation as a deeper life journey to imitate Jesus Christ. The key question the research addressed is how Jesus’ followers in Westwood Alliance Church (hereafter called WAC) can walk into a deeper life journey with Jesus Christ. Four aspects of Jesus’ life on earth have been identified for the sake of living out the life modelled by Jesus Christ (Discipline, Surrender, Testimony, and Community). The author examined the question through four separate yet related dimensions: (i) the author’s spiritual autobiography into the Life of Discipline, in which the author confirmed his vocational calling from God; (ii) the process of recovering from grief into the Life of Surrender, in which the author realized the valuable transformation in his life after his wife’s passing; (iii) the Fourfold Spiritual Journey model into the Life of Testimony, in which the author tried to formulate a deeper life practice in WAC; (iv) and the field research project into the Life of Community, in which the author practised early morning prayer with a small group of people. The conclusion is that walking a spiritual journey with Jesus Christ in WAC is practical and achievable through practising spiritual disciplines to achieve the awareness of God’s presence in one’s daily life, abiding in Christ to achieve a lifestyle of surrender, sharing one’s testimony to equip other disciples, and reaching out the community of faith to serve one another.

Equipping the Worship Leadership Team of Northpark Baptist Church, Trussville, Alabama in selected spiritual disciplines

Author
Charles W Martin
Abstract
This project utilized information from reserach in the field of spiritual disciplines for the development and leading of a weekend experience to equip the Worship Leadership team at Northpark Baptist Church for the practice of selected disciplines. The curriculum for the weekend highlighted five disciplines that would be most useful for worship leaders: worship, Bible intake, prayer, solitude and silence, and service. The project director used various learning methods to train these worship leaders in the five disciplines. During the five sessions of the equipping workshop, the worship leaders practiced the spiritual disciplines. Through the practice of these disciplines, the selected worship leaders learned how to experience the presence of God.

How Fostering Spiritual Practice Builds Spiritual Confidence

Author
Cynthia Byers Walter
Abstract
This paper explains how fostering spiritual practice builds spiritual confidence. To address pervading local and cultural anxiety, the author provided congregational leaders with a set of workbooks designed to develop spiritual vocabulary and nurture spiritual growth. Based on the nature of spirituality, spiritual gifts, the theology of baptism and the kingdom of God, and supported by educational, faith development and neuroscientific theory, the project demonstrated how guided spiritual exercises combined with group support provided congregational leaders with needed confidence for speaking meaningfully about their prayer lives, growing spiritually, and sharing with others about their faith.

A training manuel on pastoral character formation based on 2 Timothy 1-2

Author
Shu Mei Pan
Abstract
The emphasis of this dissertation is on pastoral character formation with a focus on the pastoral needs of the Evangelical Formosan Church in Taiwan. This is based on Paul's advise to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1-2. We have incorporated the spiritual exercises of Ignatius in From the standpoint of Spiritual Theology, this dissertation will probe into spiritual exercises inherited from the traditions in church history. Integrating the discoveries above, 12 characteristics are selected, based on Paul's exhortations for pastors. With precise evaluations and prayers, this leads to 12 training courses toward a holistic Pastoral Character Formation.

Clean your plate: a Christian treatise for healthy living

Author
Krystal Sears
Abstract
This applied research project develops, examines and determines a link between Christian spirituality and a healthy lifestyle. This is a comprehensive approach to reducing and eliminating obesity and food diseases in Christians through fasting, eating well, and exercise. The research method utilized for this project was a 31 day program that increased the spiritual growth of the thirty-six people in the areas of intellectual capacity about food, convictions, and conduct in a verifiable manner that is statistically significant. The research reveals that through spirituality and commitment that the participants are able to eliminate or mitigate the harms associated with food related diseases.

The order of Christian military chaplains: recovering, sustaining, and strengthening the spirituality of Christian military chaplains

Author
Toby E Lofton
Abstract
This paper seeks to answer the question, "Can the development of an Order and Rule help chaplains recover, sustain, and strengthen their spirituality?" The author explores the austere working environment of military chaplains. Then he researches the Order and Rule of the Knights Templar, extrapolating the primary spiritual disciplines, to develop a modern day Order for Christian Military Chaplains. The author tests the effectiveness of the Order through a four-week study. He concludes that an Order of Christian Military Chaplains that follows a rule of discipline can help chaplains recover, sustain, and strengthen their spirituality.

Spiritual formation through spiritual journaling

Author
Yunsoo Chung
Abstract
Spiritual journaling is a proper spiritual discipline in the Korean Church. Spiritual discipline is the Holy Spirit's transformation of our life at the same time it is our devotion to God for our transformation. Spiritual discipline is not applying a principle to Christian life. It is a deep and intimate encountering event between God and us. Therefore, spiritual journaling is a way of discipline for our spiritual growth. It makes us to reflect in God, to purify our negative emotions and to find ways of solving our problems. By spiritual journaling, Hyosung Central Methodist Church can get valuable result of transformation.

Equipping leaders at Mountain View Baptist Church Tucson, AZ, to facilitate spiritual growth through individual spiritual disciplines

Author
Bret D Burnett
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to help the members of Mountain View Baptist Church in Tucson, Arizona, to grow spiritually by improving their practice of individual spiritual disciplines. The goal is to develop a mentoring process where leaders can assist church members in practicing five specific individual spiritual disciplines that will help them grow spiritually on their own. Participants will gain an understanding of these disciplines and practice them for a specific period. Evaluation of spiritual growth will be by means of a pre and post project survey.

Blessed to be a blessing: choosing life as God's beloved

Author
Ronald E Zook
Abstract
God blesses us to make a blessing! Blessing is choosing life as God's beloved. God loves life and created us for life. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Listening prayer leads to choosing Jesus and experiencing a way of life so contagious that one overflows with life and blessing to others. Five weeks of daily spiritual blessing exercises are developed and tested by eight participants. The exercises lead to an inner experience of God and an outward life of radical discipleship, obedience, and service.

Nurturing the "Mary" side of "Martha congregations": practicing journaling + reflection on mission trips

Author
Sandra M Kern
Abstract
Martha congregations are committed to hands on mission work, but they are often so busy doing good work that they neglect to develop their spiritual relationship with the Lord. This project tested the process of intentionally utilizing spiritual practices such as prayer, scripture reading, journaling and group reflection as a part of short term mission trips to strengthen spiritual growth among participants. Participatory Action Research was the primary research method employed for the development of a reflection guide and follow-up interviews with volunteers in mission. Findings indicate that intentional practices of journaling and group reflecting are effective in nurturing faith development.
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