Spiritual formation

Leading select members to develop a plan for engaging the New Testament with consistency and reflection

Author
Michael J Clements
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to lead members at First Baptist Church of Floresville, Texas to engage the Scripture with consistency and reflection. God commands believers to engage his word, and through obedience to his command, members have the opportunity for spiritual change. Scripture records both reading and/or listening as two mediums for engagement. The administrator of this project directed memebrs to engage Scripture through an aural medium . Listening and reflection templates along with five assessments provided measurable evaluations. The project revealed new habits and spiritual change for the selected members.

Enabling the preacher: the impact of spiritual formation on those who preach

Author
Brian K Jensen
Abstract
The formation of the people of God is vital for pastors. I believe preaching can facilitate this formation. yet in order for the people of God to be formed, I believe the preachers must be formed. What impact does the intentional spiritual formation of P.C. (U.S.A.) preachers in northeast Ohio have on their preaching? Specifically, if they are better able to discern God's activity and will, will their preaching be more effective? I will conduct a faith formation experiment with a group of ministers and evaluate their preaching in an effort to determine if intentional spiritual formation impacts their preaching.

Lay training and spiritual formation for leadership and ministry in the rural multi-station parishes of St. Peter and St. Anne, North Abaco, Bahamas

Author
Santosh K Marray
Abstract
This project proposes a model of lay training and spiritual formation for ministry among lay leaders in rural multi-station parishes. Lay leaders undertook a two-year training program supervised by the author. Five models were employed to guide the formation process. In group sessions and practical experience lay leaders deepen their skill and self-awareness, increase awareness of God's call on them to partnership with clergy in faithful sustainable ministry within the church and community. The entire rural parish community realizes unexpected benefits when laity are empowered for ministry in the Church.

Soul retreats: re-visioning retreat ministry for the postmodern world

Author
Barry G Donaghue
Abstract
The author investigated the hypothesis that retreat facilitation in the postmodern world requires a more agile approach--Soul Retreats--and that the agenda of each retreat be largely supplied by its participants. As the focus of retreat work is people, the method required study across all relevant disciplines, combined with a project of several retreats as an ongoing praxis. The energy generated by the project retreats gave strong indication that agile, postmodern leadership which fused theology, scripture, and group dynamics, with the surfaced group patterns of thought, language, and usages of power, was life-giving to all project groups.

Breathing in, breathing out: holistic spiritual formation in the congregation

Author
Jay F Smith
Abstract
Christian spiritual formation involves a balanced, integrated, holistic practice of inner disciplines, as well as, other actions of service. The author studied this integrated approach to spiritual formation through a case study methodology involving thirteen volunteers who spent eight weeks "breathing in" through weekly sessions of prayer, Bible study, and reflection, and "breathing out" through weekly trips to a homeless shelter. Data was collected through observations, questionnaires, interviews, and journals. The author found this thesis confirmed in every respect. All participants expressed a deepening of their spiritual lives and showed evidence of a deepened understanding of Christian spiritual formation and spirituality.

Spiritual growth of small group participants using a Wesley-developmental model

Author
Victor B Willis
Abstract
This dissertation studies the growth in faith and development in leadership of thirty-three United Methodist parishioners in short-term small groups. The purpose of this study was to create and evaluate a Wesleyan Faith Development Model that marries Fowler's stages of faith with Wesley's means of grace. Two curricula were tested along with a process control group over a twelve-week period. Two instruments were used: one quantitative pre- and post-test inventory and one qualitative exit interview. Participants came away from the study more aware of God's grace that is made accessible through Jesus Christ and how that grace is received relationally, in the community of faith. The study closes with suggestions for effective implementation with new Christians or seekers. Other recommendations and possibilities for further research are found within the study.

Character development: a study during evening worship at Sardis Chapel

Author
Harold William Burgess
Abstract
Using the Rokeach Value Survey and a ten factor Decision Making Instrument, a six week study of the main elements of character was conducted during the evening worship service of Sardis Chapel United Methodist Church to discover if Christian character can be taught. An average placement exchange occurred between freedom and self-respect for the entire group. The group raised responsibility one average position alluding to the explanation by psychiatrist M. Scott Peck that a person must exercise responsibility for spiritual growth.

Organizing for spiritual nurture in a Lutheran parish context

Author
Frank A Paine
Abstract
In response to an identified parish need for revitalized spiritual nurture, the author explores Christian spirituality in general and the Lutheran tradition in particular. The spirituality typology of Urban Holmes and Corinne Ware is used to reflect upon the Christian heritage and the parish context. Utilizing this materail in the work of a Spiritual Nurture Committee leads the author to commend this typology for enhancing pastoral and congregational spiritual nurture. The author offers guidelines for spiritual nurture in a Lutheran parish context and reflects upon Lutheran Via de Cristo and Christ Renews His Parish in light of this tradition.
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