Theology, Practical

Looking at salvation the visual and material culture of the small church and the community

Author
Barbara Suffecool
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to help congregations and pastors become more aware of and intentional about the impact of the theology of the visual and material objects within the worship space, focusing specifically on small rural churches and their communities. The author used surveys and interviews to ascertain the meaning images held not only for the individual members but also for pastors, visitors, and the congregation as an entity. The project results suggest that pastors need to be open to dialogue with the congregation on the theological impact of images and material objects.

A study on naturing the faith of church newcomvers a case study at Sadang Central Korean Methodist Church

Author
Kyu Ho Cho
Abstract
The Korean Church lost the essence and most important virtue of church, 'the community spirit of faith based on equality' owing to the negative effects of the only-growth principle stressing the size and property value of a church, the worsening duplicity of each Christian, church, and religious body caused by the increasing gap between faith and practice. This study focuses on a way to integrate 'maturity of Christian faith' with 'faith supported by reflective praxis' as a fundamental method to overcome the crisis, and planned, developed and put into action a project to nurture the faith of church newcomers as a realistic and practical strategy.

The word in our mouths: Scripture memory and recitation as proclaimation in congregational worship and practice

Author
Stacy S Duke
Abstract
This project considers a re-imagined communal engagement with the oral/aural dimension of scripture. The thesis of this project is that scripture memory and recitation within public worship can provide pastors of mainline congregations a way to facilitate fresh encounters with scripture as a living word. Using ethnographic listening practices, the study investigates the effect of scripture recitation as a form of proclamation in one mainline protestant congregation over the course of two years. The project concludes that this simple, ancient practice offers dynamic possibilities for congregations to engage with scripture in a personal and powerful way.

How to build teamwork in Christian ministry

Author
Liu Yi
Abstract
This dissertation seeks to explore what the core components of an effective team are in the context of the local church. The author addresses the biblical and theological foundations of teamwork in the pastoral ministry, reviews and analyzes existing discourse and practices of church teamwork and the data on their effects, and provides suggestions for building teamwork, targeting factors that lead to problems faced by the local church's ministry. Ultimately, this dissertation argues that a common purpose, clear roles, strong leadership, effective processes, solid relationships, and excellent communication are all equally necessary qualities a highly effective team possesses.

Connecting Church and Community The Ministry of Presence as a Community Pastor

Author
Cynthia R Bolden
Abstract
This ministry project assisted a local church in going outside its walls into the neighborhood in order to connect with the community. A primary objective was to embody sacred presence in the community. Another objective was to discover principles, practices, language, and metrics for the ministry of presence. The project was rooted in the practices of table fellowship, spiritual formation, and engagement with the Other through invitational conversation, acts of charity, and hospitality. The project offers insight for implementing and measuring relational and community ministry, particularly with millennials; it also explores the role of community pastor.

The Altar Call in the Church Today

Author
Gerald B Krupp
Abstract
From Genesis to Revelation the Bible issues a consistent invitation to humanity to respond to the call of God on their lives. These moments we might call altar moments. During the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries these moments were put into a strategy of evangelism. Revivalists and crusade evangelists, during this period, used the invitation to an altar of prayer as a way to solidify new found faith. During the Twenty-first Century, the altar call has fallen into disuse. This project was designed to take a fresh look at the altar call to consider how it might be used in the church today.

Proactive Systematic Pastoral Visitation in Shepherding the Contemporary Church

Author
Daniel P Chittock
Abstract
The objective of this project was to consider continuing, intentional pastoral visitation determining its pertinence to contemporary church life and identifying any effects resulting from this ministry. Given the relative scarcity of this pastoral work the project began with a defense of its propriety. The cardinal consequence of the visitation emerging from the research was the vitality of relationship between pastors and people, and seen as practical and integral to the advancement of a trust relationship of love between shepherd and those shepherded with respect and pastoral care.

Rapologetics: How the Gospel of Christ Takes On the Street

Author
Robert C Hepburn
Abstract
An examination of the divide between the Church and hip-hop culture, singularly focused on Scripture's capacity for crossing said chasm. After mapping out Biblical and theological foundations (discovering numerous parallels with hip-hop culture and rap music), the author exegetes the street (following Nehemiah 1-2 and Acts 17:16-34), analyzing its worldview, value system, trusted armor, operational strategies, codes, etc., exhorting the saints to engage its challenges and uncertainties to discover God's hidden treasure (the imago Dei), tucked away in difficult, obscure places. A course of study is offered, enabling the saints to reach unreached street-oriented young urban Black males in situ.

The necessity of constant word and sacrament praxis for the propagation of Christian discipleship within United Methodism

Author
William J Stallings
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to discover the extent to which local churches of the North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church utilize the classic Wesleyan praxis of constant Word and Sacrament in fulfillment of the mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ. The project included the administration of a survey to all appointed pastors-in-charge in the NCC. The most prominent finding of the study was the observed discrepancy between the high sacramental understanding of Holy Communion efficacy purportedly held by so many NCC pastors and the lack of administration frequency practiced by the same pastors.

Sermons that go to work how preachers apply sermons to the workplace

Author
Robert J Toornstra
Abstract
Christians have difficulty applying their faith in their daily vocations in part because the sermons they hear fail to connect to the needs they face in their workplaces. The purpose of this study was to explore how Christians apply sermons in the workplace. This study was a qualitative study, employing a semi-structured interview protocol with eight individuals employed in a variety of profession. Data was analyzed using the constant-comparative method. The findings of the study demonstrated that there are gaps in the ways that listeners apply sermons at work, and that there are specific steps that pastors can take to equip their listeners to better apply sermons at work.
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