Theology, Practical

Prayer and spiritual warfare in the multiple-staff church

Author
Bob Burns
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand the role that prayer has in a pastor's ministry in the multi-staff church while defending himself from the dangers in today's postmodern world. The author used qualitative research methodologies. The literature and the interviews that this author researched and conducted both proved that prayer plays an important role in sustaining the moral integrity that is necessary in the ministry of the leading pastor. The author found that these pastors most commonly practiced intercessory prayer and used such tools as journaling, music, and devotional material to aid them in their prayer life.

A theology of suffering for the church according to Paul's example to the Corinthians

Author
Benjamin D Richardson
Abstract
This dissertation demonstrates the Apostle Paul as a positive example to Christians of how to deal with suffering as evidenced by his testimony in 1-2 Corinthians. The research focuses on eight passages in 1-2 Corinthians where Paul speaks of his own suffering, determining how he suffered and how he responded to that suffering. Paul's responses are developed into 6 attitudes and 3 actions as the Christian's response to suffering. Nine outlines are provided for teaching these principles in the church and all together, they provide a theology of suffering for the church.

Growth in sermon application skills

Author
Gary W Bonebrake
Abstract
This is a study of preachers' growth in sermon application skills. This study first examines the biblical and theological basis for application in preaching, and then explores a range of issues: the importance of and difficulty of application; various approaches to applying God's word; the place of deduction and induction in preaching; the central role of ethos; the value of orality for sermon application; and the relationship between illustration and application in preaching. In addition I interviewed experienced preachers about their own growth in this dimension of their preaching ministry. The study concludes with a summary and evaluation of the findings as well as recommendations for further research in this important task of preaching Christ and bringing God's word to people today.

Effective ministry in rural Iowa

Author
Larry Doughan
Abstract
A qualitative study was done to gain a greater understanding of the attributes of effective ministries in rural Iowa. A forty-question church effectiveness survey, developed for the purpose of identifying effective rural churches, was mailed to the pastors of sixty-seven rural Reformed churches in northern Iowa. Data was gathered through six focus group meetings which revealed the following five characteristics of effective rural churches: a leadership team characterized by open discussion and good communication, a comfortable atmosphere, a willingness to address and resolve difficulties and an ability to trust each other; Willingness to experiment with new ideas for the church; Encouragement of members to participate and use their gifts; Involvement in the community; Friendliness towards and encouragement of members and non-members.

Evaluating Stephen ministry training and identifying lay caregiver characteristics at Granada Presbyterian Church

Author
D Worth Carson
Abstract
In 2000, when Granada Presbyterian Church assessed the care needs of their church, they found a renewed awareness of the need for ministries of care to church members. With no curriculum or tools already in place to train and equip church members for this ministry, Stephen Ministry was suggested. To consider the place of Stephen Ministry in the context of Granada, a review of Stephen Ministry in relation to other potential training systems was conducted to shed light on its strengths and weaknesses. The studies served to confirm the choice of Stephen Ministry as the best system for Granada to use. Further, the studies brought to light the characteristics of Stephen Ministry so that the candidates suited for this ministry can be better identified and recruited.

Rediscovering an eighth sacrament: a clergy's guide to discovering presiding and preaching as "first theology"

Author
James T Telhorst
Abstract
This thesis identifies the dynamics of the ministries of presiding and preaching as sacramental and integral to the experience of sacraments. It names the "something more," found in Saraosanctum Concilium, the place of first theology, the cosmic dimension of eucharist, and quality as contributing to the intrigue of the sacramental act. A "map of human consciousness" identifies ritual as a negotiation between the clarity of reason and the mysteries of life, revealing the challenge of the liturgical act. Works in orality and literacy identify the elements of the spoken word as identical to the dynamics of sacraments.

A model of collaborative ministry between preacher and musician

Author
Michael Brent Norris
Abstract
In worship the proclamation of the Word is accomplished through a variety of word based means including: lectionary readings, sermons, and hymn texts. This project focuses on how preacher and musician can work together to provide the worship assembly with a unified proclamation. This report explores the roles of preaching and hymns in the proclamation of the gospel. It offers a cooperative conversational model based on the tradition of lectio divina as a means of bringing together the ministries of musician and preacher in creating and offering the worshipping congregation a unified proclamation of the Word.

A successful plant: discovering church planting movements in Southern Worshester County

Author
Bruce M Dykstra
Abstract
This thesis project is a research study into what are the key principles that have been applied by church planters in Southern Worchester County an the surrounding areas. An ethnographic approach to ten church plants were included in this study. Three of the plants were investigated further with additional site visits, surveys and interviews with leaders and members of the church plant community. Four key principles were identified that contributed to the success of the church plant. The description of these discoveries will supply valuable information that can be used by future church planters.

A case for the local church applying a CRM framework to create a customer-centric approach to meeting the needs of corporate leaders in their communities

Author
William H Martel
Abstract
Evangelicals have been less successful than other religious groups in speaking to corporate managers, leaders, and executives in their communities. This project seeks to implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as a tool for developing services to all customer segments of any local church and, therefore, can be applied to the corporate leaders. Lessons from business have demonstrated the CRM is difficult to implement. A CRM framework, such as Gartner's eight block model, would help local churches leverage the benefits of CRM while avoiding the known risks. A seminar is to be developed to review the application in the churches of the Vineyard USA.

Revitalizing a missional orientation at Calvary Free Will Baptist Church, Columbus, Georgia

Author
Aaron R Baldridge
Abstract
Calvary Church had experienced a loss of ministry vitality, as evidenced in a decline in membership, salvations, and baptisms. A ministry can experience revitalization through God's power by discovering God's plan for the organization and recommitting itself to that plan. This occurs primarily through the pastoral ministry of preaching and pastoral leadership. The Praxis Director undertook to lead the congregation in a revitalization initiative to help the church experience renewal through preaching, pastoral leadership, and training. The congregation has begun the process of revitalization as evidenced by increased worship attendance, salvations, baptisms, and members involved in ministry.
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