Vocation

Formed in the itinerancy : shaped as disciples, authorized as pastors, and sent as missionaries in the Susquehanna Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

Author
James Patrick Bohanan
Abstract
This project focuses on itinerancy in The United Methodist Church as a practice, in the life of the writer, and in the stories of multiple clergy interviewed and surveyed. The narrative research concentrates on the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church, though it also includes clergy from eleven other annual conferences. Five bishops and one general church executive were interviewed. The writer offers a theology of the itinerancy and encourages itinerant clergy to contemplate how they have been shaped as disciples, authorized as pastors, and sent as missionaries in the context of their itinerancy.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Vocation as a Focus for Mission Effectiveness with Mid-Level Leaders at a Catholic University

Author
Mark J. Laboe D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project proposes that the work of Catholic mission effectiveness at a large, diverse Catholic university in the United States can be enriched through a rediscovery and re-founding of the theological notion of vocation, which can serve as a distinguishing contribution of Catholic education in an increasingly pluralistic society. Furthermore, focusing attention on the important role and vocation of mid-level leaders, who often hold a significant influence on organizational culture, can be a strategic focus for the work of advancing a culture of vocation as well as sustaining the institution's founding charism and mission in the face of the diminishing influence of the sponsoring religious community.

Vocation for mission : understanding how work is integral to God's mission to the world

Author
Richard M Vise
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how congregants in leadership roles understand their work as integral to God's mission in the world. A qualitative research study was designed in which the areas of literature on a Christian theology of vocation and employee engagement were reviewed. The researcher discovered that congregants described their lives and their work as integral to God's mission in the world. They also described the effect of their working environments on that belief and the fruitful work that emerged from that belief.

Called to duty shaping the call to ministry at the Word Church in Cleveland, Ohio

Author
Willie R Patton
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact the knowledge, attitude, and actionof parishoners regarding their call to ministry at The Word Church in Cleveland, OH through participation in an eight week seminar on call to ministry. The project design included administrationof pre-text and post-test five point Likert scale assessment to capture the knowledge, attitude and action of participants on the subject matter and evaluation of the study. The results of the eight-week seminar revealed that there was a major impact ranging from +0.79 - +1.05 regarding the participants' knowledge, attitude, and action towards their personal call to ministry in the Black Church tradition.

The Application of Spiritual Gifts Training as a Tool in Team Leadership Development for Bi-Vocational Ministry at Light Church of Federal Way

Author
John Y Kamiya
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to build an effective lay leadership team for bi-vocational ministry at Light Church of Federal Way, Washington. With the application of Spiriutal Gifts training as a tool, a group of lay leaders will have identified their gift(s) to serve in the minstry. The purpose of the project is to teach, inspire, and form a team of leaders that will hsare in the minstry with the bi-vocational pastro to meet its potential in reaching to the members, as well as to the community of unbelievers.

Living Our Strengths for Ministry

Author
Brian C Smith
Abstract
In response to the vocation of all Christians to share in Christ's ministry, the "Living Our Strengths for Ministry" project utilizes a workshop with participant action research methods to help participants identify and integrate their gifts for ministry. The workshop incorporates collaborative learning through a mini-lecture, individual reflection, small group discussion, role play, and focus group discussion. Participants explore their results from Gallup's StrengthsFinder assessment from a Christian perspective. Measurement tools include StrengthsFinder results, repeated Likert-style questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews. The research shows that a strengths-based workshop positively influences participants' ability to identify and integrate their gifts for ministry.

Made to make a difference: ministry formation and the holistic redemptive vision of the kingdom of God

Author
Lance Blair Dixon
Abstract
Building on the work of Harv Powers and Rod Cooper in redemptive leadership, this thesis-project seeks to clarify the biblical meaning of redemption and provide a model of discipleship that takes into account the full implications of participating in Christ's transformative work in the world. The goal of designing a holistic discipleship model is to enable Christians to understand more fully and practice more intentionally the true nature of God's reign which we have been called to witness and serve, which is the redemption of all creation. The chapters build toward the development of a curriculum designed to offer every disciple a deeper biblical understanding of God's reign, a clear process of growth consistent with this holistic redemptive biblical vision, and a set of right practices to follow in each dimension of growth, regardless of the participant's particular sense of vocation. By building the curriculum on two influential ethical models of character formation, participants were given the tools to identify ways of deepening their commitment to Christ, growing in their conviction of the kingdom of God, cultivating a more compassionate heart, and developing the kind of Christ-like character that would bear the fruit of the kingdom in their daily lives.

A strategy for leading high school students at Northview Bible Church to make vocational decisions that reflect their commitment to Jesus Christ

Author
Craig L Ferderer
Abstract
The author endeavored to develop a strategy to assist high school students in making decisions about their future careers that reflect their devotion to Jesus Christ. The project took place in the context of the high school youth group of Northview Bible Church in Spokane, Washington. It included biblical teaching and interviews of Christian professionals followed by voluntary student participation in a survey and in focus groups to measure understanding and plans for implementation. The results show marked increase of intended plans on the student's part to steward their gifts in a manner that best serves God and people.

Called to serve -- a study of committed lay leaders and their ministry: the Church at the Crossing, Indianapolis, Indiana

Author
James R Cook
Abstract
The effectiveness of local church ministry depends to a great extent upon lay leaders. This ethnographic study focused on what motivates congregational lay leaders to bring high levels of commitment to their service in the church and community. Eight lay leaders were interviewed, Nineteen motivational factors were identified. Findings connected lay ministry with vocation; linked Bowen systems theory with leadership for adaptive changes; and marked leadership insights for church leaders.

What do you want to be when you grow up? bridging the gap between spiritual gifts and the workday world

Author
Daniel P Gleason
Abstract
In this project, the author explores an apparent disconnect, or underutilization, of spiritual gifts in the work-day world. Through tools that support the exploration of the biblical, spiritual, physical and occupational aspects of vocation, individuals are able to better connect to their spiritual gifts and this in turn facilitates discernment of their vocational calling. The author concludes that through the use of spiritual gifts in our work, individuals mature in their relationship with God, creativity is heightened, workers experience fulfillment and God's will for good in the world is further realized.
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