Worship

Pray for reign : the eschatological Elijah in James 5:17-18

Author
James Marion Darlack
Abstract
James uses the prophet Elijah as an example of righteous prayer. This thesis explores the possibility that James may have intended his readers to recognize both historical and eschatological imagery associated with the biblical prophet. First, it shows that in early Jewish literature the eschatological and historical Elijah traditions were not held in isolation of each other. Imagery from descriptions of Elijah’s eschatological return is used to describe the pre-ascension ministry of the prophet, while the eschatological mission of the prophet is described using elements of the historical narrative. Second, the thesis demonstrates that James’ prescript “to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion,” sets a tone of inaugurated and yet-to-be-consumated eschatology, and that the mention of Elijah helps form an eschatological inclusio that frames the letter. Third, the New Testament use use of Elijah’s drought outside of James is explored showing again that elements from the Elijah’s drought in 1 Kings were used in eschatological contexts, and that Elijah’s three and a half year drought, as mentioned by James, is used to illustrate a period of judgment for the sake of effecting repentance in these contexts. Fourth and finally, the images of rain and drought are viewed through an eschatological lens, revealing their role as covenant blessing and curse, and eschatological judgment and restoration. It is concluded that James’ readers could have recognized the eschatological implications of using Elijah as an example of faithful, righteous prayer, and that James assigns his readers a role similar to that of the eschatological prophet. They are called to endure in the midst of eschatological trials and to effect repentance before the arrival of the soon-coming King.

A study of the First Corinthians from the viewpoint of balance and the pastoral balance required in Tampa Korean Evangelical Church

Author
Byunguk Lee
Abstract
This paper is about the project I have tried in hopes of preventing another church split after taking a position as the senior pastor at a church that has scars of division. For seven Wednesday worship services, I chose 1 Corinthians as the main text for the sermons. Then the contents of sermons were developed into Bible study materials for different ministry groups. I approached the 1 Corinthians from the perspective of balance. I prepared my weekly messages based on passages with the principle of balance.

From Sitting Around the Table to Setting the Table A New Approach to Church Council Meetings

Author
Eric C Schlichting
Abstract
Stepping into leadership on a church council is a challenging calling. This project demonstrates that the ministry of worship can be used to offer church council members a more clearly focused and more richly rewarding experience of serving in leadership. This intervention introduced a format for meetings based on a pattern for worship, and through mixed-methods research, affirmed that a meeting modeled on worship improves council members' sense of purpose, sense of effectiveness and sense of satisfaction.

The Church as Family Worshipping in Unconventional Settings

Author
Janice L Six
Abstract
The project created opportunities for small group communal worship in unconventional settings among children and adults. The purpose was to identify the ways worship contributes to an awareness of God's presence in all places, and to the understanding of the church as family. The prominent research method employed was the pro-active research method wherein the researcher and participants were actively engaged with one another in a transformative process. As a result, communal worship is understood as an attitude of the heart, and when the Holy Spirit simultaneously tugs at the heart-strings of young and old alike kinship is nurtured.

Revitalization and reconciliation of worship in the Southern District Convocation of the United Holy Church of America

Author
Charles E Lewis
Abstract
One of the basic features of church life in the United Holy Church (UHC) is the proliferation of worship and music. The purpose of the thesis entitled "Revitalization and Reconciliation of Worship in the Southern District Convocation of the United Church of America" give you an idea the authors desire to aid in revitalization and restoration of worship within the United Holy Church so that a practical theology of worship can be developed, incorporating traditional devotional-style worship and contemporary-style praise and worship. The author's objective in this project begins with identification of the two scopes of worship, traditional devotional-style worship, with its focus on spontaneous worship, and contemporary praise and worship, with its emphasis on a rehearsed worship. The content of this thesis project involves identifying the problem and its setting and presenting a theological framework, literature review, methodology of research, and outcome of the project. Throughout this project the authors' focus is the need to embrace both styles of worship will be shown with the hope of revitalizing worship so that believers and seekers will sense a real worship experience.

Musical instruments and musicians in the worship of the Canadian Reformed Churches

Author
Theodore E Lodder
Abstract
In the Canadian Reformed Churches there is both a shortage of qualified organists and a growing number of musicians who play musical instruments other than the organ, resulting in much discussion and debate about which musical instruments are the most appropriate for worship. A lack of biblical awareness and leadership concerning music in worship, combined with limited or mediocre resources and training, cultural influences, and other factors, have contributed to the present situation. This study explores, analyzes, and critiques this situation on the basis of biblical-theological and confessionally Reformed principles, taking into consideration the historical, philosophical, practical, and pastoral factors related to musical instruments and musicians in worship.

What makes worship most meaningful to the worshiper?

Author
Kent Keller
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand what makes worship most meaningful to the worshiper from the perspective of nine pastors and worship leaders in Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) churches in Miami. This study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews. The review of literature and analysis of the interviews focused on three key areas that make for maximum impact on the worshiper: intellect, affect, and will. The study concluded that for meaningful worship to happen, the engagement of all three areas is essential, making an impact that continues throughout the week. Otherwise worship will not change lives.

Equipping selected married couples with children of First Baptist Church, Hampton, Arkansas, in family worship disciplines

Author
John C Ritchie
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected married couples with children of First Baptist Church, Hampton, Arkansas, in family worship disciplines. The goal was to utilize information discovered through research about family worship disciplines as it relates to married couples with children to develop a curriculum to equip participants to initiate family worship disciplines. The selected group of married couples received workshop materials, instruction on practicing family worship disciplines, sample curriculum to teach at home, as well as demonstration of families practicing family worship disciplines. The training occurred in five sessions over the course of several weeks. The project resulted in a selected group of married couples with children of First Baptist Church, Hampton, Arkansas, demonstrating their ability to lead in the spiritual discipline of family worship.

Real presence and the cure of souls: worship and sacraments as the foundation of Christian care

Author
Joan Hockaday Watson
Abstract
The focus of this doctoral project was the foundational and formative roles of worship and sacraments in the caring ministry of the church. This ministry seeks to engage both care giver and care receiver with Christ whose redeeming presence brings wholeness and wellness. It is a case study involving seven Stephen Ministry leaders. The project explored the understanding of pastoral care as "cure of souls" and the engagement of intentional presence in that cure, Christ's presence and human presence. It explored the nature and efficacy of worship, sacraments, and Christian disciplines in this ministry and found it to be significant.

Dynamics of spiritual health and connection

Author
Richard Allen Johnson
Abstract
This project measured the impact of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations on the spiritual health of congregational leaders. The five-week program was taught to over twenty leaders using prescribed materials. Pre- and post-program questionnaires were administered to assess spiritual health. The questionnaires measured the participant's awareness of the Holy Spirit's presence, time given to spiritual development, value attributed to congregational worship, involvement in lay-supported ministry, and the value they attributed to Christian fellowship. Responses showed some improvement in each of these areas. Recommendations for further study include a longer instruction time and more focus on personal spiritual disciplines and practices.
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