Alaska

Planning and Implementing Pastoral Succession at University Baptist Church Fairbanks, Alaska

Author
Grady Alan Cox D.Min.
Abstract
This Ministry Research Project aims to demonstrate a system for pastoral succession for congregationally governed Baptist Churches with by-laws requiring a pastor search committee system. Pastoral succession is a viable mechanism for pastoral selection in Baptist polity when certain factors are met, including predecessor’s tenure, successor’s qualifications and calling, and congregational understanding and support. Chapter 1 explains the opportunity for pastoral succession to create healthier churches and outlines the context, rationale, goals, and methodology used for this specific project. Chapter 2 examines biblical examples and exhortations from Scripture about succession of spiritual leaders in the Old and New Testaments (Moses/Joshua, Elijah/Elisha, Paul/Pastors, Jesus/Apostles). Chapter 3 argues for the advantages of pastoral succession through historical examples (St. Augustine, Gregory of Nazianzus, Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Fuller), and explores practical advantages supported by biblical leadership theory. Chapter 4 describes the planning, implementation, and results of a pastoral succession at University Baptist Church Fairbanks, AK. Chapter 5 evaluates the effectiveness of pastoral succession through set goals, defines theological principles supporting succession, and highlights best practices and common mistakes. Finally, it analyzes the possibility of using a similar process for healthy and intentional ministry leadership transitions.

Increasing the Transformational Quality of a Sermon by Soliciting Input from the Congregation during the Sermon Preparation Process

Author
Michael C Merriner
Abstract
Does soliciting input from others when preparing a sermon increase the transformational quality of that sermon? Six sermons preached at Clear Wather Church in Anchorage, Alaska were prepared with the help of a feed-forward group and compared to six sermons prepared without input. Listeners assessed the transformational quality of each sermon by completing a listener survey. There was no statistically significant difference in how the listeners assessed either set of sermons. The results of this quantitative study call into question the theory that soliciting input when preparing sermons increases their transformational quality.

Christian formation in Alaska: requirements for an effective catechetical process

Author
Steven R Lambert
Abstract
This project examines specific contextual factors of Alaska that obstruct and undermine the birth and survival of faith in Jesus Christ for Alaskans. Through 36 interviews with active and inactive Christians and people who are agnostic, atheists, skeptics, indifferent, or hostile to the Christian faith the project evaluates the effectiveness of the catechetical process Basic Christianity as it addresses the Alaskan context and suggests modifications and adaptations to it. These suggestions address negative influences of the Alaskan environment, lack of value on community, need for people to understand the negative influences of modernity, and Alaskan preoccupation with individualism, self-sufficiency, and independence--all of which may hinder faith in Christ.

Establishing lay-lead ministry along the highway system of Alaska

Author
Chris J Reinke
Abstract
In this project lay-led ministry centers were established in remote, scattered communities on the highway system of Alaska. Based on the universal priesthood of all believers, a circuit rider pastor, using modern technology, solicits, trains, and supervises the lay ministers. Written and oral evaluations reveal a highly positive response to the project, but also indicate the extreme difficulty most site residents have in overcoming their preference for pastor-led ministries even when these are unfeasible.
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