Bible--Acts

An Examination of Discipleship in Army Chapel Ministries Overseas

Author
Jesse McCullough D.Min.
Abstract
Military chapels face unique situations that churches do not. These circumstances complicate making Biblical disciples, especially in an overseas environment. As pastors called to preach the gospel and make disciples, Army chaplains must discern how to fulfill the command of Christ while also working as an Army staff officer. Measuring whether growth is occurring may provide information to help chaplains keep what is working and change what is not. This project is designed to gauge whether chapels in an overseas environment, specifically Germany, are truly making disciples in accordance with the Biblical mandate. The research combines context, theological basis, and surveys of congregants to attempt determining which factors contribute to growth and which are unimportant. Advice for lessons learned and further research are included.

AN EXAMINATION OF SELECT PRACTICES IN CHINESE IMMIGRANT CHURCHES THAT ARE REACHING SECOND GENERATION AMERICAN BORN CHINESE

Author
Don Laing D.Min.
Abstract
The challenge of the Chinese immigrant church (CIC) in America is the ongoing departure of its second-generation, American-born Chinese (ABC), now commonly called the “silent exodus.” The Overseas Born Chinese (OBC) leaders of these CICs need to champion a clear and compelling vision of reaching these ABCs that rises above retention. In addition, these OBC leaders will need to incorporate two more practices to reach their second-generation: (1) embrace a biblical culture above either culture of origin and (2) create processes that empowers the second-generation in leadership. This research project evaluated these three practices within three churches that were determined to be reaching their second-generation.
This dissertation was divided into three parts. It opened with a literature review that examined each of the three practices relating to vision, culture and leadership. The dissertation then continued with the construction of the research procedure, utilizing the case study approach. Three Chinese immigrant churches were chosen for this study: Houston Chinese Church, Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles and West Houston Chinese Church. The qualitative research method was applied to handle the field research portion of this study including but not limited to site visits, interviews, and the follow-up questionnaire. The findings of this project were discussed and evaluated regarding the significance of them and the recommendations for future study. The case studies affirmed the significance of each of the three hypotheses.

Transforming Migrants to Missionaries: Reaching and Training Inner-City Transient Apartment Dwellers for Christ

Author
Wilbert C Baker D.Min.
Abstract
Chapter 1 of this dissertation project argues that using a disciple-making method that has relationship-building as a key ingredient in the process is more effective in reaching African-American inner-city apartment residents than door-to-door evangelism using tracts. This study is a comparison of how evangelism is typically done among Baptist churches (and most Evangelical churches) with how it should be done to fulfill the Great Commission.
Chapter 2 argues that both God and man have roles in evangelism, and that God’s sovereignty does not exempt man from his responsibility and accountability to God in receiving and sharing the gift of salvation.
Chapter 3 examines segments of evangelism and missions from a historical perspective and records insights for contemporary ministry from a historical and theological perspective.
Chapter 4 Describes the new people Group: African-American inner-city transient apartment residents. It describes their culture, world view, and their self-image.
Chapter 5 conducts research in the selected environment with selected indigenous individuals to collect and analyze data to discover the most effective means to reach inner-city African-American apartment residents with the Gospel.
Chapter 6 argues the conclusion, based upon the findings of the research accumulated from the two trained teams and the six selected families, that evangelism which engages in disciple-making after leading persons to Christ, is twice as effective as evangelism models that lead persons to Christ but do not include any follow-up and training. The disciple-making model is effective in this context and can be duplicated in the twenty-first century. This study does not compare evangelism without disciple making with evangelism with disciple making. This study compares what the majority of Baptist churches are doing to fulfill the Great Commission with what they should be doing to fulfill the Great Commission with particular attention given to the African-American inner-city transient apartment dwellers.


Church Growth Principles and Applications from the Book of Acts

Author
Chi-Hung Liao
Abstract
The foundation of this research comes from the Book of Acts. As the first witnesses of Christ's ascension, the disciples were overjoyed. They remembered the lessons taught by Jesus. On Pentecost, the disciples waited for the filling of the Holy Spirit. After experiencing the power of God's Spirit, they began to testify that Jesus is the Christ. Wherever they went they shared about the salvation of grace through Jesus only. This is the testimony that the 21st century church coveted.

Making disciples: reclaiming the heartland soul of the church at the cross through transformational accountability

Author
John A Vacchiano
Abstract
In the "Great commission" of Matthew 28:18-20 the Lord Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to "make disciples." The evidence of their obedience to this "command" and the effects of their choice can be clearly seen in the New Testament church of the book of Acts. The author of this project has created a preaching/teaching response model based upon Acts 2:42 that has addresses the local church's declining health of "making disciples." As a result of the implementation of this model, along with a renewed understanding of "making disciples," the local church has reclaimed its essential New Testament command of Jesus Christ to "make disciples" along with an experienced renewal of their church's overall health.

Rebooting the mission: back to the future

Author
Gary Gonzales
Abstract
Timberlake Christian Fellowship seeks greater missional effectiveness in reaching postmoderns. The project attempted to "reboot" its missionary efforts by applying growth principles from Acts. The researcher identifies ten aspects of the early church's strategy that enabled it to rapidly disseminate its message despite severe limitations and suggests ways to apply them in 21st-century churches. The researcher studied four local churches trying to re-engage their communities through missional involvement. Interviews were conducted to gain leadership perspectives on what does and does not work and reports the results. The researcher ends by offering additional insights for established churches contemplating missional change.

A study of prayer in Acts as a catalyst for congregational vision and renewal

Author
Michael Dwayne Jackson
Abstract
Prayer is more than a simple devotional activity. It is the primary work of the church and the way the faith community partners with God in God's redeeming work in the world. However, the ministry of the church can often serve as a shallow substitute for a vital relationship with God. Luke's presentation of the early faith community in the book of Acts elevates prayer to its essential role in shaping the life and ministry of the church. This project seeks to utilize the prayer passages in the book of Acts as a way of reorienting congregational life and ministry around the intentional practice of prayer.

For the building up of the body of Christ: constitutive elements for a congregational program of growth

Author
Thomas Edwards Breed
Abstract
The Holy Spirit creates and engenders growth in the church; as it is God's will that the church grow, it is necessary that the church listen to the Spirit to determine the essentials of how the church grows. The author described how the work of the Holy Spirit is active and applicable to the life of a congregation. This was done through an exegesis of four New Testament passages (Matthew 28.16-20, Luke 24.44-53, Acts 1-10, and Ephesians 4.1-16), a study of Lutheran Confessional documents, and a report of the life and ministry of the congregations he has served as pastor.

Core values and cooperative ministry: the impact of an inductive study of the book of Acts on strategic planning in two Wyoming Southern Baptist associations

Author
Fred Creason
Abstract
The thesis of this paper reads as follows: a strategic planning process, based on an inductive study of core values and cooperative ministry in the book of Acts, will have a positive impact on the mindsets of the leadership team members in two Wyoming Southern Baptist associations. The author led the team members through a simplified strategic planning process, from scripture, to values, to ministries, to preliminary plans for implementing those ministries. The author verified his thesis, through quantitative and qualitative measurements. The team members' mindsets were changed through the process. They evidenced a greater openness to future planning efforts.

Creating a congregational mission statement through a study of the marks of the church in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2

Author
Jay M Hollingsworth
Abstract
The project is to prepare biblical mission statements for congregations from Acts 2. It also verifies that Acts 2 describes the church's marks. The research analyses the main problem with church mission statements. It tests Acts 2 as a basis for the church's marks and for a study guide fro writing mission statements. It evaluates a church group's usage of the study guide to produce a biblical mission statement. The results were mixed. A mission statement from Acts 2 was not achieved. But the church was influenced by the project to produce a biblical mission statement two years later.
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