Bible--Acts

The Training, Role and Professional Development of a Confessional Lutheran Lay Diaconate

Author
Michael Morehouse D.Min.
Abstract
The Training, Role and Professional Development of a Confessional Lutheran Lay Diaconate
What was the biblical basis, history, tradition, and practice of a Lay Diaconate in confessional Lutheran congregations? How had such served the Church? A Lay Diaconate has been trained and utilized in congregations of Southern Arizona for nearly three decades. Its officeholders were locally trained, primarily by Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod pastors. This project’s purpose, therefore, was to study that which was in place and to develop exportable teaching resources. It produced and included two courses: “Diaconal Ministry,” and “Visitation of Sick and Shut-ins.” It provided two Lay Diaconate apologetics brochures and a historical time-line of changes to the diaconate

Incorporating giving as an integral part of worship at Blessed Harvest Institute of Charlotte, North Carolina

Author
Brian Gerard Fite
Abstract
Giving is one of the most effective forms of worship we have available to us, but it has become the most exploitive and misunderstood element of the worship service. The methods and language used to frame giving within worship have led to exploitation resulting in unwillingness to wholeheartedly participate in giving as an element of worship. The literature addressing giving and the biblical interpretations are lacking in accurately speaking to the issues that arise in applying Old and New Testament scripture to address giving as an element of worship. There are a growing number of articles attempting to address the covetous nature involved in the methods and language used in inviting people to give to God. This work evaluated the giving practice in Blessed Harvest Institute by evaluating some Old and New Testament scriptures and determining how the interpretations are to be applied in the methods and language used to frame the giving experience in the worship service. Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 14:22-29, Malachi 3, Acts 3-5, 2 Corinthians 8-9, and other scriptures were used to understand the methods and language of giving biblically. Giving is to be a freewill expression of worship executed in an environment of liberty. It is necessary to reframe the concept of tithing not to be an obligation but a personal choice to express worship to God. Any prompting will remove worship from giving. Worship is a free expression that must be voluntary; therefore, giving must be voluntarily expressed, not grudgingly, by compulsion or of necessity, in order to be an element of worship.

MULTIETHNIC AND MISSIONAL: GOD’S HEART FOR AN INTEGRATED AND DIVERSE CHURCH

Author
Justin Hiebert D.Min.
Abstract
The American church is largely segregated and homogenous. This has not only stunted the growth of the church but led to an ineffective and limited mission vision. The contemporary American church must reclaim the biblical mandate to be both ethnically diverse and missionally minded. Through a qualitative research methodology this research project focuses on creating a healthy and sustainable multiethnic identity and leadership structure. Through interviewing and visiting some of the leading multiethnic churches of the Central Valley of California, the researcher lays out a clear understanding and argument for multiethnic churches. This paper examines the book of Acts, interviewing insights from key pastoral leaders, and provides a key table and summary of actionable next steps.
The insights from the book of Acts reveals that God’s original intent for the church is to be both multiethnic and missional. Contemporary literature highlights the necessary traits and qualities for healthy and sustainable leadership. Finally, interviews with leaders engaged in ministry show the foundational attitudes and characteristics leaders must possess to lead their churches through a successful transition to multiethnic.
For leaders engaging in multiethnic ministry, there are five key leadership characteristics that they must practice: humility, personal holistic health, community engagement, an intentionality in seeking out different voices, and a celebration of diversity.

Narratives Church: A Missional Church Planting Path for Cultivating a Unified Theological Vision

Author
Mark Miller D.Min.
Abstract
This research project focused on the development of a unified theological vision for the missional movement. The researcher conducted a thorough investigation of Scripture and current biblical material in order to discern the barriers existing within the missional movement. The researcher looked at key areas that shape the missional church planting movement: leadership development, theological interpretation of the early church, church planting methods and practice, ecclesiology, and the application and interpretation of Ephesians 4:11. Four church planting organizations participated: North American Mission Board, Acts 29 Network, Association of Related Churches, and Converge Worldwide. A questionnaire given to each movement revealed that there is indeed a disconnect from one movement to the next in terms of areas mentioned above.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? EFFECTIVE PREACHING IN A POST-CHURCH CULTURE

Author
Randall Dean Ahlberg D.Min.
Abstract
This project addressed the need for preaching principles that more effectively communicate to those living in the realities of our current cultural. In examining the sermons of the apostle Paul, it was evident that he significantly contextualized his message to his various audiences, demonstrating for all preachers the need to engage in not only good exegesis of the text but in good exegesis of the audience. The researcher attempted to gain a better understanding of the culture of the community surrounding his church in Andover, Minnesota and ways to communicate clearly to this culture. The primary tool used was a survey conducted at a community festival on church property. The survey was designed to measure the level of biblical knowledge of the participants and also to investigate the relationship between church attendance and the demonstrated levels of biblical knowledge. The assumption of the researcher was that preachers often assume their congregations know more than they do, and this assumption was proven to hold merit. Finally, in assessing the above information, a set of homiletical principles were developed that embrace both a commitment to biblical preaching and an awareness of the realities of post-church American culture. One of the conclusions of the author is that a neglected aspect of homiletics is our need to wrestle through the striking differences between oral and written communication styles. The preacher’s preparation must keep these dynamics in mind if he/she hopes to communicate the timeless truths of the Bible to a time-bound audience.

Mission Strategy of Chinese Urban House Churches

Author
Yunhong Xuan D.Min.
Abstract
This paper introduces the theory of ecosystem into missiology for the first time, and it puts forward the theory of mission ecosystem. The so-called theory of mission ecosystem refers to the healthy interaction among mission-driven church, mission-driven leaders, mission-driven disciples, missionaries, and mission strategies which form a system in world missions, thus establishing a complete mission ecosystem.
This paper emphasizes that God is the source of power in the entire mission ecosystem. Just as the energy of the natural ecosystem comes from the sun, the energy of the mission ecosystem comes from God. Missionary God is the core of mission, the driving force of mission, and the essence of mission. Missionary God is like the engine of the mission ministry. Only God-centered missions can receive a constant supply of missionary power.
This paper emphasizes that in the engineering of the mission ecosystem, the establishment of the mission-driven church, the cultivation of mission-driven leaders, the training of mission-driven disciples, the dispatching of mission-driven missionaries and the formulation of mission-driven strategy form a complete mission bio-chain. When the influence and interaction between them achieve a dynamic equilibrium, it enables effective world mission.
This paper provides strategies for establishing mission-driven church, cultivating mission-driven leaders, training mission-driven disciples, dispatching mission-driven missionaries and formulating mission-driven strategies.
Key Words: Mission Strategy, Missionary God, Missional Church, Missional Leader, Missional Discipleship, Missionary.

Developing a Regional Understanding of Church Growth of Chinese Churches in the U.S. and a Plan for Disciple-Making Based Church Growth at a Local Chinese Church

Author
Fong-Yuen Ding D.Min.
Abstract
A DMin major paper effort was made to understand church growth of Chinese churches in the U.S. It is suggested that church growth should be considered along with other biblical goals, and the principles of church growth should be considered as reminder for our being faithful. The dynamics of church growth were stated as a guide for faithfulness. A survey among four Chinese churches in the U.S. east coast region was conducted, and another in a local Chinese church in Knoxville among its attendees was also conduct. A strategic plan for disciple-making based church growth plan was developed.

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.


Subscribe to Bible--Acts