Bible--Ephesians

A church-wide emphasis, with preaching and teaching, provided the platform for instilling in members of Polkville Baptist Church a better understanding of the individual's role in the community of faith, the goal being that a greater percentage of...

Author
Richard Lee Hamrick
Abstract
A church-wide emphasis, with preaching and teaching, provided the platform for instilling in members of Polkville Baptist Church a better understanding of the individual's role in the community of faith, the goal being that a greater percentage of members take an active role in the church. The twelve-member research group was tracked individually, and the control group was tracked as a unit. Following the emphasis, care was taken to discover if there were more members involved in the life of the church than before the emphasis. There was a clear growth in understanding and in the number of active members.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIBLICAL PREACHING IN TRANSFORMING LIVES INTO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF PECATONICA, ILLINOIS

Author
David Myers D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of preaching in the local church is to cause the hearer to grow into the image of Christ. In Eph. 4:11-32; Paul shows the responsibility of the pastor/teacher or shepherd to "perfect the saints." God has given the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the church as means for every believer to grow. The pastor of First Baptist church of Pecatonica, Illinois, developed six messages from the Ephesians 4 passage and preached them in the Sunday morning worship services of the church. The people were given pre-sermon and post-sermon surveys as well as a five-day devotional each week. The purpose was to determine if spiritual grow took place over this time through the messages preached. It was concluded that spiritual growth does come from preaching but that it is hard to see in a short period of time.

THE INTEGRATION OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS SERVING AMONG FAMILIES IN HOMELESS CRISIS FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL MINISTRY

Author
Scott Mills D.Min.
Abstract
This project explored the transformational growth of high school students who served children in homeless crisis by implementing a pilot program at the Fort Wayne Charis House. The findings revealed student growth in three goal areas: greater cultural understanding, greater appreciation for life situation, and greater motivation to serve. The project explored biblical foundations and the causes and consequences of families in homeless crisis. It also examined similarities between “service learning” in the public schools and integrative ministry. Through this program, students built critical thinking skills, positive relationships, and a sense of responsibility as they engaged in serving their community.

A literary and historical analysis of Ephesians 5:18-6:9

Author
Shana Cress
Abstract
Within Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, there is a set of instructions termed the Haustafeln, or “household codes.” Paul turns his focus upon roles within the home. The question that inevitably arises from a text nearing 2,000 years of age is one of relevance. Do these instructions apply to those of a different time and culture? Several matters need to be examined. Previous research has linked this passage to Aristotle, to Roman culture, and to Stoic philosophy. Since the form of the Ephesians household codes is said to resemble Aristotle’s works, a reading of Aristotle’s code is necessary. Roman household characteristics that need to be explored include the pater familias, the goal of harmony, and the Roman conceptuality of adultery. Stoic philosophy will be examined through the writings of Epictetus. By closely examining his discourses, we can look for similarities or dissimilarities to Ephesians. If Paul’s goal was for Christians to blend in to the surrounding culture, then this will be evident as these subjects are investigated. In addition to this historical work, a literary analysis of Ephesians 5:18-6:9 will be performed. This thesis will argue that this passage on the household, Ephesians 5:18-6:9, is best understood against a Christian and not pagan philosophical background, situated within the epistle as a natural progression of Paul’s thought that is consistent with other Scriptural teaching.

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.

Preaching APEST: Observing a sermon series, based on Ephesians 4, as a means of beginning to plant a vision in a local congregation

Author
David Taylor Averill D.Min.
Abstract
A prior study of a congregation in Winter Haven, Florida revealed an overlap in perceived, ideal qualities of clergy and lay leaders of the church. However, these qualities were limited to exclusively shepherding and teaching roles. Through preaching a 5-week sermon series, this project began to shape a vision of shared ministry and leadership in this local church among clergy and laity alike. The series used the APEST model of Ephesians 4, taken from the missional hermeneutic of Alan Hirsch. The project assessed the emergence of an inchoate understanding of the missional imperative through ethnographic data, gathered in a sermon roundtable, and surveys collected congregationally.

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.

Youth Ministry Planning Tool for Smaller Churches

Author
Nathan Opsata D.Min.
Abstract
This major project created a step-by-step process to help youth ministry leaders plan their youth ministry year. The planning tool was especially designed to guide volunteer-led teams of smaller churches through the planning process in a systematic and complete way by recognizing the strengths and limitations of smaller churches and volunteer leaders. The main deliverables of the step-by-step planning process were to evaluate existing programming, divide the leadership team according to gifting, and to develop a set of guiding documents, including a directory, programming calendar, weekly template with job descriptions, and teaching schedule.

Five smaller evangelical churches were given the tool prior to planning their programming. Interviewing leaders from these youth ministry teams revealed that the tool was helpful in each church, especially for evaluating the success of programming objectives and generating ideas of changes to make. However, the step-by-step process did not allow teams to easily select which components they wished to use and was difficult to adapt for solo-led youth ministries. Furthermore, some ministries and leaders resisted implementing the systems-approach, especially formal job descriptions, in their smaller, family-style ministries.

Assessing, Identifying and Cultivating Ministries Toward a Mature Holistic Process of Disciple Making

Author
Brian Cederquist D.Min.
Abstract
Although discipleship seems to be a current buzzword in ministry today, it is more than just a current fad. Discipleship is deeply rooted in scripture. Even at a cursory look, one can easily see its importance to the church. This is why many pastors and churches have found themselves actively pursuing growth in this area. There have been countless books, studies, programs, and training opportunities available for pastors and churches to educate their people about discipleship. However, the process of evaluating one’s effectiveness in discipleship is often a piece of the puzzle that is left out. This project journals one churches process of defining, assessing, and cultivating their holistic process of disciple making. As you continue to lead your church through this process of evaluation, you may find this research helpful to your process. No two churches are alike, and no two evaluations will be identical. Please use this as a launching point for your own churches evaluation process.
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