Bible--Ephesians

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.

The Voice of the Bridegroom: Preaching as an Expression of Spousal Love

Author
Benjamin Adam Roberts D.Min.
Abstract
The intention of this project is twofold. The first intention is the creation of the nuptial hermeneutic for preaching. The second intention is to offer the nuptial hermeneutic to a group of priests in their second five years of ministry and evaluate it as a source of renewal.

Chapter 1 explores the spousal relationship between husband and wife. Rooted in the nuptial vision of Pope St. John Paul II, it explores anthropology, asymmetrical reciprocity, marital love, the conjugal bond and good of the spouses, fruitfulness and responsible parenthood, and marital spirituality.

Chapter 2 examines the spousal relationship between the priest and the Church. It provides an overview of the ministerial priesthood, a brief biblical examination of Jesus as Bridegroom, the relationship between the royal and ministerial participations in the priesthood of Christ, charity, the sacramental character and bond, fruitfulness, and spirituality.

Chapter 3 proposes preaching as an expression of spousal love. It examines nuptiality as a theological category and presents the seven characteristics of the nuptial hermeneutic for preaching. These characteristics are utilized to explore the assembly, preacher, homily, and homiletical method. The chapter concludes with a strategy for preaching using the nuptial hermeneutic.

Chapter 4 documents the development of the pastoral appropriation for this project. The method of presentation, a podcast series with fourteen episodes, is different from the original one-and-one-half-day workshop project design. This chapter recounts the reasons for modification, reviews the podcast format and presentation design, and offers a preliminary evaluation of this format.

Chapter 5 details results from the project. It describes the participants, presents data collection points, and offers a summary of the results of the pastoral appropriation. Along with some observations, recommendations, and possible areas of future study, this chapter concludes with a positive judgment of the nuptial hermeneutic as a source of renewal.

Growing to maturity: discipleship-oriented small-group study on Ephesians for Bethel Church of Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Author
Robert D Kyllonen
Abstract
The goal of this project was to create a holistic, small-group, discipleship-oriented study of Ephesians, which would encourage fellowship, look for applications, and pray about implementation of those applications. The course followed the Hook, Book, Look, and Took organizational pattern of Larry Richards. The objectives of the course were that participants would be able: to list the marks or characteristics of a mature believer found in Ephesians; to find applications to their day-to-day lives for each section of each course lesson; and to take the steps necessary to apply the lesson to their lives.

Achieving balance in the sermon from then to now

Author
Bryan L Augsburger
Abstract
This project wrestles with the problem of achieving balance between the content and application of a sermon. The project's methodology includes three goals: (1) to gain insight through a sampling survey; (2) to generate a set of aims for balancing content and application; (3) to preach twelve messages from Ephesians that model a balanced approach and to have six of those messages evaluated by church members. As a result of this methodology the project suggests some conclusions that will help one attain balance between content and application in a sermon.

Cross-cultural partnerships characterized by grace

Author
Geoffrey W Hahn
Abstract
This project led a group of missionaries through a workshop on "Cross-cultural partnerships characterized by grace." Three passages from Paul's writings (Eph. 1:4-10; 4:1-16; and 1 Corinthians 12) were researched as they relate to cross-cultural partnerships characterized by grace, including Paul's views of community, use of gifts, use of power, and grace. The theoretical issues researched focused on Geert Hofstede's dimensions of individualism, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance. The results suggest that the workshop activities produced changes in the missionaries' worldviews regarding partnership, increased the number of entities the missionaries considered as potential partners in ministry, and helped inspire the grace that allows cross-cultural partnerships to flourish.
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