Bible--Luke

A THIRTY-ONE DAY SPIRITUAL GROWTH EXERCISE AT SYRACUSE ALLIANCE CHURCH TO HELP CHRISTIANS KNOW AND EXPRESS THE LOVE OF GOD

Author
Brian Rathbun D.Min.
Abstract
The “Love One Another Spiritual Growth Exercise” was developed because it was essential at Syracuse Alliance Church in Syracuse, New York to develop the Great Commandment environment in order for the church to more effectively fulfill the Great Commission.

The Love One Another Spiritual Growth Exercise was developed to focus the people of the church for thirty-one consecutive days on loving God with all their being and expressing their love for God by loving others as themselves. A series of five messages from 1 John was preached over five consecutive Sunday mornings. Thirty-one “Love One Another” devotionals were developed and then distributed daily. People were challenged to memorize one key Love One Another scripture verse per week for five weeks. They were asked to make one brief journal entry per week for five weeks to reflect on what God was teaching them about loving Him and others.

At the end of the exercise three Focus Groups, a women’s group, a men’s group, and an elders group, were convened to gather feedback on the impact of the project. The feedback from these groups indicated that the exercise engaged a large percentage of people in the church and helped them take a step to enhance the Great Commandment environment. The Focus Groups provided valuable information for how to improve the various aspects of the exercise and proved invaluable for the development and implementation of any spiritual growth exercise at any church.

Forgiveness: The Heart of God

Author
Marcia C. King D.Min.
Abstract
Painful forgiveness issues often exist within families, even within the church. To understand what the Bible, theologians, and social scientists say about forgiveness, the story of Joseph and the Parable of the Prodigal Son were exegeted. The pastoral aspects of forgiveness were explored utilizing an ethnographic approach of, observations, a survey, and one-on-one interviews. The results of this project is a five-hour course, "Forgiveness: The Heart of God," which emphasizes the transformational power of Christ in forgiveness. The last class concludes with a Eucharistic prayer retreat for generational and inner healing.
Painful forgiveness issues often exist within families, even within the church.

UNDERSTANDING AND CONTEXTUALIZING THE MARKS OF HEALTH AND ITS OBSTACLES IN SELECTED BRAZILIAN EVANGELICAL CHURCHES BASED ON THE TRANSFORMATIONAL CHURCH CRITERIA

Author
Sergio Queiroz D.Min.
Abstract
This major project was designed to understand and contextualize the marks of health and its obstacles in selected Brazilian churches, using the Transformational Church criteria. The report began with a theological and missiological foundation about church health and missionality, composed by a storyline of the most important reflections on church growth and mission over the last fifty years, from the Church Growth Movement until the Missional Church Conversation, with emphasis on the Transformational Church.

Following that, in order to understand and contextualize the Transformational Church marks of health into the Brazilian church, the cultures of Brazil and the US were compared in search of how the cultural constructs of power distance, individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance and others can work either as obstacles or facilitators of health and missionality in Brazil. The last part of the project was in-depth interviews with senior pastors of forty-five churches from different denominations and regions of Brazil about leadership practices, evangelism, worship, prayer, local and global missions, small groups, involvement with the city, assimilation of new believers, as well as about the hindrances those churches face in order to be healthy and missional.

The main conclusions of the research were that the Transformational Churches in Brazil show similar marks of the American ones: they discern the context with a missionary mentality, embrace the values of vibrant leadership, relational intentionality and prayerful dependence, and engage the right actions of worship, community and mission. However, the Brazilian Transformational Churches have to face major obstacles to be healthy and missional, especially the teachings of the Prosperity Theology, financial problems, and the lack of commitment of their members to the mission of God.

STUDYING THE IMPACT OF INTRODUCING A FOR-PROFIT SUBSIDIARY TO A LOCAL CONGREGATION

Author
Bradley Scott Stagg D.Min.
Abstract
This doctoral research project studied the impact of introducing a for-profit subsidiary to a local nonprofit congregation. The study reveals congregational leaders experienced emancipatory feelings of hope and spiritual agency when utilizing the innovation tool of a business Miniplan. Liberating congregations from the oppression of financial scarcity freed church leaders to consider new ways to address increasing costs, particularly deferred maintenance of aging buildings. This project used Participating Action Research as its research orientation, since it is ideal for business and church research. All participants reported significant spiritual growth in stewardship; emancipatory feelings of hope; and generalizability for the larger church.

Apostolic Women Religious in the United States and Their Legacy

Author
Janice J Brown O.P. D.Min.
Abstract
The legacy of Jesus has manifested itself among different populations, within different cultures, and during different times. This thesis-project looks at this manifestation as it unfolds as the legacy of apostolic women religious in the United States. The legacy of each participating congregation was described as a mission or more specifically as the mission of Jesus. It has also been the experience of these women religious that legacy is most tangible in the relationships and trust they built with their students, coworkers, and community members with whom they worked and partnered.
The legacy of apostolic women religious is a witness to the gospel message that took root as Christianity two thousand years ago. The thesis-project begins by exploring the legacy of Jesus, as well as the historical context that furthers God’s mission through the lives of three historical women – Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, and Angela Merici. The research then flows into the brief history of the Ursuline Sisters in the United States. Reviewing the pre and post-Vatican II eras and their influence on religious life helps lay a foundation upon which apostolic women today have been formed.
The primary data was gathered through focus group discussions involving seven congregations consisting of thirty-five apostolic women religious. Their comments are summarized first by congregation in order to maintain the richness within each discussion, then by main themes, and concluded with a reflection on the legacy of these women as it finds meaning through the Gospel of John.
Legacy has many definitions, but what surfaced most prominently was legacy as ministry, and the ministries are what define the women. Legacy efforts included developing relationships, education, healing, inclusivity, and service. All of these works could be imagined as the ongoing narrative of the Gospels, epitomized in the Beloved Disciple.

Catholic preaching and the preaching of Jesus

Author
Alan P Bowslaugh
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to build on the momentum begun at Vatican Council II and make several suggestions for improving the quality of Catholic preaching. Employing a comparative literary approach, it compares and contrasts the structures and themes in selected Lukan parables with comparable sermonic material preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Its conclusion is that Catholic preaching can become more holistically biblical once Catholic preachers balance more intentionally their generally halakic homiletic approach to Scripture with the more Haggadic approach of the Rabbi Jesus, as demonstrated in the stewardship parables from the Gospel of Luke.

What Jesus says, especially in the Gospel of Luke

Author
Theodore W Eisold
Abstract
This project presents a course of adult instruction in Christian faith based on the Gospel of Luke for use by Immanuel Lutheran Church, Palatine, Illinois. The project includes documentation from other books in the Bible. Immanuel Lutheran Church believes that faith in Jesus Christ is essential for salvation and that conversion is by the power of the Spirit. "What Jesus Says" was taught for two years and revised as deficiencies were noted through an extensive evaluation process. Addenda include "Where to go in the Bible for . . ." and Luther's Small Catechism in modern English. The course was videotaped as taught by the pastors of Immanuel.

Youth peer ministry: the peer/heirarchic ministry continuum

Author
Richard P Schwalter
Abstract
Youth peer ministry is discussed conceptually, biblically, developmentally, and studied as implemented in various models of ministry or counseling. Conceptually, peer ministry is placed on a continuum with hierarchic ministry. Biblically the gospel of Luke is studied as a possible emphasis for peer ministry. Adolescent development is seen as conducive to the use of peer ministry. The study shows that youth peer ministry is an important but neglected tool for the church.

Rediscovering the kingdom of God through a study of Jesus' parables

Author
Charles D Miller
Abstract
The project surveys the history of modern parable interpretation, examines the general character and function of Jesus' parables, and explores the nature of the Kingdom of God. With Luke's gospel as the context, it explores five parables in detail to discover what they reveal about the Kingdom of God. These five parables are part of an adult study guide. The emphasis of the study is two-fold: intellectual and experiential. The study confirms the hypothesis that Jesus' parables can break through the familiar to confront and challenge us and reveal the nature and implications of life in God's kingdom.

A cross-cultural ministry workshop informed by Third World perspectives and the gospel of the kingdom

Author
Howard E McFarland
Abstract
Those engaged in mission outreach to international visitors have used ministry models that are Western in orientation. Although the gospel of the kingdom contains the four dimensions of evangelism, discipleship, community, and social justice, most ministries have stressed the first two and neglected the latter two. This study creates and teaches a four-dimensional model that is informed by Third World theological insights and the biblical theme of the kingdom. A library survey provides the biblical, theological, and historical content of the model. Chapter two focused on the kingdom in the modern missionary movement and the Nazareth passage (Luke 4:16-30). The passage is used as evidence that the kingdom theme holds both spiritual and social interpretations in a kind of tension. Chapter three studies Third World perspectives, including the challenges posed by liberation theology. Chapter four provides an overview and assessment of ministry to internationals in the USA. It considers the four dimensions and their integration into the new model. Chapter five summarizes the research findings and how they are taught in a cross-cultural workshop.
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