Bible--New Testament

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.

Developing a Battle Plan for Spiritual Warfare with the Men of Crossroads Presbyterian Church

Author
Donald Sampson D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to investigate the topic of spiritual warfare and assess the level of understanding of it among the men of a Presbyterian congregation in order to develop a plan to enable the men to engage in spiritual battles with the world, the flesh and the devil. The project included a biblical and theological study, followed by interviews with a select sample of men from the congregation. Qualitative analysis revealed some confusion over the phrase “spiritual warfare.” Additional themes that emerged from the interviews included a high degree of awareness of temptations of the flesh as an ongoing source of spiritual struggles and a strong belief that Satan is real. This latter belief was tempered by widespread uncertainty over the relevance of Satan, or any demonic influence, due to a very high conviction about the sovereignty of God. A recognition of the importance of enlisting other men for help in fighting spiritual battles was also a significant theme. While the men interviewed identified the value of having “battle buddy” type relationships, they readily acknowledged the absence of such relationships. Quantitative research via a confidential, online survey confirmed a low level of self-disclosure among the men of the congregation.

A STRATEGIC AND SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO EVALUATING AND ENHANCING CHURCH STAFF PERFORMANCE

Author
Steven Bray D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this Doctor of Ministry project was to create an annual staff development plan for Fountain City Wesleyan Church which focused on both improving effectiveness in performance and encouraging personal, professional and spiritual development. Fountain City Wesleyan is a church of 1000 with nine full-time pastors and ministry directors. The project highlighted the powerful impact of combining goal setting, coaching, and evaluation to develop team members. In addition, the project concluded that high performance expectations can be countered by high care for team members.

This project conducted two case studies of similar churches to Fountain City Wesleyan Church. The project explored the biblical and theological basis for staff development including the identification of twelve biblical principles. The literature review analyzed three components of the annual development plan: crafting an action plan utilizing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Relevant and Timed) goals and strategies; regular coaching sessions; and an annual review process to provide additional performance conversation and formal documentation of employee performance.

This plan included a guide to create an action plan each trimester, the implementation schedule for the plan, a model for coaching staff (Connect, Opportunity, Alternatives, Course, Highlights), an annual self-review and performance review. Additionally, supplemental avenues to promote self-care among staff were identified. The final plan, tips and tools for coaching, tools for diagnosing development needs, and the research protocol are noted in the appendices.

A STUDY OF SERMON APPLICATION ACROSS BIBLICAL GENRES AT FAITH BIBLE CHURCH

Author
Trevor Nunn D.Min.
Abstract
This project developed strategies to sermon application across the biblical genres of poetry, narrative, parables and epistles. The strategies had two goals: (1) enhance the congregants’ biblical understanding of the text while growing them in Christ; (2) improve the quality of sermon applications in the project writer’s preaching. To achieve these goals, this project reviewed hermeneutical topics to create a definition of expository preaching. Based on the definition, a questionnaire evaluated the success of the strategies through a pre/post format of the project writer’s sermons. Conclusions to their success were based upon positive or negative changes within the data.


News That Changes Everything:
Enhancing Believers’ Understanding of the Gospel
At Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama

Author
Michael Robert Weeks D.Min.
Abstract
Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama, is a church that has a living, daring confidence in God’s grace through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a church that is saturated in the Word of God. However, congregation members often have an anemic understanding of what the gospel is, some struggling to understand how it applies to their lives. The praxis director undertook a six-week class, teaching about the gospel and its implications for life. The results demonstrate members of the Cathedral Church of the Advent gained a greater understanding of the gospel and were better able to connect it to their lives.

Pray for reign : the eschatological Elijah in James 5:17-18

Author
James Marion Darlack
Abstract
James uses the prophet Elijah as an example of righteous prayer. This thesis explores the possibility that James may have intended his readers to recognize both historical and eschatological imagery associated with the biblical prophet. First, it shows that in early Jewish literature the eschatological and historical Elijah traditions were not held in isolation of each other. Imagery from descriptions of Elijah’s eschatological return is used to describe the pre-ascension ministry of the prophet, while the eschatological mission of the prophet is described using elements of the historical narrative. Second, the thesis demonstrates that James’ prescript “to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion,” sets a tone of inaugurated and yet-to-be-consumated eschatology, and that the mention of Elijah helps form an eschatological inclusio that frames the letter. Third, the New Testament use use of Elijah’s drought outside of James is explored showing again that elements from the Elijah’s drought in 1 Kings were used in eschatological contexts, and that Elijah’s three and a half year drought, as mentioned by James, is used to illustrate a period of judgment for the sake of effecting repentance in these contexts. Fourth and finally, the images of rain and drought are viewed through an eschatological lens, revealing their role as covenant blessing and curse, and eschatological judgment and restoration. It is concluded that James’ readers could have recognized the eschatological implications of using Elijah as an example of faithful, righteous prayer, and that James assigns his readers a role similar to that of the eschatological prophet. They are called to endure in the midst of eschatological trials and to effect repentance before the arrival of the soon-coming King.

New Testament foundations for the healing ministry in the Lutheran church

Author
Hubert Lee Brumback
Abstract
This is basically a six-session Bible study to relate how the healing ministry fits into the Lutheran church, and is based primarily on New Testament, Book of Concord, and other Luther and Lutheran sources. Chapter titles are: What is healing; Why did Jesus heal; Why did Jesus' disciples heal; What about healing in relationships; and Perspectives for a service of healing. An additional chapter and appendices provide tips for congregations who might be considering healing services.
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