Bible--Titus

THE INDICATIVE / IMPERATIVE CONSTRUCT IN PAUL’S WRITINGS AS A PASTORAL TOOL FOR SPIRITUAL FORMATION

Author
Christopher Allen Oliveri D.Min.
Abstract
A distorted view of the gospel leads to distorted Christian lives. This is particularly true when believers try to live the Christian life without an awareness of what the gospel says about their union with Christ. In this condition they become vulnerable to two grave spiritual dangers legalism and licentiousness. The Indicative / Imperative construct can bring clarity and help against the debilitating effects of these two detrimental spiritual conditions. This construct is found especially in the Pauline epistles (Eph. 4:1ff.; Rom. 12:1ff.) as the Apostle boldly declares to the recipients who they are in Christ (indicative) and then how they must live anew on the basis of this new spiritual identity (imperative).

This project utilized qualitative research techniques to explore the use of the Indicative / Imperative Construct as a pastoral tool for spiritual formation. The researcher preached a series of seven sermons highlighting the Indicative / Imperative construct in the writings of Paul. A focus group of twelve participants gathered weekly following each sermon. A pre and post focus group survey was utilized along with weekly homework assignments. A group interview was conducted during the eighth and final focus group gathering. Four weeks after the final focus group meeting, each participant took part in an individual interview. A trained participant observer recorded field notes throughout each focus group session. These notes, in combination with the researcher’s observational notes, provided a multilayered data set for evaluation as the project progressed.

After evaluating the data results, trends towards spiritual growth in connection with a deepening grasp of the Indicative / Imperative Construct became apparent in the lives of several project participants. There were other trends in the data that were not overwhelmingly conclusive however, the researcher learned several lessons from this project that will impact his ministry for years to come.

STEERING STRAIGHT: PREACHING THE TRUSTWORTHY SAYINGS OF THE PASTORAL EPISTLES AS MODELED BY HERSCHEL H. HOBBS DURING HIS PASTORATE OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH Oklahoma City, OKLAHOMA

Author
Zachary Andrew Tunnell D.Min.
Abstract
This project argues that a correlation exists between healthy practices within the local church and the faithful preaching of biblically-sound doctrine. Evidence of this correlation is shown by focusing on the faithful interpretation and application of the Trustworthy Sayings of the Pastoral Epistles as modeled by the preaching of Herschel Hobbs.
Beginning with a consideration of God’s plan for preaching to be of first importance within the practices of a local church, this project establishes the importance of biblically-sound doctrine for church health and revitalization. Chapter 2 begins the project’s examination of the Trustworthy Sayings, with each chapter offering an analysis of a related sermon preached by Herschel Hobbs during his pastorate at First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The Trustworthy Sayings do not appear in the same order as they are in the Pastoral Epistles, but rather are placed so that one saying builds upon the next. First Timothy 1:15 (Chapter 2) addresses soteriological views in Southern Baptist history. First Timothy 4:8-10 (Chapter 3) considers the role of doctrinal preaching in discipling church members who will be devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Chapter 4 considers Titus 3:4-8 and how believers who are devoted to God will also be devoted to good works which honor God. Second Timothy 2:11-13 (Chapter 5) speaks of God’s faithfulness and the hope which His faithfulness provides for the local church. First Timothy 3:1 (Chapter 6) addresses the character of the called and considers the qualifications of a senior pastor.
The project concludes (Chapter 7) with a charge to the pulpit and the local church which, if implemented, will help protect the local church from suffering from doctrinal drift. Three recommendations for steering straight are provided.

DEVELOPING ELDERS AT GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH OF SEAL BEACH

Author
Robert Wriedt D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project created a training program for potential elders at Grace Community Church of Seal Beach. The first section of the project is a biblical and theological study of Christian leadership generally and eldership specifically that locates elder training within Christian discipleship. It then moves on to an integration of the contemporary literature on elder and board training, seeking to combine the best of theologically driven works (such as those by Anyabwile, Rinne, and Strauch) with writers focused on practical concerns (such as Busby or Malphurs and Mancini) as well as secular leadership theorists (such as Kouzes and Posner, Greenleaf, and Carver).

The qualitative research project itself focuses on how to train elders using a nine-week small group format. Since elder training is rooted in the growth of character (“Be”), knowledge (“Know”) and practice (“Do”), each week’s meeting included sections on theology, ministry skills, and Christian character. Participant growth was measured by interviews before, during, and after the conclusion of the nine weeks, as well as by observed behavior within the context of the group. The project appendices include full descriptions of the course content that was taught and the readings that were assigned to participants.

One of the key findings from this project was the necessity of training elders prior to their invitation to serve as elders, rather than waiting for them to begin service on the board or even before they were asked to serve as elders in the upcoming year. An analogy would be to compare it to pre-engagement counseling, rather than pre-marital or marital counseling. Participants stated that the training provided clarity of what was expected of elders was very helpful in their discernment process, which excited some and caused others to opt out of the process.

A model of discipleship based on the book of Titus for church leaders in southern Tanzania

Author
Darrell A Swanson
Abstract
Many Christians in southern Tanzania have a tendency to combine their tribal traditions with Christianity. They believe God has become distant and the means to draw Him close is through ancestral spirits, sexual customs, and church rituals. The result has been a high rate of adultery in the church and the view that Christians must work out their salvation before God. The goal of this thesis project has been to implement a model of discipleship, based upon the book of Titus, among sixty one church leaders from various denominational and tribal backgrounds in southern Tanzania to determine if these misconceptions about God and lifestyle practices could change. After twenty-two months of implementing this model of discipleship it was found that time spent with these church leaders on an individual basis impacted their perceptions and beliefs about God and it helped to alter some of their lifestyle practices.

The young pastor and his ministry

Author
Joseph Henry Douglass
Abstract
From an analysis of New Testament imperatives to young pastors, especially those found in the epistles to Timothy and Titus, the author formulates a set of principles to enable a higher level of effectiveness in his own ministry. These principles are developed into a course to be taught to young aspiring pastors in a Bible college or to those in a discipleship relationship with young pastors.
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