Bible--Use

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.

Encountering God’s Healing Through Holistic Spiritual Formation

Author
Caleb Aaron Smith D.Min.
Abstract
This portfolio begins by way of a spiritual autobiography to explore how the Lord has introduced me to different kinds of beauty, in an effort to bring about transformative beauty in my own life. These include the beauty of nature, as I grew up in New Zealand; the beauty of people that I worked or worshiped with in South Africa; but also, the unexpected beauty of pain and struggle, that I experienced in Chicago IL. In each of these places, I find the Lord forming and shaping me, but also bringing healing, for the fear and anxiety which I had experienced for much of my life.
The next chapter in the format of a spiritual formation manual, then explores five dimensions of spiritual formation and healing and is geared especially for believers who similarly struggle with anxiety. Paul identifies three of these dimensions in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, where he refers to the “sanctification of body, soul and spirit.” The dimensions of community (or the social dimension) and further, nature or God’s creation are also explored.
My final chapter, by way of a field research report, then places further emphasis on the dimension of nature, through a spiritual practice called Scripture and Nature Immersion (SNI). Following my research, I suggest that SNI can assist with the following: 1. redirecting participants thoughts from rumination of adverse situations to meditating on the Lord and his various divine attributes; 2. aiding participants in changing their negative emotions and moods into positive ones.

Satisfied: the glory of Christ in counseling: how biblical theology reforms biblical counseling

Author
Gary Bernhard Spooner
Abstract
The project establishes a Christ-centered, community-based counseling center that demonstrates through case studies the benefits of biblical theology in biblical counseling. It argues that biblical theology, by its nature, reforms the conception of biblical counseling toward the glory of God, reforms the content of biblical counseling toward biblical narrative, and reforms the practice of biblical counseling toward the life of faith.

Being transformed in the image of Christ

Author
Elaine J Eskew
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project addresses the need and benefits of undergoing a spiritual transformation by Christians into the image of Christ. Knowing who you are will empower Christians in times of spiritual crisis and distress. The solution was the development and implementation of the Theo-Transformational Ministry Bible Study Series "Being Transformed in the Image of Christ Project" (BTIC). The project explores the biblical and theological basics for forming a transformational ministry to work in conjunction with the apostolic teachings of the church universal.

Responding to sexual temptation in a high tech society

Author
Richard L Thompson
Abstract
The specific concern addressed in this project is Internet addiction with an emphasis on Internet pornography. The author suggests that such an addiction in the life of a believer is a matter of idolatry. He points out that the normal secular counseling strategies with their emphasis on addiction as "disease" and even many of the "so called" Christian strategies fail to address the spiritual issues involved in ways that bring real healing and wholeness. The author read extensively in the literature published on this topic and interviewed those involved with the addiction including victims, counselors and the abusers themselves. He then developed a Bible study addressing the topic in a way that used law/gospel leading to confession and absolution.

The plan, design, and implementation of life: changing small groups at Saginaw Bay Church of Christ

Author
Henry Kott
Abstract
Togetherness and connection is central in the intent of the Scripture. To test this idea of community, we conducted leadership training to handle every member should they decide to join one. Seven new leaders and apprentices along with a host family carried the load of creating our desired result of connecting our church membership into small groups. The author discovered the small group facilitates the ongoing process of discipleship, the small group lends itself effectively in service to the church and the wider community, and small groups need a lot of administration: a director and a coach were necessary.

Reading a book of the Bible as a spiritual discipline to stimulate spiritual growth at Christ Community Church

Author
John Alan Lloyd
Abstract
Pastors are gripped by the great need to see their congregations become more like Christ. The goal of seeing this transformation take place is daunting. One way to see lives transformed is to interact daily with the Word of God. The culture we live in greatly diminishes the influence of God's Word. This project will seek to introduce the daily reading of Gospel of John as a spiritual discipline to stimulate spiritual growth into lives of a focus group, new to this practice. The goal is to establish Bible reading as a spiritual habit and to see the participants continue reading another book of the Bible.

Evaluating expository preaching as an agent of change in the development of a biblical understanding of discipleship at Central Baptist Church, Brighton, Tennessee

Author
Jody L Duncan
Abstract
Chapter 1 introduced the project which was to develop a sermon series on discipleship and evaluate the effectiveness of expository preaching as an agent of change. Chapter 2 discussed the exegesis and interpretation of eight biblical texts utilized for the sermon series on discipleship. Chapter 3 examined and critiqued alternative preaching methodologies. This chapter also summarized the history of preaching, discussed the goal of preaching, and ended with an analysis of the essential elements of life changing expository preaching. Chapter 4 discussed the methodology for the project which included the utilization of a questionnaire as well as a focus group. Chapter 5 analyzed and evaluated the questionnaires, responses of the focus group, and the completion of the project goals.

Voices from Lamentations in the intersubjective matrix of the pastoral psychotherapeutic process: a case study

Author
Susan MacDonald Roddey
Abstract
The purpose of this case study is to explore the development of a fluid methodology for the use of biblical narrative within the intersubjective context of the pastoral psychotherapeutic relationship. Qualitative research methods are used to analyze transcripts of seven sessions of therapy, in between which both the therapist and client mutually engage in reading Lamentations. The results suggest that for this particular client the methodology used within the therapy facilitated an integrative reorientation in her relationship with God, herself, and others, and the development of a transformed language of faith that was real and true to her experience.

Storytelling: the gospel in a Muslim context

Author
James Gregory Couch
Abstract
In an age of increasing conflict between Muslims and Christians, this project establishes a model for a contextualized communication of the essential tenets of the Christian faith in a Muslim context. It looks at the history of Christian witness to Muslims and suggests that relational and contextually sensitive approaches be employed in the presentation of biblical truths. An evangelistic Bible study written to reach literate Afghan Muslims, called The Unfolding Story, serves as the core of the project. It employs a whole Bible approach providing lessons from creation to Pentecost. Lessons progress chronologically through salvation themes, in particular sacrifice motifs from the Old Testament, culminating in the substitutionary death of Christ on the Cross. The problem of sin is especially highlighted as are the attempts to overcome sin by one's own efforts. Throughout the study, storytelling and guided discussion in a one-on-one encounter with an Afghan seeker has been employed. This thesis follows the history of the study's inception and development in preparation for translation into the native tongues of Afghanistan and likeminded Muslim populations.
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