Wesley Theological Seminary

An exploration of John Wesley's transformational leadership, with a special focus on church revival and church growth and its challenge and relevance for the Wembley Methodist Circuit (WMC)

Author
Kofi Dennis Tekyi-Ansah
Abstract
The U. K. Methodist Church is in gradual decline, because it now exists in a postmodern, post-Christendom milieu. There is also a lack of effective transformational leadership skills among its leaders. A new ontology and new praxis are needed to address this new reality. This essay integrates transformational leadership characteristics and its practical application within John Wesley’s “Twelve Rules of a Helper,” updated by Mark L. Gorveatte in his Book “Lead like Wesley” as a catalyst tool, to equip the leaders of the Wembley Methodist Circuit (WMC) to initiate church growth. It is argued that these tools are not an end, but a major catalyst that can enable the Methodist Church to experience growth and revival.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Seeing visions and dreaming dreams : a case study of revitalizing god's visions for Westminster United Methodist Church

Author
Malcolm R. Stranathan
Abstract
Upon returning to two-hundred-year-old, county-seat church, the new lead pastor and a diverse group of twelve members worked to discern God's vision for the congregation. Two years on, this project was implemented to evaluate and refocus ownership of God's vision by the congregation. Using congregation behavioral surveys, a worship series based on Joel, and a balcony team (congregation's leaders and the lead pastor-- who served as consultant) planned, implemented and evaluated the congregational members' ownership of God's mission, vision and core values. A VisionWork tool evaluated the vitality and fruitfulness of existing ministries and created a refocused passion and revitalized mission to serve the community beyond the church's walls.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

The dream of discovery : preaching strategies for Wesleyan connection and identity

Author
J. Adam Sowder
Abstract
The author researched and developed preaching strategies to help integrate a local United Methodist church into a life of Wesleyan connection and identity. This effort was to stop their decline and aid their identity challenge, which included the retirement of their founding pastor of 33 years. This case study used the ethnographic method through participant observation and field notes. Metrics were collected and produced throughout the year and a half in which the project took place. These metrics show a stop of local church decline with ensuing growth in Wesleyan connection and identity through spiritual, numerical, and financial means.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

A study on healthy Christian community formation through relational spirituality

Author
Young-wan Song
Abstract
This paper defines the essential spirituality of a Christian and interprets spirituality necessary at the moment under a frame of relationship through a view of spirituality to recover relationships. recovery of relationship requires special (relational) spirituality, which must reach out to relationships with others by recovering full relationship with God through a life that pursues whole inhaling God’s spirit and seek for the image of God.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Church leadership and the crisis of theological identity

Author
Michael Drew Shelley
Abstract
The crisis of leadership supposedly ravaging the Church in the 21st century obscures a deeper crisis of theological identity in which churches, pastors, and lay leaders have forgotten who they are, the home to which they belong, and the mission to which God calls them. The presenting symptoms of this crisis of identity are pastors and churches stuck in places of ineffectiveness, hopelessness, unhealthy expectations of each other, and general malaise. The project for renewed pastoral and lay leadership at Crossville FUMC has focused on the means of grace by which the Triune God creates the being of the church and from which emerge the corresponding practices of leadership which prepare the congregation for its ministry in the community. Pastors and people reclaim their identity by engaging the crisis of identity through theological questions of identity, “Who is God who creates the Church?” And, “who are we as the Church before God?” In so doing, churches clarify their identity as disciples of Jesus claimed by God in our baptism, members of God’s household with a place at God’s Table, and a community of disciples forever called into God’s mission. . . .

[Note: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited. The abstract was shortened in length to adhere to the submission requirements.]

Reclaiming the church's role in health and healing : educating, equipping, and training people for contemporary whole person health ministries through an online health minister certificate

Author
Thomas Pruski
Abstract
This project addressed the question of what kind of formal, foundational education prepared and equipped congregations and their members to reconnect to their health and healing mission so they could serve the world in this capacity. The educational offering also equipped various professionals who have conviction and passion for addressing health through a whole person health perspective. Under the direction of the author, Wesley Theological Seminary offered a Health Minister Certificate which provided knowledge and pastoral skills to help people reclaim and initiate whole person health ministries.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Supporting interfaith marriage : tools for crossing boundaries and nurturing growth

Author
Bonni-Belle Fisackerly Pickard
Abstract
The prevalence of interfaith marriages has increased significantly following a radical social rethinking of marriage. Though faith communities have traditionally rejected those who ‘marry out’, such persons often have a deep respect for the sacred even as they push back against religious traditions which have lost touch with contemporary reality. This project addresses the low success rate of exogamous marriages by developing tools which enable interfaith marriages to succeed. It explores theologies of marriage derived from primary texts of Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, recognising the liminal potential of interfaith marriages to open new lines of communication between faith and society.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Exploring white fire : bibliodrama as a tool to spur theological reflection on leadership among St. Paul's United Methodist Church lay leaders

Author
Matthew A. Paugh
Abstract
In line with The United Methodist Church's emphasis on strengthening lay leaders and its charge for administrative committees to engage in "biblical and theological reflection," the author designed a retreat featuring Bibliodrama as a method to explore the biblical text. Bibliodrama exercises focused on Moses and Jethro (Exod. 18:1-27), Deborah and Barak (Judg. 4:1-24), and Jesus and the disciples (Mark 10:35-45). Through surveys, questionnaires, and interviews, the author finds that Bibliodrama provides an effective tool to enable lay leaders to participate in biblical and theological reflection on the nature of leadership.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Incarcerated lives matter : equipping the Black Church to respond to the mass incarceration of African American males

Author
Leon D. Parker
Abstract
What kind of tools would enable African American congregations to engage more effectively in their response to the crisis of mass incarceration of African American males? The author conducted interviews with pastors and ministry leaders engaged in prison ministry. Based on the author's years of experience as a Chaplain and on data generated by the interviews, the author developed a four-part workshop training.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

A study of Bible study for formation of Christian identity of the North Korean refugees

Author
Ye Yeong Park
Abstract
This thesis begins with raising question of how to overcome the identity crisis of North Korean refugees as the reunification is drawing closer. From the sense of difference, this paper analyses the identity crisis of North Korean refugees who are currently residing in South Korea and observe how they become surmounting the conflict through bible studies. North Korean Refugees will play a critical role as a bridge in interaction with North Koreans as the reunification is coming closer. Accordingly, this paper aims to prove that North Korean Refugee Christians, who have experienced both systems of socialism and capitalism, are right persons to be acted a medium that eventually connects Two Koreas.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]
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