Beeson Divinity School

Praying the Psalms: Hearing and Responding to God

Author
Christopher G Jones M.Div.
Abstract
"Praying the Psalms: Hearing and Responding to God" explores the spiritual benefit of utilizing the Scriptures to guide the content of the prayers of God's people, specifically using the Psalms as an inspired collection of prayers, preserved by God for the spiritual growth of his people. This praxis provided times of corporate worship guided by the Psalms, as well as teaching and devotional writing from the Psalms, presented in such a way to foster greater understanding of the Psalter and facilitate psalm-based prayer. The qualitative results indicate some positive spiritual formation and growth among participants.

All things to all people: planning worship with regard for different personality types at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Glen Allen, Virginia

Author
Cameron F Dahl
Abstract
The purpose of this praxis was to test the hypothesis: worship elements designed for specific personality types will engage those personality types in a deeper way during corporate worship. The praxis director planned twelve worship services designing each element to engage one personality type as measured by the DiSC [registered symbol] model. Participants were surveyed as to engagement with each element. A double-blind study was maintained. The praxis revealed that a rich variety of worship expressions, with consideration given to the engagement of different personality types, does result in deeper engagement during corporate worship.

"THE BODY OF CHRIST: WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE SHOULD LIVE"; DEVELOPING A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH AT MOUNTAIN BROOK BAPTIST CHURCH, MOUNTAIN BROOK, ALABAMA

Author
Bruce Splawn
Abstract
Mountain Brook Baptist Church is a loving, Christ-honoring congregation located in Mountain Brook, Alabama. However, as in many other congregations across the nation, the influence of consumerism and individualism that pervades American culture has negatively impacted the congregants' understanding of the nature of the church. The praxis director initiated this praxis to help members develop a biblical ecclesiology and to consider how such an ecclesiology ought to dictate how they participate in the life of the local church. Several topics on ecclesiology and the life of the local church are addressed in this praxis: Ephesians, ecclesiology, consumerism, and individualism.

Christ-centered Bible study: engaging the storyline of redemption in all of Scripture in the congregation of Brentwood Baptist Church

Author
Roger B Severino
Abstract
Abstract: Brentwood Baptist Church is a wonderful congregation that emphasizes, among other things, the necessity to study the Bible for personal growth and transformation. Among the people, however, there is often the inability to see the Scriptures as one progressive, unfolding story, culminating with Jesus, and looking ahead to the new heavens and new earth. In Luke 24, Jesus makes clear that all the Old Testament testifies to him. There are hints throughout Scripture that point toward a Grand Story, rather than disconnected, individual stories. The project director developed a six-week study and notebook with the goal of helping participants engage the storyline of redemption in all of Scripture, and see how each story fits into the larger biblical narrative.

Cultivating a Deeper Understanding of Leviticus at Glory Fellowship Baptist Church in Jasper, AL

Author
Adam L Brewer
Abstract
Glory Fellowship Baptist Church has a history of pure Bible-preaching and small-group teaching, yet Leviticus has frustrated many congregants throughout their lives. Scripture is God's metanarrative of salvation, emphasizing each biblical book's importance. The praxis director undertook to preach a sermon series through Leviticus, and to lead a ten-person focus group through a training seminar of Leviticus, utilizing curriculum he developed. The results demonstrate members of Glory Fellowship Baptist Church possess a deeper understanding and appreciation for God's Word, specifically Leviticus.

The Alien Church: Exploring the Reciprocal Blessing of Cross-Cultural Ministry

Author
Mark DeVine
Abstract
"The Alien Church" explores the effectiveness of cross-cultural ministry as part of an overall discipleship process and seeks to determine if a successful balance can exist between homogenous and heterogeneous models of ministry. Furthermore, "The Alien Church" explores how established urban churches can be transformed by obedience to the Great Commission through actively engaging in ministry to the immigrants God brings within the shadow of their steeples. Such efforts not only expand God's kingdom, but also have the potential to profoundly impact the spiritual formation of His people.

Twenty-first century deaf church: a strategic initiative for deaf ministry within the context of a secular society

Author
Robert E Ayres
Abstract
Abstract: Deaf churches and ministries face a crisis regarding reaching deaf and hard of hearing young people. The praxis director brought together a diverse group of Deaf ministry leaders to develop a written declaration of effective ministry principles for reaching this next generation. This praxis is involves a previous gathering of these leaders to identify challenges in Deaf ministry and essential values for moving forward. Although the declaration is the primary agenda of this praxis, the ultimate goal is to provide biblically sound, effective and practical strategy for those leading Deaf churches and ministries in the context of a secular society.

"Go...to the land I will show you:" discerning the gradual call to ministry at First Baptist Church Concord Knoxville, Tennessee

Author
Mike Watson
Abstract
Those who experience a call to ministry in church leadership over a protracted period of time can experience a sense of isolation and confusion in their calling, deeming it less valid. The praxis director recruited four such individuals to pursue clarity in their callings. He does so by having them utilize a clarified vocabulary, an examination of biblical and historical examples of those called of God, and an assessment of spiritual gifting within the context of a small group. As a result, each of the participants was able to identify future steps for pursuing continued clarity in their calling.

Reverberating Word: the concept and role of expository worship at the National Presbyterian Church

Author
Michael T Denham
Abstract
Drawing on the phrase "Reverberating Word," the purpose of this praxis was to introduce the concept and role of expository worship at The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. "Reverberating" derives from the nature of musical sound. "Expository" derives from the world of Christian proclamation. Worship that is expository seeks through music and and other worship components to heighten the expression of what is being proclaimed. The praxis director taught seminars with the goal of increasing praxis participants' understanding of expository worship so they might benefit from the richness of worship life available. Surveys were used to measure effectiveness.

A call for authentic Christian leadership in the church: the role of discipleship and spiritual formation training

Author
Ronald D Sterling
Abstract
The local churches I have pastored have had dedicated leaders throughout the different boards and auxiliaries; however, there was a need for additional training and support in their spiritual growth to become more effective spiritual leaders in the church. The Project Director presented four training series and a one-day retreat on Spiritual Leadership, the Discipling Process, Practicing the Spiritual Disciplines, and Spiritual Formation. An assessment of the feedback indicated that spiritual transformation had taken place in the hearts of some of the participants, and there was an increased awareness of the biblical criteria for church leadership.
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