Dallas Theological Seminary

Case studies of pastoral leadership in the church. #22

Author
James R Mitchell
Abstract
This project is part of a larger study conducted through Dallas Theological Seminary called "Cathedral Project." The goal is to do case study research on successful pastors in North America to determine if their leadership styles match an hypothesis which states that, "An effective Christian leader is a servant leader who under the direction of the Holy Spirit maximizes strengths, minimizes limitations, and consistently grows in Christlike character in order to influence others to develop adn accomplish a common vision." Two pastors in central and eastern Canada were studied and both were found to comply with the leadership hypothesis.

Conflict management style in selected CBA churches

Author
James Edward Leary
Abstract
This project measured conflict management style in selected C.B.A. churches. Appointed or elected leaders in churches affiliated with CBAmerica were participants. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (1974) was used in this study, measuring competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding and accommodating conflict management styles. The biographical information sheet collected data relating to sex, age, length of Christian experience, length of church membership and length of leadership. The majority of leaders surveyed had been Christians for fifteen or more years. This group scored low in the competing mode, and high in the avoiding mode. This pattern was observed throughout the study.

Using five vital signs of spiritual health to evaluate churches

Author
William W Gasser
Abstract
This project attempts to answer the research question: Can the spiritual health of a local church be effectively measured by means of a congregational survey? Spiritual health is defined through biblical research and indexed by five factors (sound doctrine, effective ministry, functional body life, spiritual sensitivity, and perseverance) with associated vital signs. Contemporary literature on spiritual health and its measurement are analyzed. A survey based on the five vital signs is designed and field-tested in local churches. This study concludes that spiritual health can be measured, at least in part, by such an instrument.

Facilitating spiritual formation at Toccoa Falls College

Author
Jeffrey S Gangel
Abstract
Christian colleges which claim and intend to facilitate the spiritual formation of their students must try to assess the progress of their students and the effective impact of their programs. The descriptions of the spiritual life in scripture provide a measuring stick for spiritual growth assessment. This research included a survey tool which allowed college alumni to rate their spiritual progress in thirty key areas. This tool also solicited feedback on the effectiveness of college programs and personnel towards the students' perceived spiritual formation. On average, the alumni reported spiritual growth in twenty-nine areas. In terms of spiritual influences, personal relationships had the most impact followed by classes, studies and worship experiences.

A study of forced exits among pastors of the Western Pennsylvania District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance churches

Author
D Roy Dail
Abstract
Forced exits, or forced terminations of ministers, are a serious problem in pastoral ministry. A survey of Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) pastors and staff was completed in 1998 using the Western Pennsylvania District of the C&MA as a sample. The survey sought to determine the rate of forced exits and factors involved in forced exits. These rates and factors were compared to two previous studies of forced exits (Crowell, 1990, and LaRue, 1996). An additional aspect of the study was an evaluation of the effectiveness of the District Superintendent's role in intervening in forced exit situations.

An evaluation of the Pentecostal Holiness' Sunday School curriculum aimed at Generation X

Author
Charles S Chitwood
Abstract
This applied research project will examine Generation X and their attitudes towards contemporary Sunday school literature. As a writer of the Pentecostal Holiness Sunday school curriculum aimed at Generation X, this writer wanted to develop a program evaluation of this material to determine if it is relevant to Generation Xers. The attitudes of both those within and without the church will be examined after they respond to a survey upon reading two Sunday school lessons. The assumption is that the material will not be as relevant to those outside of the church. The goal of this paper is to discover how to make Sunday school curriculum more interesting and relevant to the lives of Generation Xers. As the Baby Boomers are rapidly aging, it is important to learn how to disciple this particular generation. The message of the gospel must remain constant, but the way of reaching Generation X may prove to be vastly different from formerly successful methods. In some way, this study wants to contribute to helping learn how to reach this generation.

A research project using the long-term sermon preparation model for preaching the Book of Revelation to stimulate spiritual development at Tulsa Bible Church

Author
John S Barnett
Abstract
This is a qualitative research project using a strategy for increasing the spiritual development of the believers at Tulsa Bible Church through preaching the book of Revelation. A long-term sermon plan was developed and implemented using the book of Revelation to impact the believers at Tulsa Bible Church toward spiritual development. An instrument was developed and used to pretest and posttest in order to measure the effectiveness of the program. Areas of measurable spiritual development were developed, incorporated didactically into the series and emphasized throughout the planned sermons. The analysis of the posttest shows a measurable change in some areas of spiritual development. The conclusion of this research project is that spiritual development in daily living can be measurably influenced in a congregation through a long-term sermon plan.

An Evaluation of First Christian Church, St. Francis, Kansas, Members' and Attendees' Perspectives on Pastoral Visitation, as Supplemental to Expository Preaching, for the Stimulation of Their Spiritual Growth

Author
Jeffrey A Landers M.Div.
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to of this research is to evaluate the perspectives of select members and regular attendees of First Christian Church in St. Francis, Kansas, on pastoral visitation, that which supplements expository preaching, as an aid to their spiritual development in the areas of biblical comprehension, convictions, and conduct. The evaluation is based on interviews with ten members and attendees of First Christian Church in St. Francis, Kansas. The interview questions probed the nature of a potential connection between pastoral visits to encourage spiritual growth, that is, growth in comprehending God's Word, having one's convictions shaped by God's Word, and having one's conduct increasingly transformed by God's Word, and substantive spiritual growth as so defined. Dr. Grant Kaul has done excellent research to validate the relationship between an intentional expository sermon and spiritual growth in the church family he serves as senior pastor. His intentional expository sermon plan focused on the book of Revelation. First, that spiritual growth was measured in terms of an increased comprehension of biblical content. Second, spiritual growth was measured in terms of an embracing of biblical convictions and values which are the source for a Christian's conduct. Third, spiritual growth was measured in terms of personal conduct increasingly aligned with both biblical content and convictions. Building upon that research, this author proposes to validate a relationship between pastoral visits and spiritual growth for the church family presently being served in the areas of biblical comprehension, biblical convictions, and biblical conduct. In addition to an intentional expository sermon plan to encourage the spiritual growth of a church family, pastoral visits can be a tool to further reinforce that spiritual growth. This qualitative research, carried out by interviewing church members and attendees, demonstrates that pastoral visits, in addition to expository preaching on Sunday mornings, further enhances the spiritual growth of Christians.

The Metanarrative of Scripture: A Program Development and Evaluation Measuring Associated Increases in Biblical Comprehension, Hermeneutical Aptitude and Attitudes towards Scripture at Ethnos360 Bible Institute

Author
Wiley S Keen
Abstract
The curriculum of Ethnos360 Bible Institute includes a survey or exposition of all 66 books of the Bible, but does not include a course that ties these courses/books together as a unified whole. Based on a review of the literature, there are three major areas of Christian development that are linked to the metanarrative of Scripture: (1) comprehension of the Bible, (2) hermeneutical aptitude, and (3) positive attitudes towards Scripture. It was hypothesized that a course on the metanarrative of Scripture would demonstrate associated increases in these three areas. This project developed such a course for Ethnos360 Bible Institute, and measured the effectiveness of this course to impact areas of hypothesized growth. The method chosen for this research project was a program development and evaluation. Informed by the literature and consultation with various Bible teachers and missionaries, a course was created that developed the major plot-line of the Bible and called attention to the ramifications of that plot-line to comprehension, hermeneutics, and attitudes/values. To measure the effectiveness of this course, an instrument was developed and implemented as a pre-test/post-test. The instrument provided quantitative data that was analyzed and evaluated in this project. The data verified all three of the hypotheses, finding statistically significant increases in biblical comprehension, hermeneutical aptitude, and appreciation among students who took the course. Understanding the Bible as one over-arching story is a vital part of the Christian's development, enabling them to handle the Word of God in a responsible manner and find their place in the Story of God.
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