Dallas Theological Seminary

An evaluation of an intensive expository series and other supplemental contributing factors to help believers in Christ overcome habitual sin

Author
Shane A Prewitt
Abstract
This research project develops and determines the effectiveness of intentional expository sermon planning and a nine-week support group to equip believers to overcome habitual sin patterns in a local congregation. Habitual sin patterns threaten to destroy the vitality of our spiritual lives and derail us from accomplishing God's purposes in our lives. The intent of this project was to show that there is a way for believers in Christ to overcome habitual sin patterns. This was tested by surveying a group of believers who attend a nine week intensive expository series on overcoming besetting sin and who also attended a supplemental nine week support group that focused on the use of spiritual disciplines to renew the mind.

Some Primary Factors of Church Growth of a Chinese Church in the Philippines

Author
Stephen Go Tan
Abstract
At a time when Chinese churches in the Philippines are stagnant or declining in numbers, Grace Christian Church of the Philippines (GCCP) is one of the fastest-growing Chinese churches in the Philippines in the past decade. This applied research project used the survey method to investigate some primary factors that have contributed to the growth of GCCP. This is for the benefit of GCCP herself as well as for other Chinese churches in the Philippines. This study answered the research question, "What are some primary factors associated with new members of the last 10 years (2005-2015) joining Grace Christian Church of the Philippines?" The research examined the three factors of Pulpit Ministry, Culture Change, and Vision as primary factors of church growth. This study looked at pulpit preaching and its central importance in the life of the church. It also examined culture in the church and the change process and why these are important factors to consider when implementing change. Then, it explored how vision and its casting are essential to give the church direction and purpose. The results of the survey indicated that the Pulpit Ministry, Culture Change, and Vision were indeed primary factors of church growth at GCCP from 2005 to 2015.At a time when Chinese churches in the Philippines are stagnant or declining in numbers, Grace Christian Church of the Philippines (GCCP) is one of the fastest-growing Chinese churches in the Philippines in the past decade. This applied research project used the survey method to investigate some primary factors that have contributed to the growth of GCCP. This is for the benefit of GCCP herself as well as for other Chinese churches in the Philippines. This study answered the research question, "What are some primary factors associated with new members of the last 10 years (2005-2015) joining Grace Christian Church of the Philippines?" The research examined the three factors of Pulpit Ministry, Culture Change, and Vision as primary factors of church growth. This study looked at pulpit preaching and its central importance in the life of the church. It also examined culture in the church and the change process and why these are important factors to consider when implementing change. Then, it explored how vision and its casting are essential to give the church direction and purpose. The results of the survey indicated that the Pulpit Ministry, Culture Change, and Vision were indeed primary factors of church growth at GCCP from 2005 to 2015. Quantifying these results formalizes the contributing factors of growth and ensures that these three growth factors remain part of the DNA and cultural core of what characterizes GCCP. It is hoped that this research will help other Chinese churches in the Philippines identify key factors they will prayerfully consider to help them grow with the Lord's enablement.

An evaluation of the fidelity curriculum in the spiritual formation of adult disciples

Author
Markene M Meyer
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a spiritual formation curriculum that fostered attentiveness in adult disciples in three interrelated areas: attentiveness to their relationship with Christ, attentiveness to their own soul, and attentiveness to the way they live as Christ-followers. Fidelity: Discovering a Way that is Life-Giving introduced students to the Benedictine way of life, a way ordered around attentiveness to God, and the ancient discipline of abiding by a rule of life. Research results suggest that adult disciples who complete Fidelity grow in attentiveness. Fidelity is published as Thrive: Life-Giving Disciplines for a Chaotic World.

Determining the benefits of discipleship training using the Bible as primary discussion material in various sized groups of 3-4, 10-14, and 20+

Author
Daniel G Kachikis
Abstract
Using a one-year Bible as the sole discipleship material and discussion as the primary method of guidance, the author surveyed three research study groups of different sizes. The findings indicate that using the one-year Bible helped the participants grow in their love for Christ and love for the Word. This study also saw participants grow in their confidence to make disciples and grow in their willingness to make disciple-making their lifestyle in following Christ. Regarding the optimal group size, the author found that groups of five to eight seemed to naturally become the best platform for discipleship.

The wounded pastor's wife, a case study on the experiences of five wives

Author
David G Friese
Abstract
There have been a number of research projects on wounded pastors and the rate of pastors leaving the ministry. However, very little research has been done on how these experiences impact the spouse. The focus of this research project is on the impact on the pastor's wife. This dissertation examines five case studies of wives of wounded pastors whose husbands have experienced conflict at their church resulting in them leaving their church. I have provided a narrative of each wife's situation as told by the wife. The narratives provide the context and thus provide clearer insights into the impact of their experiences. To help us understand the impact, we examined the challenges pastors and wives face while in the ministry context as compared to after they were forced to leave. The pastor's wife's voice has been a missing piece in our strategies in preparing pastors for ministry. This project distills her insights, along with those of pastors and church leaders and gives us a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges pastors and their wives face. This study includes tangible strategies to better equip pastors and their spouses to deal with the challenges of ministry. It provides information that can be used to develop ministries that support and encourage pastors and their wives when they encounter conflicts, are wounded and forced to exit from their church. These strategies will include ways churches, denominations, seminaries and new ministries can implement these recommendations.

An evaluation of the marriage core program among the Chinese Christian couples in Hong Kong

Author
Joseph Tsang-Sing Lam
Abstract
The investigator found that in both theological and social science research, there are seven virtues for building a strong Christian marriage, namely, humility, spirituality, commitment, intimacy, passion, forgiveness and magnification of Christ. It was illustrated that the Marriage CORE program is an excellent marital enrichment Christian program. Among its twenty-four lessons, these seven core virtues are integrated with four Marriage CORE principles, namely, Connection, Oneness, Restoration and Empowerment. The motivation force is attributed to a heart filled with three kinds of love, namely, covenant love, courageous love and sacrificial love. All of these findings are summarized as the CORE Circle of Marital Connection.

An evaluation of restart churches

Author
Gary Lee Taylor
Abstract
The researcher used a quantitative survey to explore the steps or changes used in restarting a small and plateaued or declining church. Forty-five qualified respondents submitted invaluable information which allowed the author to compile the chronological steps used to restart these churches. This is the broadest research ever and only detailed research known in this field during the decade prior to its completion.

Expository Children's Messages: A Program Development and Evaluation.

Author
Daniel R Moore
Abstract
This study identified practical principles for developing expository children's messages that effectively communicate God's biblical message to children, laying out the process in a preaching manual. In order to evaluate the preaching manual, a program development and evaluation model of research was used. Surveys administered before and after reading the preaching manual found, with confidence, affirmation of two of the five hypotheses, which were reflected by the principles in the preaching manual. The hypotheses areas included: 1. Exposition, 2. Variety, 3. Clarity, 4. Frequency, and 5. Practicality. The research subjects overwhelmingly reported positive impact on their preaching ministry to children.

An assessment of the benefits for the church congregation of Highland Baptist Tabernacle of Blue Ridge, Georgia in strategic, long-term sermon planning through the book of Hebrews

Author
Jerry R Thomas
Abstract
When a man that God commissions begins to preach, he may approach the sermon in many ways, but the goal is always the same: for the preacher and the listener alike to hear the words of God. Each strategy has its benefits and losses, but all strategies must lead to the pinnacle of hearing God's word. This research will investigate the benefits for the church congregation at Highland Baptist Tabernacle of strategic, long-term sermon planning through the Book of Hebrews. The motivation behind the research is to determine whether strategic, long-term sermon planning benefits this local church congregation in the areas of biblical understanding, spiritual conviction, and Christian living. If this strategy for sermon planning is highly beneficial, it could be likened to that of a strenuous climb up the mountain-difficult but well worth the effort. Not only will this research be a determining model for our local congregation, it also could give insight into the effects of intentional long-term sermon planning for expository preaching in small, rural churches throughout the country.

Program development and evaluation of teaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and how the gospel and discipleship are understood

Author
Evan L Buja
Abstract
This research focuses on finding whether or not teaching the more comprehensive gospel of the kingdom of God is related to an increased understanding of what the gospel is and therefore, how discipleship is defined and understood. The research method evaluated whether teaching material about the kingdom of God caused growth in understanding the gospel and discipleship. The results show participant's idea of the gospel did not change overall in relation to the kingdom of God. Participants did show growth in understanding that discipleship is directly related to the kingdom of God.
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