Covenant Theological Seminary

How pastors disciple towards rapid multiplication to further the church planting movement

Author
Ion Cheptene
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how pastors disciple their congregations toward "rapid multiplication" to further the church planting movement. The researcher identified three areas that are central to this process: reproducible evangelism and discipleship, reproducible church planting, and reproducible leadership. The researcher studied the effect of short cycle multiplicative discipleship growth, rather than simple church incremental growth, focusing on instances where the pastor utilized the CPM methodology. The study employed a qualitative design, using semi-structured interviews with nine demographically diverse pastors from five different denominations. The unit of analysis was the method used for successful discipleship multiplication, and the data was analyzed using the constant comparative method. The findings indicated that the pastors who took the catalytic role of igniting discipleship movements modeled discipleship for their congregations not only by teaching, but by actually fulfilling the Great Commission, looking for persons of peace, initiating DBS groups with unchurched people, and creating a cascade of multigenerational discipleship.

How bivocational pastors understand the theology of work

Author
Gary D Erickson
Abstract
The researcher attempted to determine how bivocational pastors understand the theology of work using a qualitative research methodology. The researcher determined that the theology of work is not well developed in the United Pentecostal Church International.

Making room: freedom in non-essentials in the multiracial church

Author
Michael Anthony Campbell
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine how congregants in one southern multiracial church utilize adiaphora to foster multiracial inclusion. A qualitative case study with semi-structured interviews was used. The study concluded that using adiaphora is one means of making room in a predominantly homogenous church for diversity.

"How did they get there?": exploring how career worship directors became equipped for long-term vocational worship ministry in Reformed churches

Author
Stephen A Whitner
Abstract
Worship directors in Reformed churches are expected to be musicians, pastors, administrators, and theologians, and they serve in the midst of debated issues such as traditional versus contemporary worship. However, it is unclear how and where they are being equipped. The purpose of this study was to explore how career worship directors became equipped for long-term vocational worship ministry in the Reformed church. The study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with ten worship directors, analyzed in a constant comparative method. The research explored experiences from childhood through the early years of church work that developed their musicality, spiritual formation, leadership skills, and Reformed theology of worship. This study concluded that the local church, academic institutions with quality music programs, and Reformed academic institutions, can have a significant influence in the development of worship directors in Reformed churches.

It takes a church: the need for a visible, audible, understandable, and corporate Gospel witness to unreached British Asian communities

Author
Baz Moore
Abstract
Large numbers of South Asians have immigrated to the United Kingdom, and Christians have embraced a variety of outreach methods. Lacking has been an emphasis on church planting. The literature tends to focus on personal evangelism, creating a need to examine the role the church has in witness. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore how converted British Asian Christians evaluate the role of the local church in its witness to the British Asian community. This study concluded that contextualized church planting should be the primary strategy for witness to the unbelieving South Asian immigrant populations.

Emotional intelligence: how Christ-following family leaders grow in EQ through transitions

Author
Matthew W Uldrich
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how Christian men grew in emotional intelligence as family leaders through the transformative transitional experience of starting a new church. This study utilized a qualitative research design, the sample selection was non-probabilistic, and used a criterion-based form. The review of the literature and the analysis of the participants in the study revealed that Christ-following leaders grew in EQ and were spiritually transformed through the time of transition. In God's providence he graciously works through circumstances to develop men to be more effective leaders using EQ.

"Help pastor! My son is gay!" : a study on the pastoral care needed for Christian parents with adult gay children

Author
Barry S Cureton
Abstract
This study focused on the unique ministry needs of Christian parents who discover their adult child is gay. Through intensive interviews with Christian parents, it details the emotional turmoil and spiritual struggle that these parents experience and identifies the unique family situations that may cause conflict. Topics covered include: a review of the current biblical debate surrounding homosexuality, a summary of Christian counseling for families with a gay adult child, differing views regarding causation, the unique spiritual and emotional needs of parents and the family issues they face, and suggestions for offering hope and healing to struggling Christian parents.

Hearing to tell: listening for gospel inroads in the stories of non-Christians

Author
Jason M Abbott
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand how listening to the stories of non-Christians can be used to more strategically narrate gospel stories. In order to do this, a qualitative research project was designed. Six non-Christians were asked to share a significant story. Special attention was given to how feelings, events, imagined futures, and beliefs emerged in the stories. The researcher concluded that, by carefully listening to the stories of non-Christians, Christians can find many areas in which gospel stories can be helpfully told in the natural context.

Considering the "word and communion" balance in Reformed Evangelical Presbyterian churches

Author
Phillip Sandifer
Abstract
This study explored the balancing of the preaching of the Word and the Sacrament of communion within Evangelical Presbyterian Churches. It asked if the historical/theological narrative mandated a balance, how is it reflected and whether the contemporary church seeks to implement such in its ongoing worship. A qualitative design, using semi-structured interviews with eight pastors and one worship director was implemented. The study concluded that the historical/theological narrative does encourage a Word and Communion balance but churches do not view this as mandated and are greatly affected by cultural obstacles and leadership preferences with regard to such implementation.

How congregants experience pastors leading change in established congregations

Author
Michael K Leary
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how congregants experience pastors leading adaptive change in an established congregation. A qualitative research case study was conducted. The research concluded that pastors should be careful to listen to the heartbeat of their people. The pastor needs to become real as they live among their congregation. And finally they must watch over their own lives in terms of personal calling and rest.
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