Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Preaching as a catalyst for moving a congregation from fear to joy

Author
Patricia L Bruner
Abstract
Joy,a fruit of the Spirit, is substantially lacking in many worshipers today. The author of this paper argues that preaching can be a catalyst for moving a congregation from fear to joy. Preachers have the opportunity to proclaim the Word of God so that through the power of the Holy Spirit transformation occurs and faith is deepened. Preaching that intentionally focuses on moving the hearers from fear to joy, using different genres that promote a joyful type of sermon does produce a response indicative of less fear and more joyful living evidenced by the actions/words of the hearers.

Preaching as an element in developing Christian discipleship of pastor and congregation

Author
Earl L Gillett
Abstract
The weekly task of preaching can become a spiritually draining task for the pastor who has not made the process of preaching; from sermon development to delivery, a part of their Christian discipleship. Pastors need to integrate preaching into their own Christian discipleship in order for preaching to have an impact on their congregation. Through this project I propose that preaching can enhance the Christian discipleship of the pastor through the use of Incarnational Exegesis, EPIC, Authentic and Integrated Preaching. In doing so, the pastor's development in Christian discipleship will make his preaching more impactful for the congregation.

Called to order: a study of ordination and authority in regard to administrative leadership among United Methodist pastors

Author
Brian K White
Abstract
This project attempts to answer the question: "Do United Methodist pastors see administrative tasks as being an important part of pastoral ministry, does this vary for ordained and non-ordained clergy, and if there are differences how are they expressed in perceptions and priorities?" Pastors in two districts of the United Methodist Church were surveyed with follow-up interviews regarding their perceptions and practices around duties listed under "order" in The United Methodist Book of Discipline. Comparisons and contrasts in thinking are identified between ordained and non-ordained clergy. Data collected indicates that ordination is not the primary factor in shaping pastor's perceptions and practices about administrative tasks but that, for many clergy, appointment by the bishop is the significant motivating factor in ordering the church.

Indigenous leadership development program for the Methodist Church (Lower Myanmar)

Author
Zothan Mawia
Abstract
Indigenous Leadership Development Program (ILDP) caters to the changing spiritual and socio-economic needs of the leadership in the Methodist Church (Lower Myanmar). ILDP was constructed on research findings of the Ten-year Church Development Project of the church, evaluation of the leadership, and knowledge learned through D.Min. course work. The program was offered in three-week retreats focusing on spiritual formation, discipleship and stewardship, and church administration. Pre and post-tests of the three sessions assessed the increase in knowledge and effectiveness of leadership. Participant and program evaluation reports positive changes in the congregation and leadership due to greater spiritual and administrative development.

"Picturing" lay ministry: photovoice and participatory group spiritual gifts assessment

Author
Steven G Trefz
Abstract
The "Picturing Lay Ministry" project uses the visual methodology of photovoice as a way of generating participatory laity discernment around the topics of calling, Dakotas rural ministry, and spiritual gifts. The project involves working with curriculum action research embedded within one-day ministry discernment events for laity. Measurement tools include a spiritual gift inventory, repeated measures Likert questionnaires, a short-term photovoice exercise, and semi-structured interviews. The research shows that a photovoice intervention positively impacts participants' awareness and ownership of calling and spiritual giftedness, and encourages contextualization of both ministry realities and hope-filled opportunities.

Reclaiming the "Kingdom of Heaven": the preacher as theological change agent

Author
Phillip R Stout
Abstract
Popularized end-times teachings present a theology of pessimism and destruction that is at odds with historic Christianity. This distorted eschatology considers the work for peace and justice to be irrelevant and outside the sphere of concern for Christians. In order to reclaim passion for social justice, we must redefine, reclaim and recapture the "kingdom of heaven." To make this paradigm shift, which is theological and hermeneutical in nature, the preacher does not try to dismantle an existing belief system. Rather, he or she offers an alternative narrative, inviting people into ongoing dialogue in the shared life of the congregation.

Initiating or reinforcing a commitment to Christian stewardship values through preaching

Author
Hermon L Darden
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to explore how the proclamation of God's word can help people become better Christian stewards. How can preaching provide inspiration and biblical clarity which helps the faithful reach the highest level of stewardship commitment. The role of preaching, congregational structure and bible study as components that strengthen stewardship commitment leading to holistic stewardship lifestyle are key aspects of the project thesis. The significance of contemporized scriptural texts in preaching is explored. The goal of this report is to help preachers consider an approach to preaching stewardship which leads to the transformation of Christian disciples.

Prophecy, trance, and transference: hypnosis as a pastoral counseling modality

Author
Prentice Kinser
Abstract
This project explores the theoretical, theological, and ethical implications of hypnosis as a mode of pastoral counseling, conducting and evaluating a two-day training program in hypnosis for clergy and pastoral counselors. The project demonstrates that hypnosis is a theoretically, theologically, and ethically appropriate tool for pastoral counseling and that training in hypnosis will significantly change counseling behavior.

Giving our whole life: stewardship education as a means of parish redevelopment

Author
Paul R Ziese
Abstract
This project proposes to strengthen an urban Lutheran congregation internally and to expand its outreach to new groups in its neighborhood through a 10-session "Stewardship as Christian Living" course for adult members. Basing the study on a biblically based Lutheran theology of baptism, congregational redevelopment theory, and the educational theories of Sara Little, the project generates enthusiasm among course participants, but evaluation shows no statistically significant changes in their attitudes compared to a control group. The course might be more effective in a less conflicted setting.

Exploring God-images of children: implications for pastoral counseling

Author
Sue M Scott
Abstract
This project analyzes and compares the God-images of three children, each distinguished by a different parental figure: intact, blended, and single parent. Grounding the study in Sallie McFague's model of God as parent, the project employs David Heller's methodology to investigate each child's image of God in a two-hour interview, finding several common themes: sexual identity, female identity development, separation and inequality, intimacy, creation, comforter, authority, and dynamic action. A child's parental experience does inform who God gets to be.
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