Church polity

"Blest Be the Tie that Binds," the Church as Life in Communion: Discovering the Congregational Stories that Influence the Theology and Shape the Ministry of Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church

Author
Andrew J Florio
Abstract
This project explores how the interplay between formative experiences and relationships formed in one's community of faith influences one's understanding of ecclesiology. This dynamic will be expounded on by comparing church members' personal stories and beliefs about the nature of the church, with a theological examination of trinitarian ecclesiology and its implications for the faith and practice of Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church. The purpose of this project is to lift up a theological paradigm to the leadership of Chapel Hill as they seek to transform their ministerial context in a manner that is cathartic.

Selected studies for a reflection on leadership growth in presbyterian (PCUSA) churches

Author
Bryan C Stamper
Abstract
The thesis of this dissertation focuses on the idea that medium-sized Presbyterian Churches in the PCUSA offer a unique opportunity for growth within a denomination experiencing declining membership. This paper starts with an identification of common factors for church growth, then specifically exposits systematic changes that can be implemented in PCUSA churches to create a healthier culture. The hypotheses of this paper describe three areas of potential change to grow healthier medium-sized PCUSA churches: the size of the local church leadership board, the implementation of policy governance practices, and the introduction of transformational leadership training in the local church. Has this Abstract already been submitted for publication?

Understanding church structure as a means for effective leadership of local United Methodist church

Author
John Pena Auta
Abstract
Church structure is an indispensable guide for church administrators. Church may likely not function effectively without proper knowledge of the organizational polity. This project is a resource for leadership empowerment, especially for pastors in charge of local church. The project highlights the functions and connectional relationships within the church. Organizational structure means the formal and informal framework of policies within which an organization arranges its lines of authority and communication. Therefore, it is imperative to note that this church has a network of local congregations with a mission, which has grown into one of the most carefully organized denominations in the world.

The long haul: the story of successful church transformation in a New England mainline denominational setting and what your church can learn from it

Author
Kevin B Crispell
Abstract
There is a surprising dearth of literature on the actual mechanics or micro scale of church renewal and transformation. How does one go about changing one's church's bylaws, name, polity, mission statement -- even denominational affiliation? When and where does one even start? How does one accomplish these changes in a regional climate of distrust in leadership and imperviousness to change? Set in New England, a region renowned for resistance to change, this is the story of one church's successful transformation from a mainline denominational affiliation to a newly formed association of conservative churches. The author found it necessary to be willing to stay in his current pastorate for an extended period of time if he was to bring about the necessary changes. It is a story of prayer, process, and patience.

Living in community: using the polity of the United Methodist Church to order and revitalize a local church community

Author
Jalene C Chase-Sands
Abstract
The author used this case study to answer the question: How can we use the judicatory guidelines and polity as tools to realign a United Methodist Church community in order to revitalize leadership, worship and ministry? The study documents the transformation of the church after using polity as theology to restore order; the distribution of selected sections of the Book of Discipline; worship changes involving children, youth and young adults; leadership training; and re-instituting outreach and ministry.

The effective use of church polity to restore and transfer the St Luke and Zion Olivet Churches of Charleston Atlantic presbytery

Author
Sidney Eugene Davis
Abstract
The project was an in-depth examination of how the Presbyterian polity was used within the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery, its Committee on Ministry and the Congregational Ministry Unit, to effectively resolve conflict, restore the health of the congregations and to implement methods for the transformation of the St Luke and Zion Olivet churches.

Developing a church leadership transition process that adapts the policy governance principles of John Carver in middle-size churches associated with Christian Churches and Churches of Christ

Author
Donald Lee Green
Abstract
One of the challenges facing middle-size Chiristian Churches is the need to transition in governance to an elder-protected, staff-led, and ministry team-managed model. In developing a process to help churches with this transition the writer sought to adapt the principles of Policy Governance [trademark symbol]. The senior ministers of four churches that have had a governance transition by applying Policy Governance principles were interviewed and a pilot program with middle-size churches was conducted. The process included developing a manual for a training seminar and sample guiding principles for follw up consultation. Assessments revealed improved satisfaction with governance after the pilot program.

Living wills for congregations: a new approach to church life transitions

Author
Della M Fahnestock
Abstract
Market Street Church experienced several decades of declining membership and structural decay to the church facility prior to adopting a simple Living Will, written by lay leaders, which guided its journey to closure. The intent of this study is to document Market Street Church's experience with the congregational Living Will as a means of presenting an intentional and collaborative approach to significant church life transitions such as closure. The distinctive context of Interim Ministry is also examined and found to be significant for the introduction of a congregational Living Will.

The implementation of a postdenominational model of church government at Christian Life Assembly

Author
J Stephen Chitty
Abstract
This document traces the origins, development and implementation of a postdenominational form of church government at Christian Life Assembly in Columbia, South Carolina. Elements include the description of the contextual settings which necessitated the change, along with cultural and denomination factors which contributed to the challenge associated with such transformation. Attention is given to processes implemented to generate structural, procedural, philosophical and missional change within the fabric of congregational life. Evaluation with measurable goals, subjective judgments, and set of future criteria to determine the ultimate success of the project.

Challenges to Methodist polity: from Wesley's model deed to Judicial Council Decision 1032

Author
Janine Howard
Abstract
Methodist polity embodies characteristics that are unique expressions of its doctrinal stance and missional purpose. United Methodism features governance derived from sources in John Wesley's eighteenth-century reform movement. It is shaped by subsequent attempts to define the denomination in the context of American culture. Two significant schisms, O'Kelly Republican Methodism in 1792 and Methodist Protestantism in 1828, represent these challenges to Wesley's construct. They also set the contextual reference for a 2005 United Methodist Judicial Council decision on church membership, and its implications for the future of the denomination.
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