Church renewal--Reformed churches

Awakening a study on congregational revitalization and the First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan

Author
John Kenny
Abstract
This dissertation is a study on revitalization of First Reformed Church in Grand Haven, Michigan. It answers the questions, "What are the biblical principles of revitalization?" and "How can these principles be applied to a historic church ministering in present day America?" A biblical and theological foundation for revitalization is presented through a reading of Jesus' letter to the church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6). The second half documents the implementation of the Embers to a Flame model at First Reformed Church. The results are shared through the pastor's personal transformation, a comprehensive statistical analysis in eight areas of ministry.

Seeing is believing: photography and memory in the church

Author
John Mark Stanley
Abstract
The Presbyterian Church, USA, is in crisis. Membership decline has been steady and unrelenting. Yet, for a few more years, members remain who can remember a time when this branch of God's Church was vibrant and healthy. Art, in most forms, has been an underutilized resource in the Reformed Tradition. This project was an attempt to explore one approach to using art in the church in an effort to stimulate memory for the purpose of discovering ways that the church might recover its sense of health and vitality. Through this ministry tool, photography was employed to create a communal project that took the form of an exhibition within a local church. A questionnaire was then used to sample the responses of viewers of this exhibit. These responses revealed a wealth of memories and experiences. Conclusions were drawn from these responses for the purpose of strengthening the church and the The Church.

Pursuing church revitalization that is tailored to a church's unique personality

Author
Walton R Kendall
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how a church's unique personality provides strategic insight for leading church revitalizaiton. The study involved semi-structured interviews with pastors and church leaders from four Presbyterian Church in America churches in the eastern United States. The study revealed that diverse strategies of revitalization reflect the unique mix of gifts and resources that each church possesses, both in its leaders and laypeople. Effective renewal plans are not borrowed from models provided by other churches, but are carefully crafted to fit each unique congregation. The study also revealed the importance of communicating a clear rationale and vision for change but also discerning what kind of change the congregation would most readily embrace. Leaders must possess a unitifed commitment to pursue necessary change but also adapt leadership initiatives and style to fit the congregation. Finally, the study revealed that churches more effectively pursue change when they are aware of their church culture and the opportunities and limitations it represents. The recognition of the dynamics of personality can reveal the most effective pathways to ministry fruitfulness as well as provide insight into pathways that should be avoided.

Living into a vision: a case study of Riverview Park Reformed Church

Author
Rodney D Veldhuizen
Abstract
This is a case study of one congregation, the Riverview Park Reformed Church. The focus of the study is how the congregation moved from being a divided and conflicted community to a community that is growing and vital. The perspective that is taken in this study is a systems approach that sees the church as much more than the sum of its parts and examines how various systems came together to promote health or dysfunction. This case study revealed that church revitalization is complex dynamic that requires more than a programmatic approach. Findings supported in this study are: 1) Understanding the history of both congregation and leadership is important for church health. 2) The mix of positive and negative influences that shape a congregation and its leadership and their interplay need to be understood in any process of health and revitalization. 3) The process of moving toward health is more important than the program used. 4) Before a congregation or pastor can become healthy it is imperative that both understand their past and the factors that both helped and hindered their development.

Parallel aspects of spiritual renewal in the ministries of Albert Simpson and Bill Bright

Author
Thomas W Donworth
Abstract
This thesis attempted to show similar aspects of spiritual renewal in the lives of Albert Simpson and William Rohl Bright. The basic idea for the thesis developed as a result of class discussions on spiritual renewal and models of Christian spirituality. It also grew out of reading dynamics of the spiritual life and renewal as a way of life. Spiritual renewal occurred in the evangelical Protestant church due to their emphasis on outward mission, the fulfillment of the Great Commission, the person and power of the Holy Spirit, and the prevailing power of prayer. Both Simpson and Bright saw the Protestant church in America and the world as impotent and in need of revival and renewal. As they emphasized evangelism and discipleship, they became effective change agents for renewal, as they were able to motivate thousands of willing workers for the task of world evangelization. The parachurch groups they started were not rivals to the existing Protestant church. Both men saw themselves as working with other likeminded evangelical Christians for the restoration and renewal of the church to a place of prominence and power throughout the world. Eventually, many of the individuals evangelized and discipled by the Christian and Missionary Alliance and Campus Crusade for Christ became involved in local churches, evangelical schools, and missionary sending agencies. By the year 2004, these ministries continue in their efforts to evangelize and disciple people throughout the world in their desire help fulfill the Great Commission in obedience to Christ's command.

From chaos to community: creating the ekklesia through a unified purpose statement

Author
Matthew L Sauer
Abstract
Christ Presbyterian Church is a congregation that bears the survival scars of pastoral misconduct, as well as, the economic and racial upheaval of Gary, Indiana. Thirty years of fierce self-reliance has produced an inability on the part of church members to engage themselves and their community in renewal. The outcome is spiritual and numerical stagnation. Christ Presbyterian Church's future can be found in the Ecclesiology of the Early Church and in the Christology of the Reformed Tradition. A clear unifying Purpose Statement and a goal oriented Ministry Plan based on Acts 2:37-47 and a nuanced understanding of historical and contemporary Christological thought will illuminate a healthy future.

Refocusing, for revitalization, and renewal: the road to being harvest-minded

Author
Joseph Cusack
Abstract
This work is an analysis of the ReFocusing process and its impact upon the Second Reformed Church of Little Falls, New Jersey. ReFocusing networks cluster six to ten pastors and churches coming together to work through this process that includes pastors' meetings and congregational teams trained from each church. ReFocusing is a two to five-year revitalization process that produces harvest-focused churches led by church leaders committed to vision and the raising up of leaders. Through a series of pastor network meetings, lay ReFocusing team training and three congregational summits, church leaders bring focus and renewal to their local churches.

Focusing a large rural midwestern Christian Reformed Church for effective ministry

Author
Jelmer P Groenewold
Abstract
This project enlists leaders of a large, rural, midwestern congregation of the Christian Reformed Church in composing and using a statement of the church's mission and objectives. Informed by an analysis of the congregation's systemic characteristics, needs, and behaviors, the mission statement brings greater focus to organizational structures, relational activities, facility needs, and spiritual formation activities.

Re-envisioning the presbytery: an intervention involving renewal and transformation of the presbytery of north Alabama's communal. . .

Author
John E Rickard
Abstract
This project proposes that presbyteries, as the middle governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA), must completely re-envision their purpose, functions, and organization in order to be faithful to the church's calling in the twenty-first century. Prebyteries play an important symbolic role. The project research discloses a set of energizing core funtions that focus a presbytery's work and organizational principles that make that work useful.

Shared praxis and collaborative preaching as a way of leading a congregation toward a renewed understanding of healing in . . . worship

Author
R Michael Foley
Abstract
This project proposes that shared praxis and collaborative preaching can effectively lead and empower a congregation toward a new understanding of healing in worship. Employing Thomas H Groome's approach to Christian education and John S McClure's collaborative preaching model, the project invites participants to express their present understanding of healing in worship, to reflect theologically on biblical texts in Christian life, and to move toward decisions and action. Collaborative leadership results in high levels of participation and commitment to the outcome of the process.
Subscribe to Church renewal--Reformed churches