Pastoral theology--Reformed churches

The Practice of Pastoral Care in the Local Church : Equipping Officers, Staff, and Small Group Leaders

Author
Michael T Boulware
Abstract
The project addresses the need to equip untrained leaders in the local church whom the church is asking to offer pastoral care to the people of God. It begins with an examination of the biblical calling of the leaders as officers, staff members, or small group leaders. It lays a biblical foundation of how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is central to understanding and practicing pastoral care. Next, it examines the Law of God as a principle filter through which all pastoral counsel must pass, and explores how such a filter cannot discount the importance of the cultivation of relationships.

How kirk sessions in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland approach and provide pastoral care for their congregations

Author
Ivan Neish
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand how Kirk Sessions of in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland provided pastoral care. This study utilized a qualitative design using interviews with elders of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The literature review focused on four aspects of pastoral care: strategies used by Sessions, personal involvement of elders, elements affecting elders' individual engagement, and assessment by elders of the pastoral care. This study concluded that it is possible to transition from a district visitation strategy to one that includes a more corporate approach.

Seeking the old paths: towards a recovery of John Calvin's pastoral theology amongst Reformed and Presbyterian pastors today

Author
Marcus J Serven
Abstract
The purpose of this qualitative research project was to interact with Reformed and Presbyterian pastors on the subject of John Calvin's pastoral theology. The researcher engaged in historical research by uncovering relevant material for lectures on Calvin's ministry practices. Six areas were examined: Calvin as preacher, teacher, friend, shepherd, leader, and theologian. These lectures were presented in four separate settings throughout the United States. Nine pastors participated in the follow-up interviews. Based on the findings, the researcher concluded that Calvin's pastoral theology was worthy of serious reflection, careful evaluation, and strategic implementation by Reformed and Presbyterian pastors today.

Transitioning from a solo pastorate to a senior pastorate

Author
Steven L Petroelje
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand the challenges encountered by a solo pastor when transitioning into a senior pastor role. This study utilized semi-structured interviews with twelve pastors in the Reformed Church in America focusing on leadership skills and transition, power and authority dynamics, and staff relations. The study revealed that the transition from solo to senior pastorate affects personal and professional aspects of the pastor's life. Additionally, the pastor must devote more to administration and staff leadership, with recognition that the amount of influence that a pastor has depends largely on the leadership structure of the church.

Empowering the local church through mentoring

Author
James Saxon
Abstract
Could the creative, comprehensive integration of the one-to-one methodology into the local church structure as a balance to other preaching and teaching ministries be the catalyst that would provide dynamic linkage between church ministry and healthy, deepening spirituality of Christians? Mentoring, or life-into-life ministry, is the most intense form of community and therefore holds potential to stimulate the most intense spirituality. In a survey of current literature, this study noted the dramatic explosion of mentoring into the everyday life of our culture. The current relevance and effectiveness of the biblical, historical, and current insights on mentoring were tested among seminary students and women's lay ministries and a paradigm for mentoring was constructed from the results. The overall conclusion was that mentoring is a concept whose time has come and needs to be embraced, especially by the Reformed faith group.

The ministry of the church and life's transitions

Author
Malcolm C McIver
Abstract
This project explores the church's nature and mission as it encounters human beings moving through life's transitions--sociological and relational, economic, physical health, crisis and tragedy, and chronological. Based on studies of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the theologies of John Calvin, Gustaf Aulen, Elaine Ramshaw, John Leith, and Howard Roberts, the project uses case studies to illustrate the church's response to human transitions. The project defines "salvific nurture" and "sanctification" as they relate to pastoral care of people in transition.

The deacon neighborhood care program: a ministry program designed to train ordained deacons to provide better pastoral care. . .

Author
Christopher T Looker
Abstract
This project transforms a nine-member Board of Deacons with limited responsibilities into an active team of 15 members, each with specific training in pastoral care and pastoral responsiblity for as many as 35 church members in 15 geographic neighborhoods of First Presbyterian Church in Goshen, Indiana. The project develops the new diaconate over a three-year period, based on a Reformed understanding of the Greek word diakonos in the New Testament. The participating deacons make more than 800 home visits in the course of the project.

Two parts of one prayer: the relationship between the office of daily prayer and the service for the Lord's day

Author
Laura S Mendenhall
Abstract
This project responds to a pastoral concern to foster and support daily prayer among church members and prayer in the Lord's Day service as two parts of the same prayer, both of which are equally worthy of a pastor's attention. In a Reformed understanding the relation between daily prayer and the Lord's Day service is strengthened by the biblical invitation to pray without ceasing; by the Lord's Prayer, which demonstrates that private prayers are never merely individual; and by a relationship with Jesus through his resurrection. The project develops a set of audiotapes for use in daily prayer during Lent and Easter seasons and solicits the reflections of church members on their practice of daily prayer in its relation to the Lord's Day service.

Recapturing the spiritual dimension of pastoral ministry

Author
Neil P Babcox
Abstract
The thesis of this project is that pastors need to recapture the spiritual aspects of pastoral ministry. Chapter 1 analyzes the problem and offers reasons for how it arose. Chapter 2 surveys "lost treasures" of Reformed spirituality with a special reference to Calvin's Institutes and the Book of Confessions. The project envisions clergy gathering together in small groups for the purpose educating of themselves about the spiritual life through book discussion and for supporting one another through prayer. The author concludes that the project presents a model that can be easily duplicated and can be of great value to clergy.
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