Gardner-Webb University

Practicing Sabbath to Reduce Stress Among Ministers in the Tyger River Baptist Association, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Author
James Hailstock
Abstract
The Sabbath is the zenith of God’s creation and the climax of living. The key to reducing stress among ministers is the Sabbath lifestyle which includes practicing the disciplines of prayer, silence, feasting and fellowshipping in addition to identifying the signs and symptoms of stress. The Sabbath lifestyle empowers ministers with coping skills that can be personalized and implemented consistently as they progress and deal with the daunting demands and responsibilities of ministry. This project tested and compared the stress levels of the research and control groups before and after teaching four courses (disciplines) in the context of a Sabbath lifestyle to the research group only. During the retreat, four activities relative to the four courses were practiced by the research and control groups to determine if the courses had an impact on the activities to reduce stress among ministers. The project also revealed the effectiveness of the instructor, research site, courses, retreat, and activities. The project revealed strengths, weaknesses, and missteps. The results established that the courses did influence the activities to reduce stress among ministers.

Changing Attitudes Toward Life : Using Viktor E. Frankl's Logotherapy in Ministry with Christian Women in Church of the Lord, Anyang, Kyounggi-do, South Korea

Author
Jihye Kim
Abstract
Changing Attitudes Toward Life: Using Viktor E. Frankl’s Logotherapy in Ministry with Christian Women in Church of the Lord, Anyang, Kyounggi-do, South Korea is a project designed to help the target group increase the degree of meaning and purpose in life and motivate a desire to live lives more meaningfully and responsibly with hopeful attitudes by exploring the biblical messages with integration exercises utilizing the key concepts of Dr. Frankl’s Logotherapy. Through a five-week sermon series, six weeks of group sessions including the final group reflection session, and writing reflection and autobiographies, the participants are provided opportunities to evaluate and even revise their values, meaning, and life-styles. Using quantitative and qualitative instruments, results show that educative pastoral counseling along with reflection in a small group setting can effect significant positive changes in their attitudes and behavior.

Developing Parental Leadership through Biblical Love as Expressed in Presence, Communication, and Discipline in the Homes at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Shelby, North Carolina

Author
M. Lamont Littlejohn Jr.
Abstract
A Christian education curriculum was established at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina, to develop parental leadership centered on biblical love. The goal was to train parents to model biblical love in their homes. Relying upon scripture affirming parental leadership in the home, parents were enlisted and participated in a six-week study. Surveys measured experience, involvement, practice, and understanding of biblical knowledge. There was no significant statistical difference between the control group and focus group quantitatively; however, the focus group was also assessed qualitatively by means of theological reflection, presence, communication, and discipline application activities. Final reviews indicated that biblical love is a crucial component in developing parental leadership when understood and practiced. Participants in both groups recommend this curriculum be expanded and integrated as a part of the Christian education ministry of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.

An Experiment in Civil Dialogue in a Clinical Pastoral Education Group at Caromont Regional Medical Center, Gastonia, North Carolina

Author
Stephen Allen Lemons
Abstract
An Experiment in Civil Dialogue... was designed to create a setting for civil dialogue concerning homosexuality and Christian faith. The seven-week process involved eight daylong sessions with eight Clinical Pastoral Education students. Sessions focused on a study of biblical passages regarding homosexuality. Passages were examined from a traditional and progressive viewpoint. Six guests presented from a traditional or progressive viewpoint. Participants wrote verbatims and theological integration papers focusing on pastoral care to LGBT persons/families. Research methods included focus and control group and quantitative-qualitative research. Interviews, surveys and written reflections attest that the group maintained civil dialogue throughout the process. The group came to better understand and appreciate those who held views on homosexuality that were different from their own. The participants recommended using a similar form of group process in churches.

Assessing the Effect of Worship Education and Worship Renewal at First Baptist Church Kings Mountain, North Carolina

Author
Jonathan Bundon
Abstract
For many Christians, worship has been reduced to the entertainment value centered on self rather than the Triune God. Ignorance must be combated with worship education and worship renewal. For the worshiper, how one prepares for corporate worship affects their worship experience and informs their private worship. The four-week study, Spirit and Truth, introduced members of First Baptist Church Kings Mountain to worship education and renewal and challenged them to assess their own worship practices. Quantitative and qualitative test results and observations validated this project's needs. In addition, the project afforded opportunities that might contribute to a life-long experiment of maturing in worship. The project evidence supports further study of worship education and worship renewal in the church. For many Christians, worship has been reduced to the entertainment value centered on self rather than the Triune God. Ignorance must be combated with worship education and worship renewal. For the worshiper, how one prepares for corporate worship affects their worship experience and informs their private worship. The four-week study, Spirit and Truth, introduced members of First Baptist Church Kings Mountain to worship education and renewal and challenged them to assess their own worship practices. Quantitative and qualitative test results and observations validated this project's needs. In addition, the project afforded opportunities that might contribute to a life-long experiment of maturing in worship. The project evidence supports further study of worship education and worship renewal in the church.

Enriching Christian Hospitality at Malaby's Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church in Knightdale, North Carolina

Author
Barbara Starr Barner
Abstract
Hospitality is the welcoming of strangers, family, and friends. In the early biblical and historical traditions, hospitality focused on welcoming the alien and extending resources to them. Hospitality, however, need not be limited to the basic physical needs of the stranger, but spiritual needs are to be addressed as well. In the reflection of Jesus’ work on the cross, Christian hospitality should be the intentional, responsible, and caring act of welcoming or visiting strangers, enemies, the distressed, downtrodden, without regard for reciprocation. The goal of this project was to enhance Malaby’s Christian hospitality culture and take our personal interactions to a higher spiritual level, thereby, nurturing, caring, and maturing the body of Christ. The ultimate goal of this study was to have this work be an available tool to address similar church congregations that need to create or enhance a positive culture of Christian hospitality.

Resiliency-Based Spiritual Support: A Preventative Approach Empowering Spiritual Resiliency in Clinical Pastoral Education Students at Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina

Author
Michael Gross
Abstract
Resiliency-Based Spiritual Support: A Preventative Approach was designed to empower a minister's spiritual resiliency practices. These practices allow him/her to courageously navigate the seasons of ministry and bounce back from stressful experiences. The six-week curriculum intervention for clinical pastoral education participants involved control and intervention groups. It focused on five spiritual resiliency themes (community, hope, sound of the genuine, meditation, stewardship) and related spiritual resiliency practices. Research methods included quantitative and qualitative instruments. Post-training evaluation scores evidenced participants were empowered by a greater understanding of the biblical/theological foundations and exploration of practices. Participants did recommend spiritual resiliency training for clergy.

The Effectiveness of Utilizing Various Memory Cues in the Preaching Event at Sandy Plains Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina

Author
Garin Hill
Abstract
Every Sunday pastors across the spectrum attempt to preach in memorable ways. So if traditional wisdom is actually true – most churchgoers forget the sermon immediately upon leaving church – then does that qualify as memorable? While realizing no sermon lingers forever, this project explores ways to give the sermon a longer shelf life in the parishioner’s memory. Specifically, by utilizing picture, story, and object lesson in various sermons, this experiment conducted at Sandy Plains Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina, examines which memory cues (if any) are most effective in keeping the sermon fixed in the long-term memory of its hearers.

Understanding the Complexity of Family: Examining Family Systems and the Process of Relationship for Families and Congregation of First Baptist Church Woodbury, TN

Author
William H Hay V
Abstract
Understanding the Complexity of Family: Examining Family Systems and Processes of Relationship for Families and Congregation of the First Baptist Church of Woodbury, Tennessee is a project designed to share family systems theory with families and church. Through six didactic sessions (triangulation, anxiety, self-differentiation, over and under functioning, crucial conversations, projection) and reflective journaling, families are encouraged to recognize the processes of being family and the parallel processes of family that are present in the life of a congregation. Using quantitative and qualitative instruments, results show that family and congregational functioning can be improved through raising awareness of systems process.

Bridging the Latino--Anglo gap: A transition towards a cross-cultural church at First Baptist Church, Robbins, North Carolina

Author
Ernesto Robledo
Abstract
In its 2,000 years of existence, the church has remained mostly segregated in regards to the inclusion of other cultures within one setting. Christians from various traditions have spent centuries trying to be more like Jesus as they worshiped in many different settings. Even though the church has been active for so long, the reality is that she has been predominantly white. Through an intentional pastoral project, twenty-four individuals participated in a four-week bilingual Bible study and a community-wide missionary event. These purposeful interactions proved that the church can change her traditional ministry pattern by engaging members of the Latino and Anglo congregation in a cross-cultural experience at First Baptist Church of Robbins, NC.
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