Anderson, Indiana

Kevin Wesley Earley's D.Min. Dissertation Abstract

Mon, 2012-04-30 11:19 -- batch_migrate

Kevin Wesley Earley's D.Min. Dissertation Abstract

A Strategy to Transform the Lay Members of Metropolitan Church of God into Ministers

Christian congregations often encounter the temptation to have a small group of church members sustain the majority of the congregation's ministry. The evidence of this arises when church members express one or more of the following mindsets that hinder an all-inclusive approach to ministry involvement: (1) The pastoral staff has the primary responsibility to do ministry. (2) The role of the pastor is to serve the members of the congregation. (3) The pastoral staff ministers on behalf of the congregation. (4) When one identifies a need in the congregation or community it should be brought to the pastor's attention so that he or she can address it. (5) The benchmark of faithful membership is attendance at services and programs. (6) Life as a Christian centers on one's own spiritual and physical needs being met. (7) The congregational use of spiritual gifting is important, but not practical. (8) Lay members are not expected to identify and offer their spiritual gifts to the whole congregation. (9) Ministry involvement must be initiated by pastoral appointment.

This Dissertation/Project develops the Metamorphosis Curriculum Plan, as a comprehensive strategy, to integrate ministry involvement into the cultural norms of Metropolitan Church of God. Since the congregation suffers because a small group sustains the majority of the church's ministry, the curriculum plan enables and motivates an all-inclusive ministry wherein all members minister. It also injects the expectation of ministry participation into the congregation's ethos.

In Chapter One, the demographical and historical contexts of Metropolitan Church of God are explored. Chapter Two evaluates the present congregational context and articulates the need for increased ministry involvement among the congregation's laity. Chapter Three provides the exegesis of an Old Testament passage, Exodus 18:13-27, in order to establish a biblical foundation for addressing the church's need. Similarly, Chapter Four provides an exegesis of 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 in order to strengthen the foundation with a New Testament perspective. The Metamorphosis Curriculum Plan is developed in Chapter Five. The components of this plan include a Sermon Series; Conference Sessions; a Metamorphosis Workshop; a New Members Class; a Spiritual Gift Coach Ministry; Someone You Should Know Slides; and a Metamorphosis Ministry Award. Finally, Chapter Six provides an account of the finished and unfinished business.