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The thesis of this paper is that new ministry philosophies, structures, strategies, and even a new worship setting are needed if people from the emerging postmodern culture, particularly those aged twenty to forty years old, are to come to know and follow Jesus Christ at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Katikati. The goal of this project is to design a strategy for a new worship setting where postmodern people can grow as followers of Jesus. Rather than simply “starting an alternative worship service,” this project identifies which aspects of postmodernism are opportunities to embrace, which are dangers to avoid, and which are differences that can be accommodated. The ministry context of rural New Zealand is explored, along with the current ministry structure at St. Paul’s. Recent strategic developments at the church are evaluated.
After depicting St. Paul’s ministry context, this paper explores the biblical and theological issues for postmodern people becoming lifelong followers of Jesus. In particular, the issues of truth and authority are examined; and, a framework for a biblical ministry in a postmodern setting is proposed. It is argued that a holistic gospel message that leads to transformation of whole communities is needed.
Strategies for the future also are presented. Servant mission leadership and a structure of ministry teams are described. Evangelism in this setting must become less about conquering the opposition and more about companionship on a journey with Christ. Spiritual formation is presented as a process that occurs best in community. The new worship setting is described and includes adapted preaching, increased participation, and creative and practical ideas for worship. The paper concludes by acknowledging that exploring emerging postmodern ministry and starting a new worship setting are not magic solutions to the challenges faced by St. Paul’s, but they represent a crucial step toward engaging the emerging postmodern generations with the gospel.
Content Reader: Kevin Ward, PhD
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Macaulay, Martin J., "Helping Emerging Postmodern Generations Become Lifelong Followers of Jesus Christ Through St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church" (2008). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 13.