This doctoral project focuses on cultural shifts that have taken place in the congregation of Dundrum Methodist Church, South Dublin, over the past two years. During this time I led the congregation to engage in the missional change process, developed by Alan J. Roxburgh.1 The initial learning from that time is summarized in this project. In line with requirements, I created a Guiding Team for the process and led this team through its initial stages up to and including feedback seminars for the church council and the whole congregation.
Toward the end of 2012, movement in the process slowed. There are two primary reasons for this. Firstly, I had failed to adequately understand desire for haste in the church, leading to a curbing of initial enthusiasm and lack of deliverable results. Secondly, my personal change in circumstance; the missional change process requires “hanging in the neighbourhood,” and this became impossible after personal changes.
Upon returning to Dundrum Methodist Church one year after I had left in 2012, I noted action had taken place which, if perceived through a missional hermeneutic, showed definite progress on a missional journey. It is this progress, and how it came to pass, that forms the substantive aspect of this project. A second substantive part of the project is the development of small experiments within the congregation, together with an assessment of how those experiments have developed, or provided learning opportunities. In order to appropriately assess the journey of Dundrum Methodist Church, the following methods and frameworks have been used: appreciative inquiry; qualitative techniques to assess changing culture within the congregation; action-reflection; and a small amount of quantitative data.
Theological Mentor: Alan J. Roxburgh PhD, DMin
1 Alan J Roxburgh and M Scott Boren, Introducing the Missional Church: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Become One (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009).
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Hamilton, Julian, "The Ebb and Flow of a Dublin Methodist Congregation Implementing Missional Imagination" (2015). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 183.