The goal of the project presented in this paper was to present a biblical, systematic, historical, and practical theology to a church so that members might increase their understanding regarding union with Christ and grow in their experience of that union. It is suggested that such a focus is an appropriate response to the broader cultural issues of materialism and consumerism, busyness and pace of life, and concerns specific to the suburban Christian. This project was conducted at Naperville Presbyterian Church in Naperville, Illinois during the season of Lent in 2012.
Five weeks were devoted to the ministry focus. The presentation of biblical theology was primarily through the sermon series. The remainder of the worship service elements also delivered some biblical theology. However, the focus was more on the experience of union with Christ. Systematic and historical theologies were presented in the single weekly adult education class. The class also covered practical theology along with the opportunity to exercise that theology through devotional guides given to the congregants.
This project found that those who engaged in the ministry focus did find benefit and expected to change their actions to include a stronger pursuit of experiential union with Christ. Further research would be needed to determine if there was actual change in individuals in both understanding and practice. Choosing to intentionally focus on union with Christ is commended to the larger church, particularly in the conservative evangelical and Reformed traditions.
Content Reader: Gary Sattler, ThD, PsyD
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Scherer, Keith, "Exploring a Biblical, Systematic, Historical, and Practical Theology for Understanding and Experiencing Union with Christ" (2016). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 247.