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The purpose of this doctoral project is to build vital leaders at the Madeira- Silverwood Presbyterian Church through a dynamic understanding of the power and authority of the Kingdom of God revealed during a forty day study involving sermons, small groups, and service.
The Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church is located in first generation suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. During its 130 year history Madeira has been transformed from a small village into a town of nine thousand. This middle/upper-middle class community is known for its safety, tight-knit relationships, and excellence in education. With its own school system, police, fire and library it feels like a small town, but it is just one mile from the finest mall in the region and ten miles from downtown Cincinnati. Madeira is going through a revival as young professionals move in. The busy lifestyles of the upwardly mobile do not leave much time for spiritual development.
This project is designed to immerse the congregation into a forty day study of the Kingdom of God in such a way that the power of God’s reign comes alive in the hearts of the members and transforms the church. This project should introduce a new understanding of the “Kingdom of the Heavens” (Matthew 5-7) in four ways. First, a seven week sermon series will introduce the Kingdom of God to the whole congregation. Second, daily devotions will allow personal growth. Third, small groups will give perspective and support to the theological insights. Fourth, service will give a missional emphasis to the new theological understanding.
Part One will explore the history of the community and its development into a major suburb of Cincinnati. For more than 120 years, this community has lived in a tension between the priorities of secular education and those of the Kingdom of God and the church. Madeira has a desire to produce high achieving students, athletes, musicians and artists. This culture of success appears to have surpassed the desire for parents to produce disciples of an eternal kingdom. This project will gather leaders to develop a kingdom vision for the community.
Part Two will look at the gospel message of Jesus as he said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15, RSV). The theological implications of living in the Kingdom will be explored in Scripture, the historical context of the early church, and in the contemporary context. This will provide the foundation for the congregation to enter into forty days of growth.
Part Three will focus on creating a pilot project to train leaders in a new and dynamic understanding of the kingdom of God. This phase will create a seven week study program for leaders who will then lead the congregation into a deeper understanding of the Kingdom. Participants will be taught new theological truths, led into deeper relationships with one another, and encouraged to seek avenues of service, as they come to understand the power and authority of God’s Kingdom.
Content Reader: Randy Rowland, DMin
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Sweets, Thomas P., "Transforming Leadership at Madeira Church Through an Understanding that “The Kingdom of God is at Hand”" (2016). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 251.