Creating a Culture of Community Characterized by the Trinitarian God in the Greater Seattle Area
Doctor of Intercultural Studies
Bolger, Ryan K.
This dissertation focuses on transformations that led BASIC, a youth ministry in the Greater Seattle Area to form With, a movement within the ministry that eventually evolved and became the church. Research shows that new understandings of the Image of God, as Triune and in a mission, reoriented the ways people in the ministry interrelate with each other and to the broader society. As a result, the ministry changed from being indifferent to being missionally engaged in addressing social issues in the Greater Seattle Area and across the state of Washington. This dissertation focuses on these changes to determine principles and methods leaders can use to further advance With's transformational journey to become a community characterized by the Trinitarian God.
The research is informed by literature review on Trinitarian theology and missional ecclesiology. Qualitative data methodology is used to analyze gathered data from experimental engagements. Analysis led to discovery of a cyclical process that were instrumental to changes that have taken place and methodologies that can further With's pursuit to be a church characterized by the Trinitarian God.
The analysis indicates that the transformation that led to With's formation as a church is a result of the ongoing deepening of people's understanding of Trinitarian missional ecclesiology through the continuous cyclical process of teaching, participation and reflection. Analysis also indicates that the use of Theory U and Renewing the Church as change methodologies, can help prevent cycling back to old habits, and instead, serve to advance the church's formation. Further analysis also indicates attention needed on leadership dynamics and organizational structure for wholistic change.
This research concludes with recommendations that emphasize the church as a witness of God's kingdom in the present world. Understanding the characteristics of God's Triune nature and mission for creation can reorient the Church according to its called purpose. Renewal will require theological and sociological engagements. Wholistic transformation needs attention focused on individual, organizational, leadership, structural dynamics and missional initiatives.
Mentor: Ryan K. Bolger
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