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It was the purpose of this ministry focus paper to present a strategy for helping the collective body of Gurnee Community Church (GCC) to have a growing faith in Jesus Christ through personal and corporate integration of spiritual disciplines. GCC has the mission to lead people to a growing faith in Jesus Christ through love, service, and encouragement as the congregation journeys toward full devotion to God. In recent years, the church has desired to fulfill this purpose through a focus on spiritual disciplines.
This ministry focus paper presents plan for pointing spiritually interested people towards discovering spiritual disciplines that will lead them to a deeper understanding and experience of God. Part One is an overview of the church, its history in the community and its present situation describing the church’s people and their diverse spiritual backgrounds. It will also examine the impact of church-wide movements, the desire the church has had to form a “roadmap” for spiritual maturity, and the roadblocks that have stalled spiritual growth despite a grand and inspired mission.
Part Two serves as a basic understanding of the nature of individual spiritual growth and maturity. This section will outline a theology of spiritual formation through unintentional and intentional spiritual discipline and show evidence that spiritual growth happens though habits of spiritual activity. The section then identifies the various spiritual disciplines and organizes them into two categories: (1) classical and (2) deeper, more critical spiritual disciplines.
Part Three provides a practical strategy for guiding the Christians of GCC to mature spiritually through intentional spiritual disciplines. It will concentrate on the focused atmosphere necessary to raise the importance of spiritual disciplines and on developing pathways for individuals and groups to directly experience God through spiritual disciplines. This section also presents an implementation timeline and a long-range vision for spiritual discipline activity as a way of life and distinguishing character of the church.
Theological Mentor: John R. Hull, Jr.
Doctor of Ministry
Gurnee Community Church (Gurnee, Ill.) ; Spiritual life; Christian life
Missions and World Christianity
Material is subject to copyright.
Merkel, Stuart R., "A Strategy for Employing Individual and Communal Spiritual Disciplines for Spiritual Growth at Gurnee Community Church" (2008). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 11.