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This project will develop a discipleship strategy to cultivate spiritual transformation in the lives of members of First Presbyterian Church of Houston through an existing small group ministry that incorporates the disciplines of solitude, Sabbath, and service. First Presbyterian Church of Houston (FPC) is located in the heart of Houston, Texas. Like most large cities in the United States, Houston possesses a variety of cultures and people groups. Oil, gas, and big business are key forces that drive the culture of Houston. Houstonians often live fractured lives, are overly tired, and place too much emphasis on the autonomous self.

This paper will focus on crafting a strategy to empower church members to learn how to incorporate the spiritual disciplines into their daily life and practice. The context in which the disciplines will be practiced is small groups. The disciplines of solitude, Sabbath, and service were chosen as three fundamental practices of the Christian life but are also particular to the needs of members at FPC.

This project is presented in three parts. Part One of this paper will examine the community of Houston, Texas. It will identify the unique opportunities and challenges FPC Houston faces. It also will examine the practices and values of the people and leadership of FPC and how these affect the congregation as a whole. Part Two of this paper will address the theological importance of the spiritual disciplines as they relate to the Christian life. The highlighted disciplines create a space that invites God to work, with the desired outcome of spiritual transformation to occur. Part Three of this paper will focus on developing and implementing a ten-week pilot project within the existing small group ministry at FPC.

Content Reader: Arlene Inouye, DMin

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Inouye, Arlene

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First Presbyterian Church of Houston (Houston, Tex.); Spiritual formation; Spiritual exercises; Small groups


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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