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Gabe Gilliam

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This doctoral project establishes a plan for corporate Sunday worship through community service for members of Saratoga Federated Church in order to disciple the congregation. The purpose is to enhance discipleship at SFC by moving from a consumerist model of data transfer towards an experiential model of discipleship through service to the surrounding community. In order to accomplish this, a pilot project including four Serve Sundays will be undertaken in one calendar year at SFC. Serve Sundays allows members to put their theology into action and learn more about discipleship by practicing than simply giving mental ascent.

Part One of this doctoral project explores the history of SFC as well as an overview of the rise of Silicon Valley in American culture. Specifically, the unique nondenominational roots of SFC are explored in order to decipher a contextual path for discipleship for this group often referred to as the Stanford Marching Band. This section outlines the challenges and strengths of this church in its present milieu.

Part Two provides a theological foundation for this project rooted in literature reviews of seven pertinent books as well as biblical texts. A view of the missio Dei throughout the Old and New Testament is explored as well as relevant commentary upon those Scriptures. The section explores the shortcomings of discipleship through data transfer and highlights the need for experiential service as a theme throughout the Bible and in modern ecclesiological thinking.

Part Three provides a plan of action to move SFC through four Serve Sundays in order to enhance discipleship. This section includes a detailed plan for a sermon series highlighting the needs of compassionate works in the life of a disciple. Additionally, it includes plans for leadership selection and equipping. Finally, this section includes a plan for logistical administration for four Serve Sundays.

Content Reader: Kurt Fredrickson, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Fredrickson, Kurt

Document Type





Saratoga Federated Church (Santa Clara Valley, Santa Clara County, Calif.); Discipling (Christianity); Spiritual formation; Missional church movement


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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