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Hillsboro Presbyterian Church (hereafter, HPC) has a history of service in our community. But our focus on meeting the needs of others, while rightly intended as mission, has inadvertently created an inability to enter into genuine relationship with others. The purpose of this project is for a small group of HPC members to intentionally engage with their neighbors in learning the theological task of awakening and becoming more mindful of the presence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world around us.

Part One describes the overall process design that has led to identifying members to endeavor listening to their own neighbors. This group was chosen from those who regularly attend our congregational worship. The need for genuine relationships with outsiders is the rationale and purpose this project will test.

Part Two explains the details of the project. The group will meet on Sunday for Lectio Divina and discussion about what is being learned together during the project. Pairs of listeners will be sent to gathering places during the week to listen and attend to the stories they discover there. The process design will explain how this small group, as a part of those who gather for our worship, will create the opportunity for feedback when they return to tell us about their experiences and learning as part of our worship service.

Part Three offers reflection on congregational life and practice in light of what is being learned through listening. The difficult shift to new understanding rather than results as a focus of missional life is discussed, as well as how this new understanding is shaping our church into new expressions of the gospel. This section also offers specific recommendations in light of the project that will continue to transform our church more into a missional, praxis-reflection oriented congregation.

Content Reader: Alan Roxburgh, ThM, DMin

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Roxburgh, Alan J.

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Hillsboro Presbyterian Church (Nashville, Tenn.); Lectio divina; Missional church movement; Small groups; Church group work; Home missions


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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