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Publication Date

Spring 3-29-2018


The purpose of this doctoral project is to design a small group action plan that equips the attendees at Burke Community Church in their walk with God as they journey or go with group members through pain and suffering. Small groups are the main place of fellowship and connection. It is the most intimate place for a person in the church to receive care. The church has been in existence for forty years and has recently experienced high growth in attendance.

The project is centered on devotional reflections featuring physical objects to remind the group members of the pain that a person in the group was experiencing. Once a need arose within a group, the person struggling received a clinging cross and the rest of the group received a coin. The group read and reflected on a forty-day devotional that lead them into a deeper understanding of the work and presence of God in pain and suffering. The physical objects were carried to remind them of their commitment to God and each other through the trial.

The leadership of the small groups and the group themselves will reflect theologically on pain and suffering. The groups will focus on the crucifixion as a framework for coping in difficulties of life. The expectation of blessing in the midst of spiritual warfare will be meditated upon to gain a better perspective. Pain and suffering are a foundation by which the church was built and must continue to grow. God is not absent from trials but most present even when silent.

The project is not meant to be a solution or remedy for someone to overcome a problem. The project is giving the group reorientation about the expectation of the children of God who are called to follow a crucified Savior.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Fredrickson, Kurt

Document Type





small group, pain, suffering, devotional




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November 2018

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