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The purpose of this ministry focus paper is to present a culturally appropriate and theologically informed strategy to renew Northminster Presbyterian Church by incorporating the Great Banquet (a Presbyterian adaptation of the Cursillo Model renewal weekend) into the life and ministry of the church. The Great Banquet is a seventy-two-hour structured retreat, beginning Thursday evening and ending Sunday evening. The Great Banquet also includes a time of preparation and follow-up that are critically important.
North American culture is transitioning from modernity to postmodernity. The transition to postmodernity is not complete, and Americans find themselves in a transitional stage with a great deal of stress and uncertainty. Church renewal is very difficult in this time of transition. The Great Banquet is a ministry tool that is uniquely effective in renewal in this transitional time.
This paper contains three major parts. The first part explores the history, values, and congregational culture of Northminster Presbyterian Church. This section then explores the larger cultural context of Northminster. North American culture is dominated by the change from modernism to postmodernism. Northminster Presbyterian finds itself in a liminal state of transition between modernity and postmodernity. The congregation is made up of people who are influenced by modernity, postmodernity, and both.
The second part explores the biblical and theological foundations for renewal. It begins with a theological assessment of modernity and postmodernity. The changing nature of individualism, reason, truth, and metanarrative are assessed theologically and biblically. An ecclesiology is established that addresses the issues raised by the transformation of our culture. Seven principles for renewal in a transitional time are described.
The third part provides a history of the Great Banquet movement from its Cursillo roots. It also describes the content and process of the Great Banquet. The Great Banquet is evaluated against the principles of renewal established in part two. Finally a strategy of implementation at Northminster is described. This strategy includes an evaluation of the ministry at Northminster.
Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, DMin
Doctor of Ministry
Northminster Presbyterian Church (Peoria, Ill.); Church renewal
Missions and World Christianity
Material is subject to copyright.
Hucke, Doug, "The Great Banquet Retreat as a Strategy to Transform Northminster Presbyterian Church" (2008). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 4.