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David Palmer

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The goal of this project was to equip a traditional congregation to navigate through a process of transformation from institutionally to missionally oriented. It is argued that group imagination and practice focused on the six divine missional traits of missional, relational, incarnational, vital, transformational, and revelational can shift a congregation toward missional engagement. The thesis was tested at the Temple City United Methodist Church.

An examination of the church history and ministry practice revealed six challenges to be overcome: culture, theology, structure, heart, program, and security. Through an examination of scripture and trinitarian theology, this study identifies six divine traits that are the foundation for the missional calling of the church that address the challenges of the church. To test this hypothesis, a group of eight people from the church gathered weekly for three months to study the six missional traits, listen imaginatively to Luke 10:1-11, and to apply these traits to their lives through weekly ministry experiments. Following the completion of this project, the transformative effect of the project was evaluated utilizing McNeal’s three missional shifts.

This project concludes that the use of missional imagination and practice significantly moved the participants and the church toward a missional orientation. However, not all the participants moved in this direction. Due to the limited scope of the project, these findings will require further research before a conclusion can be made. The series presentation and weekly training modules developed in this project will stimulate opportunities for initiating missional change in the local church.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Fredrickson, Kurt

Document Type





Temple City United Methodist Church, Missions, Temple City, Methodist Church, Mission of the church


Missions and World Christianity | Practical Theology


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