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Mark Hawke

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The purpose of this paper and attached appendices is to develop a theologically informed strategic planning model for First Presbyterian Church Olathe, Kansas that opens itself to the Holy Spirit in direction, implementation, and followup. The first section of this paper explores the culture and history of First Presbyterian Church as well as the greater community. This church’s history and the community’s history are intertwined. However, in recent times a gap has grown between the two. Now the challenge of First Presbyterian Church is to discern its place within the community as it listens for the voice of the Holy Spirit.

The second section of this paper focuses on theological reflection. The literature review will include classic Reformed, spiritual discernment, church planning, and missional material. Then the discussion will turn to the place of planning and discernment Presbyterian and Reformed ecclesiology. After an overview of Reformed theology, with a particular focus on the tension between sovereignty and human initiative, the paper discusses pertinent biblical passages. This paper also considers Presbyterian polity and its implications for elder leadership, the doctrine of covenant community, and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Non-reformed models for church planning and structuring help clarify the proposed model.

The final section will set out specific goals and plans for the Spiritual Planning Day. Adult learning and group spiritual discernment will give shape to the Spiritual Planning Day. Focus is also given to the wide acceptance of the outcomes along with creating a sense of urgency. Then the implementation and evaluation section will focus on the Spiritual Planning Day itself and the necessary followup by the Session in the following months and years. The final two appendices provide a preparation guide and a workbook for the Spiritual Planning day and the necessary followup material.

Content Reader: Peter Hintzoglou, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Hintzoglou, Peter

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First Presbyterian Church (Olathe, Kan.); Free will and determinism; Church renewal; Spiritual formation; Strategic planning


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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