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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Bridging the gap: Equipping the church to envision and empower workplace believers as Kingdom catalysts of transformation in their communities
by Smith, Sharon L., D.Min., Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, 2013, 179; 3558545
Abstract (Summary)

A tremendous opportunity exists for church and business leaders to work together to bridge an ever-widening gap in both dialogue and understanding of the needs of believers on the front-lines of workplace service. Church leaders are anointed and responsible for equipping believers for ministry in all spheres of life, including service in the marketplace (Eph. 4:13). Church and business professionals need each other; however, due to realities such as the sacred-secular divide and unbiblical working definitions of "ministry" and "vocation," countless numbers of believers have a bifurcated, compartmentalized view of life and vocation. Research reveals that the vast majority of believers do not view their work as an expression of worship to God and service to others.

Phase one of this project involves research in the form of fifteen interviews with church and business leaders to understand their worldviews so as to better appreciate the factors contributing to the gap. Phase two involves the creation of a Workplace Roundtable Curriculum informed by the interviews and then piloted with church and business leaders at three Roundtable discussions.

The interviews and Roundtables yielded rich and thoughtful discussions about "whole-life discipleship" and revealed that participants believe workplace discussions are productive and worthwhile. These discussions help facilitate a greater understanding of the sacred-secular divide and its negative, damaging effects on believers, as well as a deeper appreciation of the biblical meaning of "ministry" and "vocation."

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Self, Charles, Oss, Doug
Commitee: Olena, Lois
School: Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
Department: Doctor of Ministry Department
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Theology, Religious education
Keywords: Business leaders, Marketplace ministry, Theology of work, Vocation, Workplace service
Publication Number: 3558545
ISBN: 978-1-303-02970-7
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