The purpose of this dissertation is to answer the question, “What is the theological understanding of congregational worship in the Bayside Church of Christ, Virginia Beach, Virginia?” The Bayside Church of Christ, Virginia Beach, VA is an independent, middle-size church which is conservative in matters of theology, doctrine, and cultural worldview. The church has experienced healthy membership growth in demographic, racial, and ethnic integration, but faces potential challenges in sustaining congregational worship that reflects its diversity. It was the researcher’s concern that the issue was due to the absence of an identifiable, articulated, and implemented theology of congregational worship in the context of the church’s changing demographics. The church needed to understand and adapt to its evolving membership diversity so that greater participation, vitality, and mutuality in its congregational worship would be ensured.
The goal of the ministry project detailed herein was to identify the theology of congregational worship in the Bayside Church of Christ and assess whether authentic participation, vitality, and mutuality reflective of the church’s diverse membership exist. It was believed that the church would benefit from a theological understanding and evaluation of its congregational worship in light of the church’s diverse nature. The ministry project investigated and assessed the worship beliefs, experiences, and perceptions of the members. Formalized instruction was also offered on the role of diversity, inclusion, and vitality in congregational worship.
The ministry project concluded that a study of congregational worship in the Bayside Church of Christ led to greater awareness of the existing worship theology being shaped by the congregation’s changing ethnicity and demographic makeup. It is believed that increased understanding can in turn increase participation, mutuality, and spiritual growth for the membership. This work is offered in the hopes that the Bayside Church of Christ along with other researchers, church leadership boards, and congregations will benefit from the effort to understand and improve congregational worship in Churches of Christ that possess ethnic, racial, and demographic diversity.
|School Location:||United States -- Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Biblical studies, Theology|
|Keywords:||Christian worship, Church growth and health, Churches of Christ, Congregational worship, Multicultural church studies, Theology of worship|
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