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dc.contributor.authorJames, Christopher Bealsen_US
dc.date.accessioned2016-03-11T20:43:04Z
dc.date.issued2016
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2144/15163
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is about the future of church in the United States. In it I argue that practical ecclesiological reflection on new churches in Seattle yields promising proposals for viable, faithful, ecclesial forms of missional engagement fitting for the U.S. church’s emerging context. In response to the significant decline in religious affiliation and participation in the U.S., major efforts in church planting are underway, but there is little scholarly research on these efforts. Moreover, the literature supporting church planting reflects insufficiently robust ecclesiological and missiological reflection. This dissertation utilizes mixed methods fieldwork and multi-disciplinary analysis to identify and assess the dominant models among new Seattle churches and offers practical wisdom for the U.S. church in its task of ecclesial witness. Within the dissertation I identify national trends exemplified by Seattle that make it a suitable proxy for the emerging U.S. context: urbanization, progressive values, technological culture, and post-Christian culture. On the basis of my fieldwork and the New Seattle Churches Survey that I fielded, I develop the four practical ecclesiological models that I discern among these churches: Great Commission Team, Household of the Spirit, New Community, and Neighborhood Incarnation. I then employ four core ideas of missional theology (missionary Trinity, missio dei, Jesus as paradigm for mission, and the missionary nature of the church) and four priorities for missional church planting (discerning God’s initiatives, neighbor as subject, boundary crossing, and plural leadership that shapes an environment) as a basis for assessment. I find that the Neighborhood Incarnation model best embodies these missional ideas and priorities. In conclusion, I propose practices for renewing each model and highlight five threads of practical wisdom for ecclesial witness: 1) embracing local identity and mission, 2) cultivating embodied, experiential, everyday spirituality, 3) engaging community life as means of witness and formation, 4) prioritizing hospitality as a cornerstone practice, and 5) discovering ecclesial vitality in a diverse ecclesial ecology.en_US
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.subjectTheologyen_US
dc.subjectChurch plantingen_US
dc.subjectCongregational studiesen_US
dc.subjectEcclesiologyen_US
dc.subjectEmerging churchen_US
dc.subjectMissionalen_US
dc.subjectPractical theologyen_US
dc.titleNew churches in the None Zone: practical ecclesiology and missional wisdom among church plants in Seattleen_US
dc.typeThesis/Dissertationen_US
dc.date.updated2016-01-26T13:46:46Z
dc.description.embargo2023-01-25T00:00:00Z
etd.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
etd.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
etd.degree.disciplineTheologyen_US
etd.degree.grantorBoston Universityen_US


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