Multiplying the church through the interculturation of apostolic practices: a case study of the California-Nevada Annnual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Brown, Craig Scott
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The California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church exhibits a faster rate of decline than the already declining Protestant church in the United States. American consumerism and the professionalization of the church reveal a broken ecclesiology and missiology. Yet immigrant congregations display a set of apostolic practices that often correspond with growth and multiplication and an effective Wesleyan missional ecclesiology. Using Positive Deviance Theory, this thesis builds a robust 18-month process of generous impartation and contextual adoption between Fijian congregations, representing one particular immigrant group, and another partner congregation. The congregations will share their unique apostolic practices in intentional gatherings over time, shaped by intercultural theology and a vibrant Wesleyan missiology and enacted in incarnational relationships. The projected result is contextualized apostolic practices in both congregations that contribute to their growth and vitality.