Doctor of Ministry
Journey Community Church, a five-year old white, suburban, college-educated, middle class church, moved into the Bell Hill neighborhood of Worcester, Massachusetts on July 1, 2015. This was a neighborhood of which Journey Church knew almost nothing and of which it seemingly had little in common. The Bell Hill neighborhood is poor, working class, culturally and ethnically diverse with whites comprising less than forty percent of the population. This project outlines the model of ministry that enabled Journey Church to begin to reach its neighborhood and contribute to its holistic flourishing. The biblical and theological review examined the role and nature of the city in Scripture. The conclusion was that the city is God’s intent, the ultimate destiny of the people of God, and a critical focus of the church’s mission in the present. The literature review engaged with various views of eschatology and how they impact the church’s understanding of its role in the city and in the world. The researcher adopted the view that the world will not be destroyed by God but purified and redeemed. The implication he drew form this is that the role of the church is to be agents of shalom and makers of God-honoring culture. Along with demographic research, the researcher used action research, ethnography and case study to begin gaining an insider’s understanding and perspective of the neighborhood. The biblical and theological reflection, review of the literature and neighborhood research were all used to develop a series of values and principles and strategic priorities that would undergird Journey Church’s urban ministry model.
Doctor of Ministry
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Soiles, E. (2017). From the Suburbs to the City: Seeking the Shalom of an Inner City Neighborhood [Doctoral thesis, Bethel University]. Spark Repository. https://spark.bethel.edu/etd/594