Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Primary Advisor

Dr. Jeff Childers

Secondary Advisor

Dr. Dale Bertram

Committee Reader

Dr. David Wray

Abstract

This project is an exercise in addressing anxiety as a result of unresolved conflict in the Abernathy Church of Christ. In 2009 emotions escalated to a climactic point, leading a group of participants to separate from the Abernathy Church of Christ. The events surrounding this episode have played an influential role in shaping the narrative of the Abernathy Church of Christ. This project seeks to identify areas of residual pain in the existing narrative and move the congregation into a narrative of hope for the future of the Abernathy Church of Christ. The central theme is reconciliation and results from blending God’s metanarrative with the narrative of the congregation.

To accomplish the objective, this project invited engagement from key leaders in the Abernathy Church of Christ to participate in writing the congregation’s next chapter. The invitation to craft the future narrative was narrowed to the current leadership in the Abernathy Church of Christ and provided diversity from unique vantage points concerning recent conflicts in the ACC narrative. The methodology this project incorporates is an ethnographic examination to understand the existing narrative of the Abernathy Church of Christ. Following this examination participants moved the existing narrative toward a future narrative of hope. The crafted chapter from the story-writing group developed a future narrative and identified key elements for incorporating innovative ministry techniques to share God’s metanarrative in the surrounding community.

As the story-writing group shifted attention away from the existing narrative of the Abernathy Church of Christ, a future narrative was discovered revolving around the theme of reconciliation. Reconciliation from God’s metanarrative and the narrative of the congregation positions the Abernathy Church of Christ to impact the surrounding community. In addition, the shift toward reconciliation also relinquishes anxiety fueled by unresolved conflict. As God’s metanarrative blends with the Abernathy Church of Christ narrative, revealing reconciliation’s presence, the congregation’s future chapter seeks to be active in the surrounding community to proclaim God’s story.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.