Date of Award


Document Type


Primary Advisor

David W. Wray

Secondary Advisor

Kenneth L. Cukrowski

Committee Reader

Wes Crawford


This project addressed the lack of a communal covenant for the elders and ministers of South Fork Church of Christ. The purpose of the project was to formulate a covenant that would promote the spiritual discernment and leadership of the elders and ministers. For the theological framework, I relied upon Mark’s portrait of Jesus. I looked at Jesus’s lived example as well as his teachings to discern values and practices that defined his leadership and should therefore be normative for Christian leaders. These values and practices were analyzed according to three relational categories—relationship with God, with each other, and with the larger community. By way of contrast, I analyzed the values and practices demonstrated by the disciples in Mark’s Gospel. I turned to Ruth Haley Barton’s Pursuing God’s Will Together to guide the process of formulating the communal covenant. I then used works by Edwin Friedman and Peter Steinke to analyze the relational obstacles that kept the disciples from following Christ’s example and would prove to be destructive in the present context. The intervention was conducted among the elders and ministers of South Fork by studying, reflecting on, and discussing the values and practices we saw in Mark’s Jesus and proposing ways in which we might embody those values and practices as a leadership team. The resulting covenant described values and practices that we wished to adopt for ourselves in our relationships with God, with each other, and with the larger community. Finally, I evaluated the success of the project and reflected upon its implications for congregational leadership.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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