Date of Award

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Primary Advisor

Christopher L. Flanders

Secondary Advisor

Stephen C. Johnson

Committee Reader

Myles P. Werntz

Abstract

This Doctor of Ministry thesis presents the results of a project in which twelve individuals from two churches on two continents (North and South America) came together via video conference to explore missional partnership practices. These two churches connected through a common missionary and utilized a spiritual discipline called Dwelling in the Word to cultivate relationships, thereby creating a pathway to shared discovery of partnership practices. The problem I identify at the beginning regards transactional partnership, which commonly propels churches toward relationships that treat the other as unequal partners through unilateral, top-down interactions. In response, I present a perichoresis-inspired lens for understanding and practicing relationship between two partners, and I contend that this understanding must influence and inspire missional partnership practices at the international level. Through Dwelling in the Word, the participants engaged in relationality and experienced new depth to their connection and partnership. Their experiences allowed for robust conversation in reflection-group settings, in which the participants reflected on their interactions with the others and collaboratively constructed a document of healthy missional partnership practices unique to their context and partnership. I conclude that Dwelling in the Word effectively cultivated and enhanced the relationship between these two international partners, and the efficacy of the practice challenged transactional patterns of partnership. This project was a first step toward discovering perichoresis-inspired practices that promote mutuality and togetherness among partners in the gospel.

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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