An Inclusive Framework for Ministry: Fostering the Spiritual Formation of Children in a Multicultural Church
Date of Award
Dr. Ron Bruner
Dr. Amanda Pittman
Dr. Tera Harmon
This project thesis was designed to foster the spiritual formation of children in a multicultural church. A diverse team was assembled to design a curriculum to be used with volunteers in a children’s ministry context. Through seven two-hour sessions held over eight weeks in the spring of 2022, the curriculum development team first examined what it means to embody a multicultural perspective of the gospel while at the same time investigating the negative impact of a White, Eurocentric expression of Christianity. Next, they collaborated to develop a theological construct that centered around (1) the idea of being created in the image of God, (2) love of God and love of people, as demonstrated in Matt 22:36–40 and echoed in Eph 2, and (3) the vision of a multicultural church as witnessed through Acts 15. Finally, they constructed practical application components within the curriculum to address two goals for the children’s ministry volunteers: (1) to facilitate movement from a monocultural mindset to a multicultural one and (2) to be used as equipping strategies as volunteers prepare children’s ministry lessons. As the curriculum development team considered the dissonant perspectives generally inherent within a discussion about race, they also clearly recognized the spiritual significance for both children of color and White children. As a result of the potential impact, they did not shy away from the challenges of this difficult study. The resulting artifact, Inclusive Conversations for Children’s Ministry: Journeying from Diversity to Multiculturalism, is intended to be the start of a continuing conversation that will hopefully guide multicultural churches toward expressing the fullness of God and thereby remove the spiritual barriers that occur when the gospel message is presented through a dominant-culture lens.
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Schroeder, Jennifer Reinsch, "An Inclusive Framework for Ministry: Fostering the Spiritual Formation of Children in a Multicultural Church" (2022). Doctor of Ministry Theses. 49.
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