Title

Experiencing and expressing shalom as spiritual formation.

Author

Steven Neal

Date of Award

5-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

School

Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Abstract

This project attempts the development and implementation of a spiritual formation process which facilitates the experiencing and expressing of shalom. If successful, this process will be made available to First Baptist Church of Turner, in Kansas City, Kansas, as a means of integrating spiritual formation and congregational growth and community development. The project is made up of three phases. Phase one is the development of a three session spiritual formation exercise titled, "Experiencing and Expressing Shalom." In phase two, the Lay Advisory Committee is guided through the three sessions. The major component in each of these exercises is a "Shalom Safari" in which the participants go to a place in the Turner community in search of shalom. They are encouraged to utilize all of their senses to experience shalom. In the third phase, the process is evaluated for its viability and potential use at First Baptist Church of Turner. This project is developed on the panentheistic premise of a primordial spark of Divinity within all things that draws all of creation toward shalom. Both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are used to offer a biblical and theological foundation for the relevancy of shalom. In considering shalom as primordial, experiential, and expressive, this project also re-imagines both sin and salvation as they relate to shalom as being spiritually formative.