Title

Ways to create a process to develop a denominational profile of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico.

Date of Award

5-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

School

Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Abstract

How can a denomination grow? How can a denomination help local congregations to create a vision for the future? What can a denomination do to provide essential tools for ministers and leaders in Puerto Rico to train them and help them grow? The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico has new challenges during times of migration, and economic, social, political, and spiritual crisis. We are faced with a decrease in population while there is a church that wants to grow. This project responds to the need of an awakening among Pastors, lay leaders, and as denomination. In order to grow, we need to have a vision, be relevant, and examine everything we do as a church. The creation of a process to develop a denominational profile can help a denomination to make changes, and help the strengthening of local congregations. The development of a denominational profile can guide a denomination to develop a new vision based on their strengths, opportunities, and challenges. During this process, we took into consideration the cultural and historic context of Puerto Rico, and the voices of ministers, and lay leaders of diverse Disciples of Christ congregations in Puerto Rico. This process can be used as a template for other denominations that may want to come up with a new vision as part of their discernment process. The purpose of this project is not to reveal a one size fits all recipe for church growth. It is about discernment. The only key for church growth is to discern the will of God in our congregations and communities. This project can guide a denomination to have a diverse and healthy church. It may also serve as a guide for a denomination to engage every congregation in discerning what God wants them to do in their communities, regardless of how many members they have. We need to pray, study the Word of God, and serve others. God will do the rest.