Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
David McDonald, DMin.
Roger Nam, PhD.
This dissertation introduces a new philosophy, The Faith Web, as a method to validate relationships and provide reciprocal social capital between people for the sake of building Christian community, support, and formation. Section 1 describes the ideals of Christian community and examines the ways these ideals are not realized. Special attention is paid to relationship voids caused by death, divorce, fatherlessness, and absenteeism of parents. Section 2 examines the communal life of ancient Israel and the present day community that occurs in Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) and Social Networking Sites (SNS). This juxtaposition draws upon the strength of both approaches of community. Section 3 argues for the leveraging of the networked relationships inherent within a local congregation and to expand and strengthen these connections. Establishing The Faith Web draws upon Joseph Myers’ work on belonging and Paul Baran’s work that led to the birth of the Internet. Intentional faith webbing will lead to the growth of social capital in the lives of youth, children, and adults. Sections 4 and 5 describe the creation of a Social Media website, thefaithweb.org, that provides a space for faith webbing to take place in a digital medium. This dissertation aims to show that spiritual formation and discipleship occur most authentically in community and that The Faith Web is an effective way to enhance community, generate a sense of belonging, and mitigate relationship voids.
Ness, Scott M., "The Faith Web: A Networking of the Body of Christ to Mitigate Relationship Voids and Strengthen the Faith Community" (2014). Doctor of Ministry. 79.