Date of Award
Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives (DLd)
Julie Dodge, DMin
Pablo Morales, DMin
Jason Clark, DMin, PhD
Faith leaders in Wichita Falls can help their congregations better serve the community when they are connected to each other and aware of needs and resources available to them. That is the Need, Problem, Opportunity (NPO) at the center of this research.
The Project began with a desire to help the church be a better community partner, especially in the way it served families on the financial margins. Some initial learnings were that many families did not know how to access services provided in the community and many resource providers were reluctant to collaborate with other organizations. As the focus of the Project shifted to the “essential” witness of churches, we learned that many faith leaders in the community did not know each other well, were not actively involved in any meaningful ministry collaborations, and were not aware of how other churches were working in the community.
As the Senior Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Wichita Falls, Texas, I was looking for ways to multiply the impact of my local church, as well as the Christian witness as a whole. Wichita Falls is a community of 102,000 people, with over 100 Christian churches in town, but there is no community-wide network of pastors or ministerial alliance. Any collaboration that happens among churches or pastors is done through smaller circles of personal relationships. I began exploring other ways that connections could be made.
My Project is an interactive website designed to connect faith leaders to each other by capturing service opportunities and resources in real time within the community of Wichita Falls, Texas. The goal is to help the church claim its “essential” witness in the community, connecting pastors and churches in collaborative work, in order to demonstrate God’s love and care for all.
McLarty, John, "The "Essential" Witness of the Church in Times of Crisis" (2022). Doctor of Leadership. 5.