Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
There is a self-inflicted erosion to the missional footprint of ecclesial organizations occurring when leaders at organizational edges are disconnected. When disconnection occurs, the potential for creativity and innovation resident with that leader is lost to the organization. Disconnection is not only manifest in administrative departure from the organization.
Dialogue is a unique kind of speech/listening event, necessarily differentiated from other types of speech/listening events, which may offer a remedy to the erosion.
Chapter one is introductory. It provides the reader with an understanding of the author’s interest in this subject and presents a clear statement of the ministry problem to be investigated through the dissertation. A progression of thought for the dissertation is also presented in chapter one.
Chapter two provides a treatment of the term “missional footprint” with a rationale for making use of it in present day, leader to leader conversations. A useable definition of the term is offered along with some examples of the kinds of things to be measured within a missional footprint.
Chapter three looks into the historical tendencies in leader to leader relating within the church. It employs the guiding question of “how have we treated the heretic?” to better understand how we arrived at a winner/loser paradigm.
Chapter four investigates leader to leader relating across organizational strata. Where centrifugal conversations are normative in ecclesial organizations, centripetal conversations are what is needed.
Chapter five is an excursus on dialogue. The reader will receive a clear understanding of what dialogue is and is not.
Chapter six provides examples where ecclesial organizations are employing dialogue to engage center and edge located leaders in healthy relationships. These examples render plausible the idea that dialogue can offer a way forward to a possible remedy.
The epilogue highlights a few areas for further research.
Spellman, Jonathan Allen, "Centers and Edges: Toward a Dialogic Remedy for the Eroding Missional Footprint of Ecclesial Organizations in America" (2017). Doctor of Ministry. 216.