Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Phil Newell, DMIn
Ron Clark, DMin
Ron Clark, DMin
Statistical research indicates an increase in brokenness among North Americans over the past fifty years. Despite this increase, people seeking help for mental health issues, relational dysfunction, addictive behaviors, and other forms of brokenness are not often turning to the church for restoration, recovery, and healing. Many of those struggling with brokenness more often turn to therapeutic practitioners and other healing sources absent of any genuine spiritual parameters. Others turn to mutual support recovery groups where behavior modification and cognitive therapies lead to abstinence but not restoration. They stop giving into their addictions and compulsive behaviors, but they do not deal with the underlying reasons for them. Others seek spiritual solutions, including Christian discipleship, eastern meditation and yoga that are often void of any recovery or therapeutic practices or methods.
Church leaders need to take a semiotic approach to this, understanding what the cultural signs are pointing to. What is this increase in brokenness pointing to and what opportunities does it create for the church? This is not as a threat to current ways of doing ministry. It is an opportunity to look at new paradigms, possibly helping the church regain credibility and provide restorative solution for increasing brokenness. This new model of church, a Restoration-Focused Church, might create a safe and trusted place of healing, even for an increasingly broken culture. This dissertation will focus on that new paradigm. Section 1 will discuss the evidence of increasing brokenness and examine why people are not turning to the church for healing. Section 2 will review the available options for addressing this problem. Section 3 will describe a new ministry paradigm, the Restoration-Focused Church, which is Kingdom-focused and mission-minded. Section 4 describes a non-fiction book written in a fable format for church leaders, describing how the church can better understand cultural realities and courageously make a major shift in mission. Section 5 includes a book proposal and section 6 provides a postscript. The table of contents and key chapters from the book are included in Appendix A.
Ralph, David, "The Restoration-Focused Church" (2017). Doctor of Ministry. 236.