Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Lori Wagner, PhD, DMin
Daniel Lioy, PhD
Leonard I. Sweet, PhD
United Methodist churches (UMC) are declining due to the neglect of the Holy Spirit’s presence and action in congregational settings. Current day United Methodists have sanitized the experiential nature of the Holy Spirit; as well as under emphasizing the Spirit’s authority and wisdom. The Holy Spirit is a gift to the church, yet it is often rejected.
The UMC churches have missed the signs of the culture and have lost their connection within their communities. As a result, the church has become clueless to what the Spirit is up to. This loss of the vernacular spirit-voice has silently morphed into institutionalism and structure. Institutionalism has blinded us from seeing the very people Jesus was interested in: the poor and needy, the oppressed, blinded, hurt, and broken.
We live in a society fascinated with death more than life. However, our death throes can be a prime time for the church to exercise its Divine power to pray life into our churches and into our communities. It is a prime time for preachers to be bold with the prophetic Word of God. It is a prime time the people of God seek a deeper spirit-led experiential life to be witnessed in their neighborhoods. The time is ripe to rediscover the teachings and power of the Holy Spirit. The time is ripe for a revival.
This dissertation postulates that the most effective way for the United Methodist Church to reclaim the embodiment of the Holy Spirit in the 21st century church as experienced during historical revivals is by Spirit-infused Preaching and Spirit-powered Prayer. This is our roadmap to revival. It is a reminder that we are not called to transform institutions, but instead are called to transfigure lives. And that can only be done by the transfiguring power of the Holy Spirit.
Daley-Salinger, Debbie, "Transfigurative Power of the Holy Spirit by Prayer and Preaching" (2020). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 371.