Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Russ Pierson, DMin
Jason Wellman, DMin
This research explores the connection between the theological truth that God is not a user and how charismatic Christian ministerial staff change the world without exhausting themselves. Burnout and experiences of being "used" in fast-paced charismatic ministry is a reality that needs addressing with theologically sound ways of working and resting. It is not suggested that God does not use us to change the world, but that God is not an exploiter. There is great work to do and, concurrently, God is interested in us for far more than what we can produce.
The first section describes the problem, suggests contributing factors from culture that exasperate the problem, and offers a consideration that a high view of God from Scripture is the antidote. Section two provides an overview of the Church’s historical responses to work and rest. Jesus lived the perfectly integrated life. But from the Patristic period on, Church leaders wrestled with whether the active or contemplative life is superior to the other. This section includes the unique contributions that Puritanism, capitalism and Pentecostalism bring to the tension of work and rest.
In the thesis, I offer the solution that the ministerial leader needs to inhabit the tension of action and contemplation instead of resolving it. The beliefs and practices charismatics bring to working for God make it difficult to imagine themselves working with God, but a theology of contemplative activism could alleviate this difficulty. I explore ways in which ministerial staff teams can experience this, believing that a theology of contemplative activism for the charismatic Christian leader would result in less burnout, better action organizationally and deeper joy individually.
Lathrop, Andrea, "A Consideration of a High View of God and our Relationship with Work in a Charismatic Context" (2021). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 433.