Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Leonard I. Sweet
This dissertation claims that church leaders can enact healthier church-wide transformation when changes are processed on the narrative level of culture. As the church’s narrative is transformed, the church lives out her new identity more readily and with less resistance. Chapter 1 defines key terms and examines the state of current transformation models and why they are not having widespread impact in transforming churches. Without understanding underlying narratives, church leaders face unnecessary resistance resulting from the attempt to impose changes that are not assimilated by the narrative of the church. Chapter 2 demonstrates how people always live out their perceived identity and that identity is always in narrative form. The chapter concludes with examining Scripture as an identity narrative and how it can be used to shape the identity of parishioners. Chapter 3 explores how church leaders have used narratives throughout history to facilitate healthy transformation. The chapter also explores the consequences of diluting a strong biblical narrative. Chapter 4 discusses the power of narrative. People tend to organize themselves around a narrative. This narrative is what all information is processed though. If any transformational concept does not fit into the perceived story, it may be rejected. Chapter 5 gives examples of how narratives can be altered within a church context. Using the various expressions of narrative, church leaders begin enacting healthy change at a narrative level. Chapter 6 presents key findings and concrete ministry applications for church leaders desiring corporeal, biblical transformation.
Scafide, David C., "Toward a Corporeal, Biblical Narrative: A Study in Church Transformation" (2015). Doctor of Ministry. 95.