Title page for ETD etd-09122006-144223

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Stone, Michael
Email michael@presmeth.co.za
URN etd-09122006-144223
Document Title Inclusive Worship Intercessory Prayer, connecting with "human hurts and hopes".
Degree Master of Arts
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof Malan Nel
  • Exclusive approach
  • The Body of Christ
  • Facilitative approach
  • Building up the local church
  • De-centring
  • Synergy
  • Inclusive approach.
  • Intercessory prayer
  • Active participants
  • Passive participants
Date 2006-05-04
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation explores congregational participation in worship services in the discipline of “Building up the local Church”. The research indicates the levels of participation within worship services of 98 respondents. I have felt that the low levels of participation (43 % of the respondents reported no active congregational participation and in 93% of the indicated the congregation were involved in two or less areas of the worship service) contribute to the practice of nominal Christianity. The congregation view themselves as the ‘Audience’(passive participants) at worship rather that the ‘Actors’ (active participants).

The hypothesis is that ministers have centralized themselves specifically in worship and this has and is contributing towards the ‘nominal Christian’ problem experienced by the Church presently. Secondly, that a strategically planned and instituted process with the aim of involving all attendee’s at worship will facilitate active participation (the congregation become the ‘actors’ in and during the intercessory prayer time) and in so doing build up the local church.

The Thesis sadly also points out that, ministers fundamental beliefs seem to have little or no influence on there practices. Of the ministers interviewed some indicated there primary task as that of ‘equipping the body of Christ’ yet those who held to that tenet had no significant levels of congregational involvement during worship. The research also shows that regardless of fundamental belief where ministers serve more than one congregation there is a 300% more congregational involvement during worship.

The thesis then focuses on the roles of intercessory prayer in worship as a vehicle for getting ministry into the hands of the congregation. Interviews have been conducted and stories recorded as to the effectiveness of this process. I was particularly encouraged that the ‘sticky prayer’ as it became know took the ministry in some cases into the work place and created opportunities for ministry with in the worlds of the respondent. Beyond this it also sends a message to the world at large of the church as being faithful to God (expressed in prayer) and serving the world (those for whom we pray).

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