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University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

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The purpose of the project was to encourage and increase the Bible knowledge, change attitudes and involve in missional activities, the members of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Austell.

St. Paul A.M.E. Church is a small and an old church in a suburban location in Austell, Georgia. It has an active membership of 42 and about the same number of backsliders, both young and old. It is most challenging to note the fact that men, young men at that, form the majority of the backsliders and are victims of liquor.

The church is composed mostly of disadvantaged families, who live in poor housing with little or no representation in the city council of Austell.

These conditions mentioned above challenged me to try and involve this congregation in missional activities. I chose to do this through the Bible study in an attempt to investigate whether or not a Bible study group will influence the group members' openness to learning more about the Bible, willingness to in mission and actual involvement in mission.

The 'discovery method' was employed most of the time. The participants were given assignments to do prior to the study and discussion of each topic. Then various techniques were utilized.

The project design consisted of twelve sessions, meeting once a week for two hours each session. It involved fifteen members from various organizations of the church representing different ages (15 - up).

The project's evaluation covered the one-group, pre-test, post-test design. In this evaluation design, the writer introduced a base measure before the program was carried out, which was followed up by an 'after' measure change, at the conclusion of the program. A sample of the questionnaire based on the study of Genesis 1-11 was used to measure change, increase of knowledge, attitudes, practices 'before' and 'after' the project. (See Appendix A for questionnaire.)

This group was given a fore-test and a post-test questionnaire to test their knowledge of the Bible particularly Genesis, chapters 1-11, which forms the basis of God's mission (from Genesis-Creation to Revelation), their attitudes toward God, the Bible, the church, their fellow men, and their participation in the church's activities on practices toward mission.

Then an evaluation of each session and its reflections followed (see Chapter VI).

The input sessions consisted of hymns, prayers, attendance, review of work done previously by means of questions, reports, entertainment of questions from the group discussions and group interaction and the session was closed by evaluation of the session and reflections of the topics studied.

The encounyer sessions with the writer consisted of frank dialogue between the writer and the participants.

The overall hypothesis was that as a result of the Bible study impact the group's Bible knowledge would be increased, attitudes would be changed and missional involvement would be improved.

While there was some positive, enthusiastic participation by the group, there was not enough involvement in missional activities, but a good realization of the church's challenge to social change, socio-economico-politico-cultural issues.

The end result of this project was the establishment of an integrated Head Start Center in the Austell community which started operating in August 1979. Not only that but the group joined or influenced 'Food Coop Incorporated' to perform in the Austell community.

These two missional events represented a milestone impact on the community. For with it, job opportunities were created.

Interest in serving the community has, a result of this project, grown not only among the participants but also in the neighboring churches. For this, I am grateful to the Lord.

The final report consists of the writer's exploration and Significance, relevant literature and theory, definition of terms, description of project, methods of collecting data, methods of organizing data, and methods of evaluation.

The second chapter focuses on the description and methods of the project. Chapter three deals with Foundations of Christian Education while the fourth chapter gives an overview of the Empirical, fifth chapter the Evaluation, and the sixth chapter, the Functional disciplines.

The seventh chapter focuses on the conclusion which entails the future aspects of the writer's ministry, goals for the church as well as the writer. Evaluation of the goals, assumptions, Findings, Review and the respective conclusions of chapters four, five, and six were reported. Reflections, implications, and the final summary were also reported.

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