Dissertation Projects DMin

Date of Award

1994

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

College

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Douglas R. Kilcher

Second Advisor

Jonathan K. Paulien

Third Advisor

C. Raymond Holmes

Abstract

Problem

This study is an attempt to understand the pastor’s perspective regarding prayer as a part of his/her work. The nature of the pastor’s work has been debated throughout the history of the Christian church without consensus. This uncertainty regarding the role of the pastor is increasing. In the confusion over what constitutes the pastor’s job, his/her call to be a person of prayer has been largely lost sight of. A critical need exists to understand prayer as a priority for pastors.

Method

The study is divided into two sections. The first section is an overview of the relevant biblical materials in which special attention is given to prayer as a function of the prototypes of modem ministry: the apostles and their successors, the elders. The second is a discussion of the major themes discovered in a series of personal in- depth, open-ended interviews conducted with a purposive sample of five practicing clergy of various denominations regarding their understanding of prayer as part of their work. In both instances, the approach is a qualitative inquiry seeking to appreciate what pastors do in the settings in which they work.

Results

The pastors who, as “living human documents,” participated in this study exhibit several significant characteristics. They wrestle with feelings of guilt about their prayer lives. They also struggle with the challenge to balance their role as persons of prayer with the pressures of everyday ministry. The pastors also express a desire to be held accountable for being persons of prayer.

Conclusions

If pastors are to give greater priority to prayer as a function of ministry in the modem church, there will need to be (1) a renewed understanding of the role prayer played in New Testament ministry, (2) more appreciation of the contradictions pastors live with in their work, and (3) increased support from their denominations and congregations for their work of prayer.

Subject Area

Clergy--Religious life; Prayer--Biblical teaching; Seventh-day Adventists--Clergy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

DOI

https:dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/656

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