The impact of family life centers and church recreation programs on ministry involvement
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The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the effectiveness and impact of the methodologies and use of recreation facilities used in the recreation ministry of Southern Baptist churches in meeting the ministry goals of these churches. The focus will be on church growth and evangelism. The research questions are along the lines of the five principles of church growth by Gene Mims in his book Kingdom Principles for Church Growth . A brief background of Southern Baptist recreational ministries and the growth of building church based recreation facilities is discussed. It also gives a brief overview of the purpose and questions addressed in this study. A biblical foundation for this type of ministry is sited from both Old and New Testament usages. A section is also provided that describes the work of other writers in the field of church recreation and the use of recreation facilities in the overall goals of church ministry. The works of the founders of church recreation ministry such as Bob Boyd, T. B. Maston, Paul Moore, Josef Pieper and Agnes Durant Pylant are examined. Along with these founding works, the works of Ray Conner, John Garner, Robert Lee, Betty Montgomery and Wendell Newman are examined as they bring church recreation into the twenty-first century. The details of the research process consist of a random selection of churches with recreation facilities and ministries. Two survey instruments will be created and validated through an expert panel. The first survey will be of historiographic data about the participating churches. The second will be a Likert scale instrument given to participants in these recreation ministries and facilities. A letter and card will be mailed to 300 church recreation ministers having built a recreation center or gymnasium within the past five years. Those willing to participate in the survey would return the card signed. Those churches willing to participate in this study and meeting the qualifications stated, where mailed copies of the two survey instruments. The recreation minister will fill out the historiographic information and within a two week period, have recreation participants fill out the participation survey. An examination of the data looks at statistical differences between variables such as participation in other ministries, increase in church attendance, and evangelistic outreach through the recreation ministry. The findings and conclusions that surface through this approach to studying the effectiveness of church recreation programs and facilities in making an impact on the overall goals of the church will be studied.