Development of a Lay Leadership Training Conference for Rural Appalachian Churches
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ABSTRACT DEVELOPMENT OF A LAY LEADERSHIP TRAINING CONFERENCE FOR RURAL APPALACHIAN CHURCHES Jimmy Derek Wilson, D.Min. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2015 Faculty Supervisor: Dr. William D. Henard This project explores the need and development of lay leadership in rural churches. It seeks to design a process for a leadership training conference. Chapter 1 presents the purpose, goals, context, rationale, definitions, and limitations of the project. Chapter 2 discusses biblical and theological perspectives on leadership in the lives of Moses, Paul, Timothy, and Jesus. Specifically, this chapter focuses on the character of leaders, spiritual gifts, personalities, and biblical role of spiritual mentors. Chapter 3 surveys the roles of leadership in churches and presents a model of lay leadership development. This chapter explores a process that recognizes rural and local church culture to develop leaders that are key to overcoming obstacles to growth. Chapter 4 explains the creation and implementation of the conference in rural Appalachian churches. Attention is given to the five phases of the project and to the transformation of leaders into agents of change in revitalization. Chapter 5 provides an evaluation of the project goals and suggested modifications to strengthen the project for future use. This project asserts that to develop lay leaders, a church must have a process of recognition and training of lay leaders.