Item description for Bridges To People by Sean S. O'Neal...
Bridges to People is designed and written as a practical tool for Christian people and Christian ministry leaders desiring to accomplish effective ministry among the present global culturally diverse society existing in North America and throughout the world. Focusing on the possibilities of developing healthy growing multi-ethnic church congregations, Bridges to People will serve as a catalyst in helping people and churches become mission focused - missional. This tool will empower readers to develop a comprehensive ministry approach. Utilizing demographic historical and ethnographic research, contextualization, church growth strategies, evangelism thinking, visionary thinking, and leadership values, Bridges to People will guide readers to accomplish the task of communicating the gospel with meaning and effectively minister to the whole life needs of people living in culturally diverse communities. Sean O'Neal has traveled throughout the world working among many people groups including African American, Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Pakistani, East Indian, Latino, Korean, West Indian, American Born Caucasian, Filipino and Haitian. Sean has worked as local church youth pastor, urban missionary, consultant, conference speaker, local church pastor, and currently serves in regional church leadership. While serving as the Senior Pastor of the Narragansett Church of God in Chicago the church experienced exciting growth in attendance including ministry among 12 different ethnic groups, the planting of two new church congregations including a Latino ministry primarily reaching first and second generation Mexican people, and a Bulgarian Church. Sean earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Lee University in Intercultural Studies, a Master of Arts degree in Urban Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the Doctor of Ministry degree in Urban Missions from Westminster Theological Seminary.
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Building Bridges to People while Doing Urban Missions in the Spirit Mar 19, 2008
Dr. Sean O'Neal, who serves as the the Director of Evangelism and Youth Ministries for the Church of God California/Nevada State Executive Office, has published his dissertation work under the title "Bridges to People." The book is one of a few, if not the only published academic research on urban missions from a Pentecostal perspective.
But the text is much more than just a dissertation project. It is a practical application emerging from over two decades of urban missions work across America, which is intended to be used as a training tool for pastors and congregations who are involved in cross-cultural urban ministry.
Sean's ministry begins in Indiana and moves to Chicago metro where the church he pastors transforms into a multicultural center ministering to Bulgarian, Romanians, Hungarians and Mexicans and building bridges between ethnic groups within the Kingdom of God. The practical experience, which becomes the basis and the heart of the publication redefines the philosophy of modern day urban ministry in the 21st century. The claim that the book defends over and over is simple: the effectiveness of urban ministry depends on its origin in the praxis of ministry. And this is a truly Pentecostal claim, as it places the practical experience of faith within the multicultural context of ministry before all theological and philosophical presuppositions.
I know that by now, most of you who are involved in any type of urban ministry are already asking the question: "Will this work for me?" It worked for Sean and the ministers whom he trained to recognize the need and provide the needed ministry. The principles which he defines and describes come directly from his experience within the multicultural ethnic context of Chicago (1990-1998), New Jersey and New York (1998-2002), Urbana (2002-2004) and California, where he currently teaches and ministers.
"Bridges to People" is intended to be used exactly the way it was developed: in a practical self-growing, self-testing and self-accountable ministry. It is a cross-cultural training manual for ministries and churches through redefining the ethnic reality of your community. Its objective to build a multi-facet cross cultural ministry makes it applicable not only for American based organizations, but for international ones as well. And last, but not least: it is written from a Pentecostal perspective, giving a central place of the work of the Holy Spirit building bridges between people across cultures and redefining doing missions in, from, by and with the Spirit of God.