Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Paul Mark Simpson
Intergenerational Ministry, Discipleship, Pandemic, Unorthodox, Glory
Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Rulavage, Elle, "Intergenerational Discipleship at St. Paul's Smoke Church" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4243.
Intergenerational ministry through discipleship is found in the archetype of Christ and His disciples. St. Paul’s Smoke Church in Windsor Township, Pennsylvania, has impacted and influenced the area through many centuries in the generational call to follow Christ. The church has seen its ebbs and flows. In the past decade, membership has tremendously decreased, but the heart of love for God and its community is lasting. The pandemic of COVID-19 had limited ministry in the traditional sense. Still, the unorthodox ways of ministry were sought out and employed to continue St. Paul’s Smoke Church in its operation and functionality while hoping for growth. Sunday service was the strong anchor while prayer, encouragement, and practical solutions were the substance of ministry. Research methods include observation, first-hand knowledge, demographic data, interviews, surveys, and a Bible study on discipleship. The study shows that intergenerational ministry in love toward one another cannot be stopped by rules and regulations and in fact, causes many to walk closer with the Lord. The project does open a door to many other subtopics of research including successes, showing what worked, and failures, showing what was not working, in ministry during the pandemic. Further research should branch into church preparedness and prevention for the future existence of the church in power and authority outreaching with love into the world.