Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Roy C. Naden

Second Advisor

Warren E. Minder

Third Advisor

Raoul Dederen

Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of this research was to elucidate the ministry of lay elders as it is suggested in the New Testament and to construct a model for the ministry of local church elders in the Inca Union Mission.

Method. This study was documentary and theological. The primary source was the New Testament, specifically the gospels, the book of Acts, and the epistles. Secondary literature was employed to support the biblical findings of the elders' tasks.

Conclusions. In harmony with the teaching of the Scriptures regarding early church organization and leadership, elders are selected by the local church and ordained to function primarily as shepherds, leaders, and teachers in their local communities. Selection by the church is on the basis of character and appropriate spiritual gifts. The proposed model of elders' ministry includes: a selection process, training for specific ministry, organization into a Board of Elders, implementation of ministry, all within a professional pastoral supervision. This model is proposed as the formalization of the process of training modeled by Jesus Christ and the apostles. It is proposed that the implementation of this model will facilitate church growth in two ways: first by slowing the present rates of apostasy in the Inca Union Mission through nurture and second by increasing the effectiveness of outreach with the community.

Subject Area

Elders (Church officers)--Seventh-day Adventists--Peru, Seventh-day Adventists--Peru

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