Project Documents

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

Eduard Schmidt

Third Advisor

Ronald Costa

Abstract

Problem. The Hispanic Ministry of the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) was developed within a framework of public evangelism and witnessing, keeping these activities relevant in order to develop a healthy church. However, reports in recent years indicated that evangelization is not reaching its full potential. Moreover, since 1972, when the first Hispanic church was planted, there was the phenomenon of "migrant workers," particularly in the territory of the UCC. Migrant workers come temporarily to the region in the harvest time and return to their homes in the off-season. The departure of these workers, after being baptized and added to the membership of the congregation, produces discouragement and sometimes frustration. These facts required the creation and implementation of a program with goals and objectives to increase church leader’s participation in witnessing in the territory of the UCC. Through this program leaders must be trained, equipped and mobilized in witnessing, and the evangelism agenda must be revise and re-organize to integrate it to the agricultural calendar in the area. Thus, it should raise awareness of the challenges of evangelization and strengthened the feelings of the leaders on the phenomenon of migrant workers in the territory of the UCC.

Methodology. A correlative and multidisciplinary study on lay participation in witnessing was implemented. The research report was divided into six chapters. First, the problem was defined and delimited the field. Second, we examined the biblical foundations on witnessing. Third, we studied contemporary literature, and its concepts and principles on witnessing participation. Fourth, we outlined the profile of the area and the nature of the program. Fifth, explained the dynamics of the implementation of the program, the details of their implementation, and an evaluation of the results was made. Finally, a summary was outlined along with personal conclusions and the recommendations of the author.

Results. The implementation of the program increased the knowledge and experience of the author. It helped developing the author’s skills for evangelism in general and increased the author’s ability to train, equip and mobilize leaders in the task of witnessing. It helped leaders to identify methods and tools to meet the challenges of witnessing in the local context. It provided information, choices and means, in order to multiply the number of soul winners in the UCC. It motivated leaders to participate in witnessing both at personal and corporate levels and helped organize the annual calendar of evangelism and integrate it with the different seasons of agriculture. This increased the results of witnessing in the territory of the UCC. It resulted in increased tithe and also it generated a containment atmosphere to combat discouragement produced by the waves of immigrant workers. Finally, it perpetuated the practice of implementing an annual program to organize, train and mobilize leaders. The latest survey of lay leaders, pastors and administrators revealed the unanimous desire to perpetuate the practice.

Conclusions. We concluded that witnessing is not something you voluntarily do out of the goodness of your heart; it is instead a command of Jesus Christ to all believers. Every soul that is born into the kingdom of heaven receives the gift of telling the world that is having an experience with Christ. The Holy Ghost enables each leader who pays attention to this mandate and provides blessings for the believer to implement it. Witnessing is a way of life, a lifestyle. Witnesses are expected to be consistent, that what they express with their mouths reflect their actions. We concluded that the church should be a continuous and permanent training center. The church must organize and implement weekly programs of systematic training and mobilization. The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers should be revitalized and taught among the leaders. The leaders, meanwhile, should focus their energies on understanding the benefits of witnessing.

Subject Area

Church work with Hispanic Americans--Seventh-day Adventists, Hispanic Americans--Missions

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