Project Documents

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

John Brunt

Second Advisor

L. Paul Jensen

Third Advisor

Ernest Furness

Abstract

Problem. The preaching diet of the Fullerton congregation has consisted mostly of doctrinal and evangelistic sermons. This is reflective of the kind of preaching one often finds in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This kind of preaching, however, is primarily designed to bring in new believers. It often fails to nurture present members. A different preaching model was needed to address this problem. The present study designed, implemented, and evaluated a preaching module for character transformation utilizing Dallas Willard’s vision-intent-means approach.

Method. Six sermons were preached. A survey instrument was formulated consisting of two parts: (a) Spiritual Assessment Inventory (SAI), which measured the sample population’s spiritual maturity on six sub-scales, and (b) Spiritual Practices Frequency (SPF), which measured frequency of practice of eighteen spiritual disciplines. The survey instrument was implemented immediately prior to and after the sermon series. Forty-nine matched surveys were analyzed using T-test paired sample analysis and Wilcoxon signed ranks test. P ≤ .05 was considered statistically significant positive change.

Results. The sample population showed significant positive change in four of six subscales of the SAI. These are: awareness, disappointment, impression management, and instability. SPF showed nine of eighteen categories demonstrating statistically significant positive change (50%). These are: fasting 1, worship 1, prayer, solitude, silence, worship 2, Sabbath, study, and secrecy. All remaining categories (50%) trended positively for change but not of statistically significant value.

Conclusions. The preaching module increased and enhanced the sample population’s spiritual maturity and practice of spiritual disciplines. While it may be true to say that every sermon transforms, the strategic use of VIM means that it played a crucial role in the relative success of the preaching module.

Subject Area

Spiritual life, Church renewal, Preaching, Seventh-day Adventist preaching

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