Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Bruce L. Bauer
Problem. The Seventh-day Adventist church in Japan has been on a steady decline in recent decades, at best maintaining the status quo. Although several factors may be responsible for this condition, a major factor for this is the failure of the church and its message in connecting with the Japanese culture and people in a relevant, meaningful way. The church seems not to be listening and observing the trends as she continues to apply evangelistic models designed by and for the Western nations to the Japanese. Consequently, despite the enormous funds and good programs, the church in Japan is not witnessing the expected results.
Method. CLAP (Come and See, Learning, Application, Proclamation) model is the contextualized discipleship model adapted for equipping church members of the Osaka-Central Seventh-day Adventist church as a solution to the peculiar situation in Japan. This model consists of five parts: (a) Awareness and orientation seminars for all church members, and the training of the selected 10 church members for a period of one year; (b) Come and see (Invitation and Acceptance stage). At this point, the 10 selected discipled church members will commence reaching out to, associating with, and inviting the Japanese to join the small groups’ fellowship and will last for six months; (c) Learning (Experiencing God through Participation). This part will last for six months with the Japanese participating in the activities of the small groups and thus experiencing the love and fellowship of God’s family; (d) Application (Expanding the Community). This stage will last for one year and focused on expanding the community. The Japanese in the small groups were encouraged to invite their family members and friends; and (e) Proclamation (Witnessing and Reproduction). This phase will last for a period of one year and focused on gradually introducing the Japanese to the Bible, beginning with the concerns of everyday living.
Results. The project will be executed as designed. The CLAP model developed for the project will be used for the training of the 10 selected church members who will lead the five small groups. It is anticipated that Osaka-Central Church members will be enthusiastic and supportive of the project from its beginning to completion. This project is also expected to create positive opinion about the Seventh-day Adventist church in the minds of the intended audience (the Japanese) and to inspire regular attendance at church activities, which will eventually lead to full commitment to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
Conclusion. Contextualized discipleship is an effective strategy for equipping church members for Japanese mission. The CLAP model designed for this project is anticipated to achieve the expected result (a contextualized approach for discipling the Japanese that is biblical and sensitive to the local context). This model will erase the fear of the intrusion of a foreign culture in the minds of the Japanese, since it will in many ways be similar to their local views and ways of life of the Japanese.
Discipling (Christianity), Witness bearing (Christianity), Laity--Seventh-day Adventists--Training of
Ryu, Jong Hyun, "Equipping Church Members for Contextualized Discipleship in Osaka-Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, West Conference, Japan" (2014). Project Documents. 113.