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

Emilio Abdala

Third Advisor

Nilson Ferreira

Abstract

The Problem. With 50 years of existence, the New Bedford church was founded in order to evangelize the community. Recognizing that the purpose of its origin consists in the ability to fulfill its mission, its first years as a church were dedicated to practicing personal and public evangelism, and various methods of growing the church were adopted. The church’s history shows evidence of great results in its primary years of existence. However, as time passed on, conventional methods were no longer producing the same effects, and the church officials dedicated themselves to elaborating programs that only were directed to the members of the church. Unfortunately, this new change caused personal evangelism to be neglected, public evangelism only happened within the church and to church members, and obsolete methods of evangelism were not modernized. Due to the lack of innovation in evangelistic approaches, many members lost interest in its mission and consequently, only a few people attended the meetings. In the last couple of years, the church of New Bedford has not planted any other church and has not presented any growth in the quantity of members.

The Method. This is a qualitative project that not only aims in implementing the traditional methods of evangelism, but also in offering a continual approach, in which every event can be turned into an evangelistic process, which starts with the establishment of friendships, develops through the encouragement of a relationship with Christ, through integration of the interested to the body of members, and of the maturation of the discipleship.

The Results. New Bedford church experienced a new passion in conquering souls for the Lord; each ministry was stimulated to practice missional evangelism and so evangelism stopped being an isolated event, but turned into a continuous process. In a period of one year, the number of baptism and tithe increased in this church, showing evidences of its lifestyle going back to evangelism. Southern New England Conference also applied this project in other churches in the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts showing great and positive results.

Conclusion. This project revealed the effectiveness of continual evangelism, whose practice should be considered a duty and a privilege for the church. Unfavorable circumstances should not prevent the blessings or the success that results from an evangelism that is adapted to modern times and, with the orientation of the Spirit, subjected to novel methods. With the action of consecrated pastors, the involvement of committed members, and the support of the Conference, the results are superior to those of conventional evangelism, based on isolated events. This project is unequivocal evidence that the success of a missional church depends upon the participation of persons converted to a continuous process of evangelism.

Subject Area

Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists, Evangelistic work--Massachusetts--New Bedford

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