Project Documents

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Allan Walshe

Second Advisor

Kenley Hall

Third Advisor

Tom Evans

Abstract

Problem. Experts have stated that youth ministry for the past 25 years has revolved around a fun and games methodology which did not result in the youths continued participation in ministry activities. During this same time period under the fun and games ministry orientation, more than half of evangelical youth involved in youth ministries have left or are leaving the church once they graduate from high school, including those of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.

Method. A faith development program was implemented that involved analyzing the spirituality of the youth leader and its impact on his ability to lead youths spiritually and also included teaching students a specific set of devotional habits that involved Bible reading, prayer as conversation, praise, thanksgiving, times of unplugging, and provided outreach opportunities. This project was implemented for one school year by the Lodi English Oaks Adventist Church campus ministries at Tokay High, Lodi Academy, and Lodi Adventist Elementary for seventh and eighth graders and was analyzed by conducting focus groups on each campus to determine the levels at which students engaged and benefited from the project.

Results. Key results of the study were that students prayed more regularly, and talking to God had become a greater part of their lives; they read their Bibles more regularly and listened to more Christian music and less secular music. Students encouraged their parents to have family worship, enjoyed listening to sermons more at church, and got more out of the sermons. Having campus-based ministry provided another way for students to connect with God and to bring more spirituality to their secular campus. By participating in on-campus ministry, students felt like their faith was no longer separate, but was now infused throughout the day. It also provided them a place to be separate and stand out at school rather than just being a part of the crowd. Students felt that being a part of this group at school was a witness and let others see their faith. As the youth leader, the methods in this study, the journaling of my own progress, and teaching the students all of my spiritual devotional habits helped me to grow more spiritually than I had in many years. I also felt more genuine and transparent in my ministry by leading from a more personal level.

Conclusion. This study finds that more devotional time encourages more outreach, and conversely, more outreach encourages more devotional time. The study concludes that students experience spiritual growth under the mentorship of a youth leader who is growing spiritually as well. Youth leaders that monitor their own spiritual journey become more consistent in their devotional lives and tend to have more spiritual thoughts and experiences to share with the students they minister to.

Subject Area

Church work with youth--California--Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh-day Adventist youth--California, Seventh-day Adventist youth--Religious life

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