Project Documents

Date of Award

1990

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Benjamin D. Schoun

Second Advisor

Douglas R. Kilcher

Third Advisor

Atilio R. Dupertuis

Abstract

Problem. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Puerto Rico is in need of programs to strengthen newly baptized converts.

Method. Much literature related to disciple-building and small groups was researched in order to lay a spiritual foundation and find ways to meet the needs of new believers.

Results/Conclusions. This study concludes that disciple-building is as much a rich biblical issue as any other subject of the sacred Book. However, this subject remains almost a virgin field from the standpoint of pragmatics. Although the problem is recognized both inside the Seventh-day Adventist Church and in other Christian bodies, very few plans have been developed to strengthen and retain new believers in the fold. In other words, much more time, money, and energy should be invested to keep these new believers in the church. This study establishes that the New Testament bears witness to the facts of (1) the relevance of disciple-building and (2) the involvement of Christ and the apostles in this particular ministry. It is not daring to say that the New Testament was and is a canon for disciple-building. After studying a large portion of the literature dealing with the field of small groups, it seems that, properly used, the strategy could be a means to offer new members both a support group and a small fellowship community to facilitate their integration into the larger church fellowship. Practical ideas as well as a curriculum is suggested in order to nurture new believers in the church through small group-ministry.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventist converts--Puerto Rico, Church membership--Puerto Rico

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