Project Documents

Date of Award

1984

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Arnold A. Kurtz

Second Advisor

Abraham Terian

Third Advisor

Miroslav M. Kis

Abstract

The Seventh-day Adventist church has entered the field of human relations to help members within its communities function more harmoniously. As problem areas have arisen the church has endeavored to meet them. Somehow, the area of interpersonal relations has not been broached on the congregational level. Due to this lack of involvement materials have not been readily available. These are essential so that fellowship and growth might be constant.

To develop materials for presentation in a workshop for congregational use, five areas were explored:

1. Self-worth. This subject is examined from a biblical perspective. Self-worth effects our ability to interact with and relate to others. We must be concerned in our approach to theology to keep a balance between law and grace, depravity and restoration, guilt and forgiveness. Without seeing the total picture of God's relationship to man, human beings can develop a self-image that can be negative and, therefore, destructive.

2. Knowing and trusting. This concern addresses primarily those individuals who are unable to share their talents and abilities with the church community for lack of trust. They function within that community without being truly known and without a deep knowledge of others. Knowing and trusting must be developed and practiced if relationships are to be deep and meaningful.

3. Communication. Proper methods of communication were included in the workshop to foster openness. Often individuals communicate on the surface which disallows deep relationships. It is therefore imperative to teach methods whereby open and honest communication can function.

4. Mutual acceptance and support. These concerns develop upon the basis of human temperament, its similarities and differences. When we realize that other people are, and have a right to be, different from our­selves, we can more easily accept them. Following Paul's example given in I Cor 12, we understand that through divergence comes strength.

5. Conflict resolution. The reason for teaching methods in this area to church members is obvious. Many political problems within the church congregations find their basis in unresolved conflict among individuals. Methods to teach conflict management are based in the biblical mandates of reconciliation and love. The responses to the two workshops were positive, thus materials in the area of interpersonal relations are needed. Responses also indicate that leadership needs to be aware of its own interpersonal functioning.

Subject Area

Interpersonal relations; Church group work

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