Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Donald G. Jacobsen
William G. C. Murdoch
W. Richard Lesher
Problem. The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes itself to be responsive to the commission of carrying the gospel to the world. This project studies the Sabbath School as an organization which can be used to meet the commission. The question addressed then is, Can our present practice in Sabbath School be enhanced so that a more effective way of reaching the stated objective of the Sabbath School can be achieved? This paper endeavors to address the problem by presenting a program concerned primarily with the adult class that has three goals: (1) to realize more fully the potential inherent in the adult Sabbath School class, (2) to suggest a plan that would not need to compete with or duplicate other efforts in the church, (3) to demonstrate a plan whereby the adult class can become a work/study group within the church.
Method. After a short historical study of early Christian Education work, the author endeavored to present a brief theological framework. The principles from this were then illustrated and applied to the church. Finally a rather detailed study of the writings of Ellen G. White was pursued, whereby the material gained in the research was specified to the writer's own denomination. Tools and materials were developed to meet the problem posed, and a plan of operation was set up in the Takoma Park Church where the author serves as pastor. A survey instrument was used upon launching the program, and again a year later.
Results. An ongoing program of Sabbath School class enrichment is in operation a year after launching. The framework for support of the teacher-shepherd program was seen to have Biblical support and is illuminated in the writings of Ellen G. White. The members of the Sabbath School are rather well aware of the purposes of the Sabbath School as conceived by this project.
Conclusions. More than one year is needed for any dramatic changes to be noted. Yet the fact that the plan is still functioning and structured, ready to expand, is ample reason to continue. Accessions to the church are resulting and the laymen are becoming increasingly interested as indicated by the fact that they are expanding the concepts of the teacher-shepherd plan into related areas of church endeavor. More lay input is still needed to continue to develop and refine the program.
Sabbath schools, Church work
Jaecks, Lenard Dale, "The Teacher-Shepherd Program: a Plan to Meet Church Objectives Through the Adult Sabbath School Class" (1976). Project Documents. 181.
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