Project Documents

Date of Award

1989

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Norman K. Miles

Second Advisor

Russell Staples

Third Advisor

C. Raymond Holmes

Abstract

Problem. When the Seventh-day Adventist church came to Nigeria in 1914, the Yorubas were the first people exposed to the church's message; today, Yorubas are the least receptive to Adventism when compared to the growth of Adventism in other parts of the country. Urban development in Yorubaland today presents the greatest challenge to the church; Yorubas forming one-fifth of the 100 million people in Nigeria. Most converts among Yorubas are from other denominations, for traditional religionists seldom attend Adventist crusades and are never converted to the Adventist faith. Since evangelistic campaigns lack efficient coordination within the whole church, the responsibility of evangelism is usually left to the pastoral staff with laity as spectators. This project was designed to train ministers and laity in effective ways to evangelize Yorubas.

Method. The project uses descriptive analytical method to examine Yoruba religion and beliefs. This presents the world view of Yorubas and offers an explanation why Yorubas have not been attracted into the Adventist church. It also indicated why laity, including some pastors, are not enthusiastic about sharing their faith within their communities.

Results. Our study revealed that on the conference-level leadership has nos failed to encourage local churches to conduct public crusades— especially when funds are needed for evangelism. Also, many Yoruba religious beliefs have striking parallels with certain Christian concepts. Yoruba cosmology has two orders: (1) Orun, or heaven, the highest order, is the abode of the Supreme Being, Olorun Olodumare, who is less concerned with the day-to-day affairs of men but responds to the call of man in desperate situations, also is the abode of Orisas and the ancestral spirits; (2) while the second order, Aye, the world of human beings: is where mankind has to contend with evil forces and seek external powers to defend them from these evil forces.

Conclusions. Ministers must be trained to know how to present Jesus Christ to the Yorubas. The church must make use of N.T. methods. Evangelizing to make disciples for Christ is an urgent matter for all church members. To reach Yorubas, one must start with what they know before expanding to the unknown.

Subject Area

Yoruba (African people)--Religion

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