Project Documents

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

D.Min.

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Bruce Bauer

Second Advisor

Wagner Kuhn

Third Advisor

David Penno

Abstract

Problem

Conflicts have affected the church of God in recent times. The Seventh-day Church in Kenya and especially after the 2007 and 2008 post-election violence was very negatively affected. Some members still cannot co-exist or enjoy Christian fellowship in the same congregation because of lack of forgiveness and reconciliation. Co-existence became difficult because church members fought each other and even destroyed homesteads belonging to rival tribal groups. Tarimo admits that "those churches that happen to be multiethnic with a national outlook are plagued with internal inter-ethnic conflicts" (2008, para. 4). Although conflict management has been done by the government including the setting up of a Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission to create harmony, ethnic conflicts continue to affect the harmony of church members. Therefore, forgiveness and reconciliation remains vital to create ethnic harmony.

Method

A logical framework and Gantt chart approach was used to organize the project and the linkages were described showing the activities in the development and implementation of the project. Implementation involved administering questionnaires to assess the attitudes of forgiveness and reconciliation among Nairobi East members. A multi-ethnic support group was created that represented the make-up of the ethnic groups in the church. Seminars were conducted to equip the members with a strategy of forgiveness and reconciliation modeled on the principles in the Bible in order to bring harmony. After implementing, monitoring and evaluation was done to ensure that the desired goal was achieved. Finally, a report on the project was done, starting with the lessons learned, conclusion, and recommendations.

Results

After the implementation of the intervention of forgiveness and reconciliation strategy in the church, harmony was increased among the ethnic groups there has been a reduction of ethnic conflicts from 46% before the intervention to 20% after, showing a reduction of 26%. Before the intervention 60% of the members surveyed felt that each ethnic group should be represented in the leadership, but after the intervention this ethnic bias was reduced to 23%, a 37% reduction in this attitude. Leaders from one group that enjoyed support from other ethnic groups was 57%, but after the intervention it rose to 67%, showing an increase of 10%. When asked if ethnic conflicts in the church had been adequately addressed, those satisfied increased from 34% to 56%, a 22% increase.

Conclusion

When the church enjoys harmony much can be accomplished in the body of Jesus Christ. For example the Nairobi East Seventh-day Church was able to go out for mission to another multi-ethnic unentered group and three companies were planted. Around the Eastlands community the Nairobi East members established four multi-ethnic branch Sabbath Schools in public schools. This project has clearly shown that when members have harmony they can invest their energies to mission for others.

Subject Area

Conflict management--Kenya, Crisis management--Kenya, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Ethnic conflict, Seventh-day Adventists--Kenya

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