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 L. Bauer

Second Advisor

Wagner Kuhn

Third Advisor

Nancy Vyhmeister

Abstract

Problem

Although there are good efforts in the local churches in the Nyamira Conference to baptize new believers, about 50% of them stop attending church soon after baptism.

Method

A seven-step mission strategy called the Spiritual Guardianship Plan (SGP) was launched in two local churches in the Nyamira Conference. This is a plan to involve local church members to care for fellow members, to help integrate new members into the life of the local church, and to nurture new members into spiritual maturity. Mature members of the church are assigned to new members to help them to be integrated into the faith community and be nurtured into spiritual maturity.

Results

The project was implemented in two local churches for a period of six months. The project implementation changed five things in the life and mission of the two churches. First, a number of former Adventists rejoined the church. Second, the SGP provided opportunities for the members in both churches to participate in the life and mission of their churches. Third, attendance at church services and meetings in the two churches was improved. Fourth, the members of the two churches showed a willingness to be involved in evangelism and the spiritual nurture of the new members. Finally and most important of all, the Nyakoe Church was able to retain all 17 members they baptized in March for three months for the first time in their history. Before this plan was introduced in their church, many would stop attending church soon after baptism.

Conclusions

The SGP proved a success judging from the success realized in the two churches within a short time. This is because the task of integrating members into the life of the local church was left to church members. The SGP should be replicated in every local church in the Nyamira Conference. When all the churches implement the plan fully, the Nyamira Conference should become a model conference from which all other conferences in the East Kenya Union should learn.

Subject Area

New church members--Kenya, Church work with new church members--Seventh-day Adventists--Kenya, Church membership--Kenya, Seventh-day Adventists--Kenya--Membership, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. East-Central Africa Division. East Kenya Union Conference. Nyamira Conference, Nyamira Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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