Project Documents

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Trevor O'Reggio

Abstract

Problem

Studies (Arn, 1988) reported that over 80% of churches in America are in a period of stagnation or decline relative to growth. Despite the mega-church trend in America, most churches will not add one person to the membership rolls in a given year (Sylvia, 2004). A safe conclusion is that attendance is also on a downward trend. Research (Burrill, 2007) suggests that from historical bases the Seventh-day Adventist church does a good job in the area of evangelism. In 2006 the statistical report of the world Adventist church highlighted that over 3,000 people joined the church through baptism on a daily bases (Bediako, 2010). The average attendance in the Adventist church in America is approximately 50 people each week. The annual baptisms at Word of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Memphis, TN are around six with the attendance around 85 people. The specific problem is the low evangelism that impacts the low growth in baptisms and attendance at Word of Life.

Method

The purpose of this project was to, (a) examine the reasons or barriers for low growth; (b) establish biblical and spirit of prophecy foundations for relational strategies to reach the community; (c) develop and implement an evangelism model that activates the members of Word of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in a blessing approach of evangelism, increase baptism and attendance. In order to arrive at the development and implementation of the project, I made several steps of progression. I examined the church’s history of evangelism and outreach. I collected data relative to church attendance and baptisms. I ordered an independent assessment of the church and examined the results. I administered and examined the Styles Questionnaire to 75 members of the church. I developed the model and training seminar pertaining to evangelism. --

Results

The church did increase its outreach into the community of Frayser. This increase revealed more outreach ministry activities in and for the community as well. Eight people joined the church through baptism as a result of the iBlessMemphis model of friendship evangelism.

Conclusion

This research document represents the development and implementation of the iBlessMemphis evangelistic model at the Word of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church. This model successfully utilized the small group, friendship, community outreach and proclamation approaches in evangelism by increasing the church baptisms, attendance and community presence. Other churches can adapt and use this model or approach for positive outcomes.

Subject Area

Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists, Word of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church (Memphis, Tenn.), Social Service

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