Project Documents

Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Roger L. Dudley

Second Advisor

Jane Thayer

Abstract

This dissertation evaluates a strategy that was developed for equipping church members in the Brandon Seventh-day Adventist Church using the Spiritual Body Building Lessons and an intentional follow-up process. One of the greatest needs of church members is to truly experience body life in the church: having a sense of belonging and a meaningful, significant ministry in which one receives support and encouragement. Spiritual Body Building Groups were designed as a launching pad to equip church members in how to be church as well as how to do church.

There were two phases of this project implemented in the Brandon Church. An evaluation was made of the impact that the Spiritual Body Building Lessons and group experience had in the lives of church members. Thirty-four members attended one of four groups conducted between the Spring of 1997 and the Fall of 1999. They completed two surveys in August 2000. A follow-up strategy for the Spiritual Body Building Groups was implemented and evaluated which included community-building and ministry-support interventions, namely: strategic planning, group leaders’ meetings, Making Friends for God Seminar, Prayer Warriors Seminar, eight-week evangelistic series, spiritual-guardian program, Biblemarking class, Spiritual Gifts Seminar, ministry fair, and ministry-placement process.

The research on the Spiritual Body Building Groups revealed that there was positive change that was statistically significant at p < .001 in five key areas of discipleship: (1) relationship with God, (2) pastor/member roles, (3) community, (4) spiritual gifts and, (5) ministry of nurture. The concepts and processes used in Spiritual Body Building are highly effective and are a powerful resource which could greatly benefit local churches.

The research on the follow-up strategy revealed a slight increase in the sense of community experienced as a result of the interventions. The data to measure the perception of ministry support resulting from the intervention were skewed but did reveal the need for more intentional work in this area. Body life is not something that can be taken tor granted in a church. It requires prayer, planning, and a persistence in following biblical principles and practices.

Subject Area

Small groups--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists., Spirituality--Seventh-day Adventists.

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