Project Documents

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

David Sedlacek

Second Advisor

Alanzo Smith

Third Advisor

Gaspar F. Colon

Abstract

Problem. According to recent statistics, there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches. National statistics also indicate that women are 56 % more likely to hold a leadership position at a church. This reality appears to be more severe in African-American churches, where conservative estimates of 60-75 % of the attendees are female and of the remaining percentage of male congregants very few are between the ages of 12-45. Consequently, it would seem that African-American churches are struggling to attract males and develop males as spiritual leaders. The Seventh-day Adventist Church offers general enrichment programs for men. However, there is a scarcity of programs designed for the unique experience of the African-American male from a Seventh-day Adventist perspective. A discipleship curriculum is needed to provide transformational leadership training for African-American males in order to reactivate and strengthen them as spiritual leaders.

Method. A ten-month discipleship curriculum called Leading Like Jesus was designed and implemented with men in the church between the ages of 18-50 years old. There were a total of 14 participants. The program was evaluated to determine its effectiveness in transitioning males to move beyond peripheral church attendance and positional leadership to impactful spiritual leadership in the home, church, and community. Each of the participants was given a pre- and post-assessment called the Holistic Spiritual Leadership Growth Assessment (HSLG), which measured their growth in areas of spiritual leadership using both quantitative and qualitative questions.

Results. All of the 14 participants were positively affected by the Leading Like Jesus Curriculum intervention. Consistently and across the board in all 10 sections, the intervention made a difference in the leadership impact of the participants in their home, church, and community. Currently, each one of the participants is either an elder-in-training or a deacon-in-training at the Glenville Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Conclusions. The church must be intentional about developing its African-American men into spiritual leaders. Spiritual leadership is not caught, it is taught. The model of Jesus in the discipleship of the twelve is not only descriptive, but also prescriptive for the development of people, and, more specifically, the development of men. When men are challenged to be spiritual leaders through consistent, practical, and spiritual affirmation, they thrive and the church is blessed.

Subject Area

African American Seventh-day Adventists--Ohio, Church work with African Americans--Seventh-day Adventists, Church work with men--Seventh-day Adventists, Discipling (Christianity), Christian leadership--Seventh-day Adventists, African American religious leaders--Ohio

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