Project Documents

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

Eduard Schmidt

Abstract

Problem. Alexandria church has not successfully executed a long-term program for small groups that achieved the involvement of members in missionary work. Throughout the years, it has not been able to establish a fixed growth rate for such involvement, which in turn should transform into a new lifestyle of testimony. When this strategy for small groups was implemented, there were significant results, however the program’s leaders became frustrated and skeptical after not being provided with a set plan for follow-up, solidification, and continuity. The purpose of this investigation was focused on developing and implementing a program for church growth, based on small groups, that rouses a unified and effective response in church members to accomplish healthy and steady increase not only in local membership, but also causes the establishment of new churches, and a spike in tithes. Consequentially, the small groups would not be merely a temporal strategy, but would also serve as a healthy new way of life for entire church, which wouldn’t be affected by pastoral rotations, or any other change in local leadership. The bibliographic revision required the extraction of similar situations by other authors. The Bible concepts and Ellen G. White’s writings were considered basic in this study. In reference to the detected ecclesiastical problem and the literary study, a church growth program based on the biblical model, known as “small groups” in the contemporary age, was developed. The program designed for and implemented in Alexandria Spanish SDA Church was titled “Home churches, a joyous experience.”

Results. The plan was evaluated according to five variables: 1. The numeric growth of membership as a direct consequence of the home churches and discipleship program. Alexandria Spanish SDA church experienced an average growth of 207%. 2. The increase in tithes. A growth of 448% was achieved. 3. The establishment of new congregations. At least three new churches were founded. In 1996, after 40 year’s work, there were a total of 15 Spanish churches in the Potomac Conference territory. In 2006, after only 10 year’s work, that number grew to over 50 Spanish churches and congregations. 4. The number of Small Groups involved in Evangelism per year. An average of three to four evangelistic campaigns were held by each home church annually. This represented approximately 34 campaigns per home church, for a time of ten years. 5. The purchase of an adequate church building to definitively establish the church. This was achieved in October 2000.

Subject Area

Small groups--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists, House churches

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