Project Documents

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Stanley E. Patterson

Second Advisor

James J. North, Jr.

Third Advisor

Larry Lichtenwalter

Abstract

Problem. The New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church has practiced the traditional style of worship since its establishment in 1986. In this style of worship, reverence is expressed through silence, and both emotional expression and congregational response are discouraged. Neither clapping of hands nor applauding ministers is acceptable. Seemingly, the new generation of members has embraced the opposite. As a result, the church is experiencing a conflict as to which style of worship should be observed.

Methods. A literature review of contemporary authors, the Bible, historical Adventist writings, commentaries, and relevant articles concerning style of worship were examined. A questionnaire was developed and administered to ascertain the attitude of members in the New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church relative to traditional and contemporary worship, and to how the conflict could be resolved in a biblical way that would enhance church unity.

Results. The results gathered from the questionnaires that were administered in the New Life SDA Church indicated that there was general support for contemporary worship across age differences. Many who indicated strong or very strong support for contemporary worship also reported satisfaction with the traditional model. Overall, 66% of the church indicated support for the contemporary model, which leaves 34% either neutral or favoring the traditional model, thus revealing the possibility for significant conflict over the issue of worship style in the New Life SDA church.

Conclusions. For the New Life SDA Church to adhere to its missional purpose and maintain church unity while understanding what the Bible speaks about true worship, there is an urgent need for education and intervention by means of a seminar on the biblical worship principles to establish a theological foundation for the practice of worship.

Subject Area

Worship

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