Project Documents

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Tom Shepherd

Second Advisor

Kathy Beagles

Abstract

Problem. Despite the exponential numerical growth of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Zambia, there are noticeable evidences that many in the church still struggle to maintain consistency in their faith commitments. This means that the church’s great emphasis on evangelistic efforts that lead people to accept Christ must be balanced with a matching emphasis on helping them to walk with him in daily life. Yet the Zambia Union Conference lacks a sufficient and contextualized discipling strategy for both new and longtime members. The purpose of this project is to address this need by developing a biblical and tri-focal discipling strategy for multi-church districts in Zambia.

Method. Through library research, the theological foundations for the nature and goals of Christian discipleship were established. With this framework, a literature review was conducted on different local church approaches to disciple-making. Through an analysis of Zambian society, some of the challenges to the goals of discipleship in Zambia were revealed. The SWOT analysis of the Zambian Union Conference reveals some of the challenges that hinder local churches from becoming intentional and effective disciple-making communities.

Results. This project established the need for a clear vision for disciple-making so that the methods match the objectives, a functional equipping environment in the local church as the primary context for discipleship, a renewal of pastoral leadership that focuses on developing people, and continued “equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God” through a systematic study of God’s Word.

Conclusion. This project outlines a tri-focal discipling strategy for multi-church districts in Zambia. The strategy includes local church ministry structure that stipulate, in organizational flow, a process that meets the basic growth needs of members and addresses each of the four dimensions of our vision for discipling in a balanced way. Relevant topics are selected and a curriculum for discipling is developed. A Christian growth evaluation process is developed for assessing the progress being made. Furthermore, pastoral leadership practices for disciple-making churches together with a project implementation outline are defined. Overall the strategy weighs heavily on connecting God’s people in intentional relationships for mutual discipling.

Subject Area

Discipling (Christianity)

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