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

John V. G. Matthews

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

Kenley Hall

Abstract

Problem. The Los Altos Chinese Seventh-day Adventist (LACSDA) church has not been able to effectively disciple and retain its American-born Chinese (ABC) members. Over the years, the LACSDA church has seen a gradual withdrawal of the ABC members from the church; most have either left the area to attend other Seventh-day Adventist churches, or have stopped attending church altogether. This attrition of membership was a serious problem for the LACSDA church and proper measures were needed if the trend was to be reversed.

Method. This research project led to the development and implementation of an innovative model of ministry that has relevance for the ABC members of the LACSDA church. The effectiveness of the ministry intervention was assessed by comparing the number of ABC members prior to, during, and after the implementation of the model. While questionnaires were used, the study was not a statistical research project. The statistical data were analyzed to give insights into the development and implementation of the New Youth Discipling Model. The data gathered was intended for the purpose of providing verifiable information that could be used in the construction of the model.

Results. The LACSDA church identified the reasons ABC members left the church and the underlying problems that led them to do so. The implementation of the New Youth Discipling Model provided a ministry of belonging, mutual support, and acceptance. The felt-needs of the ABC members were met through the ABC Ministry, the Multi-approach Ministry, and the Vision Church. Implementation of the vision and mission to nurture, teach, disciple, reach and retain ABC members at the LACSDA church led to more faithful and consistent attendance and an increase in the number of ABC members.

Conclusions. The New Youth Discipling Model proved to be a useful means to build a linguistically relevant, culturally sensitive, socially conscious, and spiritually dynamic church. It reached the generation of ABC members and assisted them to become mature Christians in God’s kingdom. It provided opportunities where ABC members could be trained, equipped, and inspired for involvement in the life and ministry of the LACSDA church.

Subject Area

Discipling (Christianity), American Chinese Seventh-day Adventists--California

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