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

Michael Steenhoven

Second Advisor

David Hartman

Third Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Abstract

Problem. The following types of members have difficulties in integrating themselves into the organizational and congregational culture of the Durham Spanish SDA Church in the city of Durham, North Carolina: (1) members that join or transfer their membership from the Inter-American Division, (2) members who are baptized for the first time but were connected to the Seventh-day Adventist church in their country of origin or in the territory of the North American Division, and (3) members who are baptized for their second or third time and have been members of the church in their country of origin or in the territory of the North American Division. This lack of integration is the result of a congregational and organizational clash between these types of members and those members who have been baptized at the Durham Spanish church for the first time with no previous connection or knowledge of the Seventh–day Adventist Church. This congregational and organizational clash produces a negative effect in the whole congregation and impedes its effectiveness and growth. Therefore, there is a need for an effective ongoing integration process at the Durham Spanish church.

Method. An ongoing integration process was implemented at the Durham Spanish SDA Church since October 2007 until the present. The program included the following action steps: 1. A four part seminar entitled “A Congregational Identity Clarification Process” that includes a survey to determine the degree of openness to change of the participants. 2. The exploration of the values, mission, and vision of the Durham Spanish SDA Church by the members of the nominating committee and the new appointed leaders. Two surveys were used to explore and clarify the personal and congregational values, mission and vision. 3. The development of statements to describe the values, mission and vision of the congregation and answer the question: Who is this congregation? 4. The administration of the GLOBE Project Research Survey (Global and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Project) Form Alpha (adapted to a congregational setting) to measure the cultural dimensions and leadership dimensions predominant at the Durham Spanish SDA Church.

Results. The implementation of the above action steps of the integration process at the Durham Spanish SDA Church has produced the following results: (1) awareness about the unique identity and organizational culture of the congregation, (2) the adoption of a set of operational values, mission, and vision by the leadership, and (3) a sense of mutual respect and unity among the leadership as they validate the values, mission, and vision of the congregation through the development and execution of the strategic plans and programs.

Conclusion. The implementation of the integration process which promotes the adoption of shared values, mission, and vision has proven to be an effective strategy at the Durham Spanish SDA Church.

Subject Area

Church membership, Conflict management--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists, Church management

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