Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Religion, Mission and Ministry PhD
Bruce L. Bauer
The present study examines the impact of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's structure on mission effectiveness in taking the gospel to unreached people groups between 1980 and 2010. A historical descriptive study, this dissertation's theory base includes structure from an anthropological perspective; structure, mission, and effectiveness from an organizational perspective; and church structure and mission effectiveness in Christian history.
The impact of structure on mission effectivenessis evaluated in the present work by looking for patterns in history in which the structure has been either a facilitator or a hindrance for establishing churches among those who have not been reached with the gospel. This work surveyed previous studies on the different areas of the theory base, and its primary sources include annual statistical reports and other documents from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and their Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, as well as board minutes and denominational journals.
The findings reveal that, although the Seventh-day Adventist Church organization was started with missionary concerns in mind and has clearly defined its mission, its current performance metrics do not reveal much about the organization's effectiveness in achieving its mission. These measures--as reflected in the Annual Statistical Reports --as well as all administrative decisions, including but not limited to Interdivision Employee assignment, Thirteenth Sabbath School projects selection, and evangelistic/institutional employee ratios, should be better aligned with the mission of reaching the unreached.
It is also necessary to nurture a healthier, mutually affirming, government/industries-like relationship between the church's formal structure and the many semi-autonomous mission structures that have been born within the church, a relationship where the denomination regulates but not administrates its mission structures, and where mission structures actually engage in mission instead of wasting time and energy in demonstrating they do the work better than the demomination's structure.
Missions, Mission of the church, Seventh-day Adventists --Missions, Seventh-day Adventists --Government
Guerrero, Abraham, "Structure and Mission Effectiveness: a Study Focused on Seventh-day Adventist Mission to Unreached People Groups Between 1980 and 2010" (2013). Dissertations. 57.
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