Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Bruce L. Bauer
R. Clifford Jones
Douglas R. Kilcher
Problem. Various problems surround discipleship today. Many churches have members, but there is little commitment to teaching and training members in small groups, with the result that there is a lack of following Christ in word and deed. Furthermore, discipleship is not well defined, understood, or practiced in the church. The church's mission (Matt 28:19-20) is in trouble because too often churches win and baptize, but do not teach and train. The sad result is lack of reproduction and multiplication.
Method. The program development method was used in this project. Two sources of literature were considered: (1) literature dealing with similar programs that emphasize small groups, and (2) literature dealing with a biblical-theological understanding of discipleship. Goals and objectives were developed by the pastor and the local church leaders. A seminar manual was designed based on the objectives and the literature studied. The seminar length was six days long, with a two-hour session each day. Audiovisual material and handouts were prepared. Presentations were made and videotaped. A multifaceted evaluation was made of the participants. A pre- and post-seminar questionnaire was given on discipleship.
Results. The results showed that participants received a deeper understanding of discipleship. They felt better equipped and committed to witness for Christ. Several small groups were formed to teach and train members in becoming mature, committed, reproducing witnesses for Christ.
Conclusion. The completion of the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20) can be accomplished by utilizing small groups in teaching and training disciples. When disciplers are rightfully equipped with ministry skills, they may reach others for Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:2).
Small groups--Religious aspects
Rose, Walton H., "The Use of Small Groups as an Element of Discipleship in the Fairhaven, Flint, Michigan, Seventh-day Adventist Church" (1996). Dissertation Projects. 111.