Project Documents

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Barry Gane

Second Advisor

Wolfgang Lepke

Third Advisor

Steve Case

Abstract

Problem

In terms of cross-cultural mission youth are the most crucial group of people to be reached with the Gospel. From a theological, a sociological as well as a psychological point of view adolescence can be seen as the most receptive phase of life regarding the adoption and integration of faith, a coherent value system and a meaningful life narrative. The process of individuation in the adolescent years offers the biggest potential for both conversion and apostasy. Despite a professionalized youth ministry youth evangelism has never been high on the missional agenda of the Christian Church.

Method

The youth ministries department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany and Switzerland initiated and conducted an international youth evangelism broadcast through satellite to reach postmodern youth within and outside the church with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the years 2002 and 2004.

Results

In 2002 as well as in 2004 about 200 local congregations and youth clubs in Germany and Switzerland were part of the Link2Life initiative. Link2Life reached not only churched youth with the biblical message of Jesus Christ but also to a high percentage their unchurched friends. The Link2Life evangelism increased the identification with the Gospel message and the Adventist church among young people and lead to an increased number of baptisms.

Conclusions

Link2Life was an effective approach in the context of event or mass evangelism and a rare example of a missional attempt of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Germany and Switzerland to reach young people. Youth evangelistic events need the systemic context of an intergenerational and authentic community of faith. Youth evangelism, however, calls for an incamational and contextual approach that values authentic relationships.

Subject Area

Church work with youth--Seventh-day Adventists; Postmodernism--Religious aspects; Evangelistic work--Germany; Evangelistic work--Switzerland

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