Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Douglas R. Kilcher
Norman K. Miles
Problem. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North American Division spends a considerable amount of money in an attempt to attract and assimilate new members. This is done primarily through public evangelism and the developing of tools for the use of its members in evangelism. The non-Caucasian sector, with its limited financial means and academic levels of attainment, finds itself in a precarious situation. This study was undertaken to develop a cost effective tool that would minimize these limitations and help the church in its goal of evangelization.
Method. Individuals were chosen based on their non-exposure to spiritual gifts theology. A three-hour seminar on spiritual gifts was conducted on January 4 and 5, 1991, at the Niles Philadelphia SDA Church and dealt with: (1) historical and theological perspectives, (2) spiritual gifts survey, and (3) the formulation of a Bible Instructor's class on the basis of the Spiritual Gifts Clusters. A Bible Instructor's Manual was compiled which dealt with pertinent areas of Bible instructorship. From this manual the class was taught. As with all instruments, this program needed to be evaluated in order to reflect the relevance of this method of choosing Bible Instructors and the tool's reliability to aid in training lay Bible Instructors.
Terminal consideration was given to lessons gleaned as a result of the project along with suggestions for improvement.
Results. The study and implementation of this manual will reveal the following:
1. A significant portion of lay persons can be guided and trained in Bible instructorship with a possible higher degree of success in soul-winning.
2. An individual's understanding of spiritual gifts may increase awareness of his or her particular area of ministry.
3. Those individuals that possess at least two of the dominant gifts as in Evangelism, Teaching, and Exhortation, and at least two of the subordinate gifts as in Knowledge, Helps, Encouragement, and Leadership in a gift mix/cluster may be more successful and experience greater longevity as Bible Instructors.
Conclusion. Identifying potential volunteers through their spiritual gifts and on-the-job-training will show that this is a viable, God-ordained means of equipping lay Bible Instructors.
Because of the comprehensiveness of the Bible Instructor's Course, in particular, and the varied academic standing of each trainee, it will prove more beneficial to depart from the recommended one-and-a-half-hour class session. This variation can be in the form of having three five-hour sessions with extra time made available for interaction and growth on a given day. Furthermore, one can modify the method of testing to suit each particular class and either require a Bible study manuscript or observe the trainee giving a Bible study.
The local pastor and those responsible for the training and motivation of the laity would observe a greater vibrancy and cooperativeness among those exposed to the concept of spiritual gifts.
This method and tool would be economically efficient. The normal high expense and time required by the usual methods of selection and training encouraged by evangelists and administrators would be discimated. At the same time, expertise, productivity, and efficiency would not be compromised.
Lay ministry, Lay teachers--Training of, Laity--Seventh-day Adventists
Dunbar, Colin Alfred, "The Bible Instructor: a Manual for the Training of Lay Bible Instructors" (1992). Project Documents. 163.
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