Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Norman K. Miles
Richard M. Davidson
Miroslav M. Kis
Problem. Historically, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, like the New Testament Church, was lay oriented. Lay leadership cared for the nurture and evangelism within the church. However, within both periods eventually a professional clergy emerged and took over those ministerial roles. The clergy takeover has resulted in an overburdened, overtaxed pastoral leadership, and a passive, critical, noncommitted laity.
Some clergy and laity now see the need for reformation. Laity must be brought back into their proper places of ministry and church leadership. This change requires an attitudinal and re-educational process for clergy and laity alike. Effective church leadership is needed to supply balanced nurture and evangelism. To fulfill this need, leadership training is required.
Method. This project considered the concept of servant-leadership in the ministry of Jesus Christ to provide the basis for determining whether laymen should serve as leaders within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Also, it reviewed Christ's method in training the Twelve and the Seventy to illustrate the need, curriculum, and model of the servant-leader, and this was compared with reports on some selected business principles.
The Aurora Seventh-day Adventist Church and its leadership were surveyed to evaluate and substantiate the need for training within the specific roles.
A training program was implemented for the elders, deacons, and deaconesses. Six sessions presented: Leadership, Worship, Church Growth, Pastoral Care, Preaching Skills, and Church Management.
Results. Following the training program attendance, tithe, and local church offerings increased, congregational morale was boosted, lay leadership committees were organized, and lay-initiated evangelism and nurture took place.
Conclusion. Church leaders, appointed to a position, may lack know-how to fulfill the position adequately. To supply needed training, the church should plan together with the pastor to schedule a yearly training to encompass the total leadership in a continuous educational program.
The leadership at Aurora, Colorado have accepted the concept of an on-going training program to meet the need of nurture and evangelism. Local leadership training must include field experience and modeling besides the classroom session.
Swanson, Kenneth O., "The Training Program for the Elder, Deacon, and Deaconess" (1986). Project Documents. 235.
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