Date of Award
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Bruce L. Bauer
Some members of the Sony Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Ranen Conference skip worship services claiming that the services are boring and do not meet their spiritual needs. They claim that the services are always the same and too traditional, hence their reason for not attending regularly. At times some members attend Pentecostal services on Sundays to experience more meaningful worship. This study was to develop and implement a program for a more meaningful worship experience during the worship services in the Sony Adventist Church of the Ranen Conference so as to encourage members to attend worship services regularly.
This project included a survey of current literature, including books, periodicals, and articles written on how to make worship more meaningful. The traditional ways of worship were examined, paying attention to worship format, length, and content. Theological reflection focusing on the elements of worship and how they were used to impact worship services positively was done. An initial survey was conducted to determine how many members skip worship services and their reasons for doing so. A program to make worship more meaningful was developed and tested. In the middle and towards the end of the project, a survey was conducted again to assess any changes in attendance and participation in church services. Church elders as well as worship leaders who were mostly in charge of the worship programs went through trainings on how to use the developed worship program materials. The worship program developed was then implemented in the Sony Adventist Church.
The project's overall goal of creating a meaningful worship experience with most members attending worship services regularly in the Sony Adventist Church was achieved with amazing results being witnessed. Members who had been skipping the worship services claiming that the services were too traditional or boring or did not meet their needs came back to the church and brought others with them. This may perhaps partially explain the baptism of 347 new members in two years of the project implementation in the Sony Adventist Church. Worship attendance in the Sony Adventist Church also grew from an average of 500 members in 2010 to 980 in 2012, an increase of 480 members. During holidays when schools were closed the worship attendance peaked at over 1,000 members attending regularly. There was also a massive increase in church finances. The Sony Adventist Church was struggling financially before the start of the project. In 2010 total offerings stood at Kshs. 2,318,913.00, but at the close of the year 2013, when the project had been implemented, the total offerings stood at Kshs. 7,078,298.40, an increase of Kshs. 4,759,385.40. The gross increase stood at 205.24%. The church infrastructure also improved considerably, with a modern camp site constructed, the church building was refurbished, and air conditioning installed, along with new seats purchased. The Adventist Church in Sony came alive with the implementation of a more meaningful worship service.
The strategy to create a meaningful worship experience in the Sony Adventist Church was developed and implemented. The project did achieve its overall objective of helping members attend worship services regularly. Most members felt that their worship needs were met; hence, they stopped attending other Pentecostal churches on Sundays to "feel good," but now they found they could get the same experience in a balanced manner in their own church.
Worship, Public Worship--Kenya, Liturgics, Sony Seventh-day Adventist Church (Migori, Kenya), Ranen Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. East-Central Africa Division. West Kenya Union Conference. Ranen Conference
Mumbo, Duncan Odhiambo, "A Strategy to Create a More Meaningful Worship Experience in the Sony Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Ranen Conference" (2014). Project Documents. 276.