Project Documents

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

Douglas R. Kilcher

Third Advisor

Jerry Moon

Abstract

Problem

The annual number of baptisms in the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in Japan has decreased from 426 in 1986 to 334 in 1995 despite increases in both the total membership and number of churches. During the same period of time, the number of pastors has declined from 118 in 1986 to 112 in 1995. Thus, the average annual baptisms per pastor has decreased from 3.61 in 1986 to 2.98 in 1995.

Method

Current literature was reviewed. This included books and articles on the principles, strategies, and programs which help pastors develop their abilities to equip the laity and to reach the community. Data of the SDA church in Japan were collected from the Japan Union Conference. Data about the current growth and decline of Protestant churches in Japan were obtained for comparison and in the search for solutions. A strategic training seminar was developed to equip pastors to train the laity for church growth and to help lay leaders and other members become efficient volunteers.

Conclusions

This program is expected to help pastors improve their abilities to train the laity for effective church growth in Japan. It also should help improve the quality of lay leadership and the missionary efforts of every member in the church. Some of the principles outlined in this dissertation could be adapted to meet similar needs in other parts of the world.

Subject Area

Clergy--Post-ordination training; Seventh-day Adventists--Clergy--Post-ordination training; Lay ministry--Japan--Seventh-day Adventists

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