Project Documents

Date of Award

1977

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Arnold Kurtz

Second Advisor

William Johnsson

Third Advisor

Werner Vyhmeister

Abstract

One of the most urgent concerns of the Church in the latter part of the twentieth century is to arouse Church members to their responsibility of ministering to each other and of ministering to the community in which they live. For too long the Church has relied upon a group of paid professionals to do the work of ministry. It was the purpose of this project to develop a theology and theory of church revitalization which would lead to church growth and which would apply the principles of Ephesians 4 in a local congregation. It was an attempt to orient church members to their responsibilities as ministers of Christ and to aid them in designing and implementing their own church program.

The revitalization process which the writer brought to the church was based upon Scripture and used insights gained from organization development, systems theory, and management by objectives. Revitalization was aimed at renewing the organic structure and interpersonal relationships within the church. This process led to church growth (increase in numbers attending church and in a deepened religious experience among members).

The paper also dealt with the work of a consultant in church revitalization leading to.church growth. Six steps characterized the work of a consultant or minister interested in revitalization. These were: entry, leading the church into self-study, goal-setting, implementing the church's program, a review process, and withdrawal. The program was evaluated by church members, a church-growth survey, and by observations made by the pastor and the writer. It is significant that the church voted to continue the revitalization process that the writer brought to the church and that it has been made a part of the church's yearly program. It was found that the revitalization process did lead to a significant change in members' attitudes towards the church and their own responsibility for ministry in both the church and community. It is recommended that Adventist conferences consider having their ministerial secretaries trained in consulting and revitalization techniques Finally, the appendices include many instruments and ideas for ministry and are really a resource book for those interested in church renewal.

Subject Area

Church Growth

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