Project Documents

Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

A. Barry Gane

Second Advisor

Barry Tryon

Third Advisor

Kenley Hall

Abstract

Problem

As of 2005, there was only one Seventh-day Adventist church within the Pennsylvania Conference that was providing consistent youth ministry. Many of the churches have seemed to have had difficulty finding individuals who have both the experience and the necessary training to lead a local church youth program. Due to the absence of local church youth ministry, the needs of the youth are being unmet and many are leaving the church.

Method

The method used to address this problem began in 2005. Training sessions were provided to potential leaders within the churches in the Pennsylvania Conference. There were five major training session weekends in which the foundational youth ministry elements of mentoring, missions, and meetings were used to help the local leaders develop a youth ministry at their church. In addition to these training sessions, the local leaders were given the opportunity to be mentored by the youth director for a period of one year. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of this local church youth leader development program. Eight youth leadership teams that were established as a result of this program filled out a twelve-question questionnaire that was used to retrieve date and measure results.

Results

The results showed the positive effect that this youth leader development program had on individuals from local churches who had a desire to have youth ministry in their church. Attendance from the training sessions showed that ten out of twelve churches that sent individuals to these trainings now have sustained local church youth ministries. Data received from the questionnaires revealed that many of the youth ministries are utilizing the areas of mentoring, missions, and meetings as foundational elements of their programs. The questionnaires also revealed that many of the youth ministries have not yet implemented all three foundations into their youth ministries.

Conclusions

This youth leader development paradigm is an effective program in developing youth leaders for the local small church who are capable in developing and sustaining a youth ministry program. The success of this program lies in more than just implementing programming based in mentoring, missions, and meetings. The training sessions and mentoring by the youth director empowered the adults to initiate a youth ministry program based in relationships.

Subject Area

Church work with youth--Seventh-day Adventists; Seventh-day Adventist youth--Religious life--Pennsylvania; Mentoring in church work; Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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