Project Documents

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Steve Case

Second Advisor

Gamaliel Flores

Third Advisor

Kenley Hall

Abstract

Problem

Youth involvement leadership in Seventh-day Adventist local churches remains an issue of concern. Part of the vision of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church and the local church is to encourage the youth to be faithful disciples of Christ and to teach, train, equip, and involve them in the Seventh-day Adventist local churches. However, the Annual Local Churches Strategic Plan is not intentionally oriented towards youth involvement leadership and the Annual Youth Strategic Plans are generally not based on the vision for the entire church. This gap reveals a lack of partnership between the youth department and most other departments whose strategy focuses mainly on adults and seniors. This separation implies that only the youth leader is responsible for fulfilling the vision of the youth group. With a lack of youth statistics, human capital, financial resources, plus an unbalanced youth strategy, the Seventh-day Adventist vision for youth and youth involvement leadership in the local church seems to be an impossibility to fulfill.

Methodology

A one semester common learning experience used mentoring and coaching methodologies for fostering close relationships, vocational development, and the transmission of values and skills to youth for their inclusion in church leadership roles. Participation by the administration and leadership of the François church in Martinique was required. Questionnaires, informal interviews, and observations were the tools used to identify the causes of youth non-involvement in leadership and to measure the impact on participants, observers, and the organization. Fifty people including youth aged 16-22 years (10), 23-30 years (3), adult church officers over the age of 30 (26), and non-commissioned officers (11) of one local Seventh-day Adventist church, participated for one semester in a common learning experience. Participants were comprised of 23 males and 27 females. During the second quarter, a simultaneous approach to mentoring and coaching led to the formation of triads (11) composed of mentor/youth /coach and dyads (2) composed of youth / coach for a youth-focused leadership experience. Two evaluation questionnaires were completed by the three groups of participants and another was completed by the observers.

The Results

By the end of the project, 100% of the coaches and mentors and 89% of the youth attested that the regular practice of youth leadership would contribute to the qualitative and quantitative development of the local church. Also, 75% of the youth were satisfied with their involvement, which consisted of participating in activities proposed by adults. It was recorded that 100% of the coaches reported having an erroneous understanding of youth involvement leadership at the onset of the project. The youth and church officers also misunderstood the meaning. As the project progressed, clarity was made and the concept was embraced much more by all of the participants. Youth participants responded to the project with the following statistical results: More than 77% (77.77%) felt an increased motivation to attend church. More than 88% (88.89) grew in their need to get closer to God, experienced an increased need to read and study the Bible, and an increased motivation to share their faith. The entire youth group (100%) increased in prayer habits. Also, 100% of the observers said that more youth involvement in leadership of the church would (a) generate greater retention of members, (b) foster intergenerational relationships, (c) make the church more attractive, and (d) contribute to more dynamism.

Conclusion

Youth leadership cannot be left to the goodwill of the youth directors or to a few supporters of youth ministry. The kind of functioning to which both youth and adults aspire requires comprehensive and proactive vision, and administrative determination that is based on a correct understanding of the concept of youth involvement leadership. Within this framework, parents and organizational leaders should be made aware of their responsibility. Strategies should be implemented to reach as many young people who are awaiting an invitation to leadership, and wish to satisfy their need for affirmation, growth, and exercising their ability to make decisions and influence others.

Subject Area

Church work with youth--Martinique--Seventh-day Adventists; Christian leadership; Seventh-day Adventist youth--Martinique

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Share

COinS