Project Documents

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Efrain Velazquez II

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

Ronald Costa

Abstract

Problem

Administrators of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) in the West Central Colombian Conference (WCCC) have requested a seminar on stewardship to facilitate the preaching, teaching, and better understanding of the biblical stewardship. The Conference is interested in fulfilling the command “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). However, the lack of financial resources has become a challenge to fulfill this mission. Due to this situation, the WCCC reduced the number of pastors between 2005-2009, and the administration of the Conference restructured its territory, reducing the number of pastoral districts. Some of the factors that demonstrate this need include the fluctuation in the rate of tithes and offerings, and the decrease in the rate of membership growth (See the General Conference - Annual Statistical Report, information in Inter-American Division, North Colombia Union, West-Central Colombia Conference, years 2005-2011). The lack of understanding of biblical stewardship can lead to a wrong question such as: How much of my assets should I give to the church? or how much is enough? For this reason, this investigation sought the answer to the following research question:What do pastors understand by biblical stewardship? In exploring different options to address this problem, the administration of the WCCC decided that a seminar on biblical stewardship with the purpose of training pastors would help them better understand God’s guidelines and would provide a significant contribution in the process of addressing this problem. With this project, pastors would feel better equipped when teaching church members about being faithful to God. As Rodin (2000, p. 10) suggests, the most effective method to regain interest in stewardship is training pastors and lay leaders. Consequently, this project has the potential of being a meaningful contribution to the field.

Methodology

The present research belongs to the discipline of applied theology, and its object of study is biblical stewardship. This type of research belongs to an area known as action and participation investigation, since its purpose is to transform a social reality in a specific group recognized as a need, through a process of research where both the investigator and the group are involved. In order to find an answer to the question of the research project, it was necessary a revision of this subject in biblical literature, the writings of Ellen G. White, and other Christian authors. The West-Central Colombian Conference was available as a laboratory for a year in order to apply the knowledge gained and to measure the results of the study.

Results

The research facilitated the creation and implementation of a seminar on biblical stewardship for the pastors of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in West-Central Colombia Conference. The seminar includes three core factors: history of stewardship, biblical foundations of stewardship, and methodology for promoting stewardship. This seminar increased pastors’ knowledge about stewardship in 60% at the West-Central Colombian Conference. The seminar captured the interest of pastors in applying what they learned in order to help the church better fulfill its mission.

Conclusion

Historically, Christianity has not shown an unanimous opinion about stewardship, tithing, or how to apply the laws of Moses in this regard, as it is noted by Croteau (2010, p. 26). A lack of knowledge about biblical stewardship can affect the understanding and practices of Seventh-day Adventist Church pastors and other members in the West-Central Colombia Conference. This project evidenced the need for a continuous program for stewardship training in the WCCC.

Subject Area

Christian stewardship; Seventh-day Adventists--Colombia; General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Inter-American Division. North Columbian Union Conference. West Central Colombian Conference; West Central Colombian Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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

Share

COinS