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

S. Joseph Kidder

Second Advisor

Errol McLean

Third Advisor

Skip Bell

Abstract

Problem

The Houston Northwest Seventh-day Adventist church, located in Spring, Texas, has experienced very little membership growth and a decline in attendance and contribution in the ten years from 2003 to 2012. Due to financial challenges during this period, the church did not develop any defined and significant outreach or evangelistic strategies. The need to create financial stability and missional momentum consisting of leadership development is needed. A lack of such intervention the church would continue to remain stagnant in its membership growth with a decline in its contribution and attendance.

Method

This project document explored the Houston Northwest Seventh-day Adventist church's lack of evangelistic strategies and leadership development. In addition to a community demographical surveys and a spiritual health assessment evaluation a series of contemporary evangelistic methods and strategies, were deemed the best antidote for the problems of the church. This study also took into account the church's demographics and their culture of origin, religious convictions, racial make-up, traditional practices, and economic conditions. In order to develop these methods and strategies, this project used the examples set forth by the Old Testament model on revitalized worship, the example of King Hezekiah, the New Testament model on leadership, and the example of Jesus Christ to His disciples. This mandate notes that once leaders are led by the Holy Spirit to bring the people of God back to worship they must proclaim the advent of Jesus Christ. In addition, leaders should, as Jesus did, teach members how to become steward leaders. They should teach members on how to use their spiritual gifts, talents, and skills to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Finally, church leaders should develop members into disciples and church leaders themselves.

Results

Upon implementation of the series of contemporary evangelistic methods and strategies that were presented to the Houston Northwest Seventh-day Adventist church leaders and members, which had a stagnant membership growth and a decline in contribution and attendance over the past ten years, contributions increased by 38.23%, church membership by 41 members an increase of 12.58%, and attendance by 50 individuals a 39.68% increase over the four-year period of the project. Based on these significant increases, the project was a success. -- Solutions. The outcome of the methods and strategies used to stabilize financially and create missional momentum for the Houston Northwest Seventh-day Adventist church demonstrated the divine authority and power of God to grow His church when its leaders come back and lead others to worship Him. It also demonstrated how Christ’s method of leading people to the good news of the gospel is the only method that adds to the body of Christ, the church. It uplifts the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of His people. The members of the church, once lost in knowing how to evangelize and whom to evangelize, have now been reenergized to do great things for their church and their community. Challenges still lie ahead for the church. These challenges will be overcome when the leaders continue to provide a vision and enlist members to participate in achieving the mission of the church. These members are also to become leaders themselves and efficiently disciple new members to become involved in achieving the church's mission. The development of the systematic approach to change as explained in this project should continue to be used by its leaders. Change is necessary and critical for church growth. Learning how to implement, manage, and deal with change within the church will be an ongoing practice for church leaders. Following Christ’s method is the solution for this challenge.

Subject Area

Christian leadership--Seventh-day Adventists; Church finance; Church growth--Seventh-day Adventists; Houston Northwest Seventh-day Adventist Church (Spring, Tex.)

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