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

Gerson P. Santos

Second Advisor

Alanzo Smith

Third Advisor

David Penno

Abstract

Problem

The Greater New York Conference (GNYC) is located in what is considered the media capital of the world. Media and technology have changed our lives in meaningful ways, both globally and locally. The church in its local context, in this technological age, is struggling to adapt technology in meaningful and effective ways to impact discipleship and evangelism practices. I observed that the administrators and most of the pastors in the GNYC do not understand how to adapt today’s media technology effectively, and therefore, lack a vision regarding how this tool can be effectively adapted for ministry delivery.

Method

A training strategy on new media technology was done in three phases. First, a minimum of four digital presentations was given to a large group of GNYC pastors. Second, pastors elected to become participants in a small, peer-training group of a minimum of five participants and a maximum of ten for reporting purposes. An annual ministers’ technology conference was established as an ongoing effort towards continuing education training in new media technology for the general pastoral workforce.

Results

A series of five digital presentations were made to the pastors in the GNYC to increase awareness of technology in ministry. Eight pastors became a part of the yearlong peer group training on new media technology in areas such as social media, Facebook, Twitter, webstreaming, mobile apps and texting programs, blogging, digital discipleship and evangelism tools. All eight participants were successful in adapting new media technology within their ministry context. An annual Ministers Technology Conference was established within the conference. A training strategy for possible organizational adaptation called ITEM emerged from the training.

Conclusion

New media technology is not to be feared. Pastors can develop an effective strategy for ministry adaptation unique to their local ministry. This adaptation may be quick or slow depending on personnel, budget and timing. The pastors in this study were trained and, in most cases, adapted multiple new media technologies successfully to their ministry context. This represents a template for the ever-new and changing world of technology which, when rightly adopted, can be a powerful tool for effective discipleship and evangelism.

Subject Area

Church and mass media--New York (N.Y.); Mass media and technology--New York (N.Y.); Seventh-day Adventists--Clergy--Training of; Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists;Technology--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists

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