Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

C. Raymond Holmes

Second Advisor

Jonathan K. Paulien

Third Advisor

Douglas R. Kilcher



For more than a decade leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have encouraged various programs under the slogan "caring Church." This new and welcome concept and its corresponding "caring ministries" are in tension with traditional programs and philosophy of lay ministry. There is a need to clarify and articulate the underlying shift toward a more "relational" approach so that truly "caring" ministries may emerge. In addition there is a confusion from the local Church all the way to the General Conference as to how various departments are coordinated.


This study documents one attempt to articulate a biblical concept of lay ministry and gives examples of "caring" ministries that emerged within three congregations. A "neighboring evangelism" model is proposed which could coordinate the personal versus corporate evangelism in such a way that both are enhanced in effectiveness. In each church the formation of "caring" ministries was preceded by programs intended to educate and motivate the members in the area of Spiritual Gifts. Months of sermons augmented with overheads and handouts focused the congregation upon realizing their own personal "caring" ministry.

Testing of Concept

The concepts and programs developed in the three churches were tested on the small urban university church of Berkeley.California. Over a six- month period the various motivational programs along with certain "caring" ministries were tried. At the close a cross section of the congregation was interviewed. It was found that the fundamental concepts had been learned and valued but that individual and corporate ministries need more time to develop. The coordinating of individual and corporate ministries has demonstrated the viability of the neighboring evangelism model.

Subject Area

Lay ministry--Seventh-day Adventists; Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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