Project Documents

Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

S. Joseph Kidder

Third Advisor

Richard Sylvester

Abstract

Problem

Pastors tend to hover over the churches and many of the functions of ministry within the local church. Church members demonstrate little personal spiritual growth or activity in witnessing to their communities. A specific church in New York City will be selected as a laboratory for experimentation with the premise that a non-pastor dependent church can achieve better than average growth.

Method

A systematic study of the Bible, Spirit of Prophecy, commentaries, books, and articles concerning the development of church leadership and growth was reviewed. Once theological and historical data on non-pastor dependent churches and church growth was identified, it was utilized for training, equipping, and empowering lay members. A program of teaching and training was used to create a culture of non-pastor dependence in a New York City church in a diverse urban community.

Results

The model church experienced a revitalization. Members learned spiritual leadership which was demonstrated in their taking the initiative in forming various ministries, experiencing above average church growth and planting new churches.

Conclusions

A non-pastor lay empowered church can be created through education, training, and coaching in a diverse urban environment. Apparently such a church can demonstrate a high rate of growth when compared with similar churches in the same territory.

Subject Area

Lay ministry; Church management--New York (N.Y.); Church growth; Church renewal; Church work; Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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