Project Documents

Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Werner K. Vyhmeister

Second Advisor

Samuel J. Gaikwad

Third Advisor

Nancy J. Vyhmeister

Abstract

The task of this dissertation was to study the factors that have affected the growth of the Kolhapur church in south Maharashtra and to develop a strategy to revitalize the church. Twenty-five years ago, Seventh-day Adventist churches in Maharashtra were spiritually lively and active. But in recent years the churches have become weak; the attendance is nominal and there is little vibrancy.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kolhapur was viewed through the dynamics of church-growth principles, especially those applicable in the Indian context. The history of the church, together with membership statistics, provided information on the church over the last decade. The opinions of present and former members, as well as former pastors, were consulted to obtain information on the church and factors affecting its growth. For the sake of comparison, three growing churches in Maharashtra were studied.

Based on church-growth theory and the analysis of the Kolhapur Church, a growth strategy was devised. This strategy places emphasis on revival, accompanied by improvements in the worship services and preaching. It suggests celebrations and conventions as appropriate means to attain both qualitative and quantitative growth. The strategy also recommends the formation of small groups, a women's group, and house churches. Following this strategy should help revitalize the church. It should also provide for qualitative and quantitative growth, with prepared lay persons leading out in worship and evangelism. The pastoral force will be encouraged and young people will be inspired to enter pastoral training.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--India--Maharashtra; Church growth--India--Maharashtra--Seventh-day Adventists;

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/457

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