Project Documents

Date of Award

2005

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

Eduardo Schmidt

Third Advisor

Nancy J. Vyhmeister

Abstract

Churches in Northeast Brazil (NB), including the Seventh-day Adventist Church, have been growing rapidly. Their numerical growth is phenomenal by any estimation. However, these churches are growing numerically and not in depth. We see a discipleship deficit among new believers in the form of a high rate of backdoor losses, unawareness of the meaning and duties of discipleship, spiritually undisciplined members, absence of intentional relationships to share faith, biblical illiteracy, and lack of church fellowship. How can churches in Northeast Brazil grow in quality, reproducing fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ?

Method

Current literature related to the problem was reviewed, including books and articles on the principles, strategies, and programs to enrich my notion of discipleship in the context of evangelization. Factors responsible for the superficial discipleship that has contributed to the loss of new members in Teresina-one of the principal cities of Northeast Brazil-were also investigated. Personal and corporate models of discipleship were examined in order to create a holistic scheme that provides an integrative strategy of the various components of evangelism toward the end of making disciples for the NB territory.

Conclusion

Christian churches lose ground because they lack plans for developing spiritual maturity in the fives of believers. A mature believer is one who is growing in his/her love for Christ, is growing in his/her love for other believers, and is growing in his/her ability to reach the world. Jesus’ ministry and teachings put spiritual maturity at the heart of the gospel’s mandate (Matt 28:19, 20). As a result of this research, a discipleship model was created to help new converts become responsible members. This model suggests an intentional strategy for shaping and molding the fives of believers into the image of Jesus Chris. The model consists of a simple organizational structure that encourages and enables ministry to occur, and emphasizes spiritual multiplication through training. The model releases people into ministry according to their spiritual gifts.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Brazil, Northeast; Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists--Brazil, Northeast; Discipling (Christianity)

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/467

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