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

Walton Williams

Second Advisor

Tankiso Letseli

Third Advisor

Stanley Patterson



Baptismal percentages are not marching with retention levels. The desire to meet baptism goals has slowly caused a shift in emphasis with more attention on winning souls than in keeping them. Comparing baptisms to losses for the Zambia Union Conference for the period 2001 to 2005 reveals that the annual retention rate drastically dropped while evangelistic initiatives and funding increased. This trend has caused an imbalance in evangelism. The current project will investigate this trend in order to determine its possible cause before providing solutions.


I used ten focus groups with ten members each. After training, the researcher gave the focus groups the task of discussing the questionnaire forms, coming up with answers, and analyzing the answers that addressed the project title. The findings would provide seminar material for continuous training that could be used in the district. Other works related to my project title were also consulted.


The author discovered that poor visitation by the leadership of the local church is the greatest cause for backsliding. The other discovery of the project was an imbalance between the winning and nurturing aspects of evangelism (Matt 28: 19 - 20). This, too, leads to an early exit by the newly-baptized. The survey also indicated poor relational skills in the local church.


Relational skills, based on Christian leadership (servant leadership) in a local church, can significantly reduce the level of apostasy. At the same time, it can increase membership since its focus is leading others by serving and serving others by leading. This kind of leadership also creates a balance between the two forms of evangelism: winning and nurturing.

Subject Area

Servant leadership--Zambia; Servant leadership--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Evangelistic work--Zambia; Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists; Nakonde Mission District of Seventh-day Adventists; Church work--Zambia--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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