Project Documents

Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Bruce Bauer

Second Advisor

Jon Dybdahl

Third Advisor

Nancy Vyhmeister

Abstract

Chachkapi Church is the only growing church in its pastoral district. However, its growth is very slow. Adventism first came at Chachkapi in 1957 and by 1998 it had grown to 161 members. This shows its potential for growth. The church members are Oraon and the majority of the people who live around the area belong to the same community. Oraons were the first to accept Christianity in Chotanagpur South Bihar. Growth was by a people movement. According to present trends, churches among the Oraons are growing slower in comparison to the other tribals in Chotanagpur.

In an attempt to find a way to help the church grow this study looks carefully at two things: first, the Oraon community is carefully analyzed. Special attention is paid to their world view, cultural beliefs, practices, and needs. Second, the Oraon church a't Chachkapi is examined historically to discover growth patterns as well as reasons for both growth and stagnation.

Based on this analysis, a detailed strategy aimed at promoting church growth is proposed which has three major parts: (1) a plan to meet temporal and spiritual needs by community caring and close identification, (2) evangelism methods which hope to foster a people movement, and (3) follow-up training and equipping new members for service and evangelism. The paper concludes with specific recommendations for further use of this strategy.

Subject Area

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

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