Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
The Greater New York Conference has several churches that have begun and sustained many programs for building interpersonal relationships between young adults within their membership. These programs have produced lukewarm results. In some cases these efforts failed. Many of the young adults have either left the church because they do not feel connected to others of their peer group, or they are present with little or no intentional ministry that relates to building their relational needs. In an interview with the immediate past and present youth directors of the conference, both admitted that there is tremendous need for a ministry that pulls young people from the fringes of the church into the center of the action. They both cited the need for genuine spiritual relationships between young adults as the greatest need of youth ministries in our territory. They conceded that a connection with God and others of similar age group is imperative for the survival of the church going forward. New Yorkers are usually very busy people. Young adults who live and work in New York are likewise very busy. Connecting them with others who can aid their spiritual and interpersonal development is of critical importance to their faith development.
A seminar series was implemented to outline the issues regarding the need for genuine community among young adults within these select churches here in Greater New York and produce an intervention strategy to assist in correcting these issues. The objective was to aid in the spiritual, personal, and interpersonal growth of the group members. Leaders were handpicked upon completion of the seminar training to begin the intervention plan that included selecting an assistant leader and a curriculum. The assistant leader’s role was to mentor and help in the organizing and execution of the meeting and ministry objectives. The curriculum we used was the I Am Second young adult curriculum. This study focused on young grown-ups from three churches within the Greater New York Conference. After meeting for 10 weeks we conducted exit interviews to collect and report the data from this study. It was a very well-organized and productive study concerning these young adults. They were conscious and deliberate in their responses to this experience.
A total of 37 persons within the three churches participated in this small group approach to ministry. The data showed that 95% of the participants shared that the experience significantly increased their connectivity with God. It was interesting to see that 100% of the respondents communicated that they got to build more meaningful relationships with fellow young adults (new and old) because of their in-depth communion over the 10-week period. And 88% of those who participated conveyed their relationship to the church was tremendously impacted, and they felt more connected. The main concern of all interviewed was that the time together was too short.
This analysis indicates that small group ministry among young adults is very effective in building genuine community. Genuine community with God, fellow young adults, and the church was enhanced tremendously. This study also suggests that if it were utilized on a wider scale it would produce similar results. I also concluded that this study could provide administrators, senior pastors, youth pastors, and mentors with materials to aid ministry to and with young adults.
Small groups--New York Metropolitan Area; Small groups--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Church work with young adults--Seventh-day Adventists; Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Bain, Ricardo V., "Building Authentic Community Through Small Group Ministry Among Young Adults of Select Churches Within the Greater New York Conference" (2014). Project Documents. 490.