Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Donald C. James
Korean society is in a state of serious emotional distress. This is evidenced by the fact that South Korea had the highest suicide rate among the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the years 2002-2013. Despite this alarming state of affairs, there has been no extensive or long-term plan incorporated into the discipleship and small group ministries of the Nonsan Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Korea to equip the members with the skill to improve their emotional health. If the members could be equipped with such skills, they would be empowered with the ability to cope with difficult situations with hope, peace, and patience. This in turn will enable and embolden the members to build encouraging relationships with people both in the church and in the community, grow in spiritual maturity, and witness to the eternal gospel manifested in their lives. Therefore, there exists a need to develop a plan to equip the members with the skills to improve their own emotional health to benefit not only themselves but the community around them.
The BEHOLD Model will equip the Nonsan SDA Church members to lead cell groups into emotional health in the context of Korean culture. This model incorporates a strategy for the members to experience the heart changing power of the love of God by beholding Jesus Christ as the Saviour and Healer every day and by learning the seven principles of emotional health at the weekly cell group meetings. It will take two years for the model to be implemented into the context of the cell group ministry of the church. The first six weeks of the BEHOLD Model will be allocated to prepare the members to be aware of the need for emotional health, and to be ready for the 21-month, seven-stage journey to emotional health. Each three-month stage will supply the individual member with daily devotionals that will guide one’s thoughtful contemplation of the life of Jesus Christ. Learning of the principles will be accomplished during the weekly meetings of the cell group. At the end of the journey, another six weeks will be spent on the evaluation and further development of the project.
The project is expected to help the members of the Nonsan SDA Church to be equipped to lead cell groups into emotional health. As a result, they will be able to develop the skills to recognize their own emotions, distinguish emotions from sensation, mood, and feeling, feel free, comfortable, and honest with their emotions, discern whether their emotions are healthy or unhealthy, search out the reasons for their emotions, understand the relation between heart, mind, and emotion, change their hearts into accordance with God’s heart, reorient the mind according to the will of God, enjoy an abundant life of healthy emotions, and witness to the reality of Christianity via being known by their healthy emotions in the community.
The BEHOLD Model is designed to heal the wounded heart and broken spirit instead of each emotion itself, because the heart and spirit are the center of emotional experiences. This project, therefore, focuses on change of the heart and renewal of the mind in terms of the gospel of Christianity. While the Nonsan SDA Church members must learn the skills for emotional health, the hearts of the members need to first be in sympathy with God’s heart of sacrificial love and their minds be renewed into Christ’s mind of humility. Once the Nonsan SDA Church members have healed hearts and renewed minds, the learned skills for emotional health will have lasting benefit in their lives. The healthy emotions abundantly flowing out of their lives will be a blessing to the troubled world around them.
Koreans--Mental health; Mental health--Korea (South); Small groups--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Nonsan Seventh-day Adventist Church (South Korea)
Byun, Kyungbo, "Equipping the Members to Lead Cell Groups into Emotional Health in the Nonsan Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Korea" (2016). Project Documents. 499.