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

Jeanette Bryson

Second Advisor

Baraka Muganda

Third Advisor

Boubakar Sanou



As a pastor in local South Korean Adventist churches in the United States, I tried several times to train and nurture members, but there was not much fruit. I discovered that the activities of lay leaders in these churches were steadily declining. Although there are many causes, the most serious challenge is a lack of leadership development training for lay leaders. And then, when leadership training is provided, the program fails to promote an evangelistic passion and ultimately causes a deficit of training for future church leaders. Even when churches do provide the program, many Korean Adventists cannot attend the training session due to distance, lack of time, and/or apathy.


This study used interviews to identify the factors that might influence the lay leadership in ministry. Some were personal calls and others group communication by teleconferencing. Some of the responses were observations from the organization of the Early Bird Bible School from 2008 to 2014. Library research, a theological analysis of lay leadership, a contextual analysis of the Early Bird Bible School and ministries of Korean Adventist Church in North America were pursued to design a leadership development strategy for lay leaders.


The results of the data analysis showed that the number of applicants and lay leaders interested in the Early Bird Bible School increased steadily from 2008 to 2014. The results of the 2010 census showed that Korean-speaking Koreans living in North America are increasing even though immigrants from Korea are decreasing. It indicated a need for language training for lay leaders and a need to provide a leadership training program in the Korean language. The location of the Korean Adventist Churches in North American showed that they cannot easily cooperate with other churches unless they are in big cities. The distance creates time and financial barriers; however, communication is possible through teleconferencing as shown in the Early Bird Bible School. The limitations of geographic distance can be diminished through technology.


The results of the study of the Early Bird Bible School indicated that building lay leadership requires spiritual training based on regular Bible study, prayer, and ministry, as well as practical training based on the needs for the responsibility. Interviews with leaders indicated that there is a need for a mature leader and a system of accountability. A mature leader in this sense means someone who is consistent in word and deed, task-oriented, and searching for a spiritually rewarding experience. This study suggests that all churches need to be training centers for the development of lay leadership.

Subject Area

Christian leadership--Seventh-day Adventists; Laity--Korea (South)--Training of; Teleconferencing; Early Bird Bible School

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.