Project Documents

Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

A. Barry Gane

Second Advisor

R. Clifford Jones

Third Advisor

James J. North

Abstract

Problem

In several churches in the Northeastern Conference and, in particular, the Brooklyn Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church, the adult membership has dominated the positions of leadership. Most of the potential youth leaders have painfully become spectators rather than players and leaders in the church. The goal of this dissertation, therefore, is to develop and implement a program to empower these youth through training, mentoring, positioning, and liberation.

The Method

Any theology that does not have a biblical foundation is suspect and, therefore, humanistic. A theology of youth ministry was developed within a biblical context. The intent of the study was to embrace the biblical underpinnings that would give it legitimacy. There was an historical overview of the inception and development of youth ministries in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Brooklyn Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church. The program to empower youth was presented. This consists of a prechurch Leaders-in-Training survey geared to identify responses to the areas of needs for the training seminars, a Post-Leaders-in-Training survey to discover how the effectiveness of the training seminars, and an evaluation of the entire program.

The Results

The results of the surveys revealed a vast improvement in the lives of the youth with respect to the understanding and detailing of their responsibilities as leaders. The evaluation indicated that there was an overwhelming appreciation for and approval of the program conducted. The participants in the program felt that because of the value and importance of the program, it should be conducted over a longer period in order to get the maximum benefits from it. Between 80 to 100 percent overall improvement was achieved at the end of the presentations, when compared to the beginning of the seminars. The participants believed that the program was worthy of being conducted around the entire conference territory. Hence, there will be an effort developed to take the program to all the churches of the Northeastern Conference.

Conclusions

The Brooklyn Temple of Seventh-day Adventists has experienced a spiritual renaissance. The youth have been trained and have indicated the confidence they now possess in their theoretical and practical knowledge of the many aspects of their leadership preparation. The church has become a youth-friendly church, creating a positive environment where youth feel like partners in ministry with the adult members. The youth have been placed in numerous offices and have assumed some of the leading ones, which require them becoming members of the church board. The youth have also been given the opportunity to execute their responsibilities in a creative manner. Where the traditional approaches have not been as effective in more contemporary settings, the youth are testing and utilizing innovative approaches to do effective ministry. They are having resounding success. Truly, the youth of the Brooklyn Temple Seventh-day Adventist church have been empowered through training, mentoring, positioning, and liberation, and are ready to make a difference in the lives of the youth of the church and those in the ambit of their influence.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--New York--Brooklyn; Brooklyn Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.); Youth in church work--Seventh-day Adventists

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/505

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