Dissertation Projects

Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

R. Clifford Jones

Second Advisor

Gorden R. Doss

Third Advisor

James J. North, Jr.

Abstract

Problem

The church in Zimbabwe involves lay people in ministry, but the proportion of people involved is small compared to the total membership of the church. Further, while the church believes in the biblical teaching on spiritual gifts, this concept is not given enough emphasis in enlisting members for ministry. This results in some members experiencing frustration as they serve in ministries for which they are not gifted. Others stay uninvolved either because they are not personally invited to take part, or because they do not find a ministry in the church that matches their gifts.

Method

In this dissertation, I set out to understand the teaching of Scripture regarding spiritual gifts in ministry. I consulted the Bible, Bible commentaries, periodicals, books, and web resources to gain an understanding of scriptural teaching and the views of other writers. I conducted several interviews with church leaders in Zimbabwe. I also conducted a survey among Zimbabweans living in the United States of America to establish their views and experience about lay ministry in Zimbabwe. A similar survey was sent to Zimbabwe but results were not easy to get given the prevailing economic situation that made movement too costly and impractical.

Results

This research strengthened my conviction that God expects all believers to participate in ministry in the context of their spiritual gifts. I was impressed with the emphasis placed on evangelism in Zimbabwe, but was concerned that the church appears to focus more on implementing programs and achieving goals than in ensuring that each member is having a role to play in ministry.

Conclusions

There is need to educate both leadership and the church at large in Zimbabwe concerning God’s call to every member and the enabling gifts that come along with this call. It is my conviction that if the church in Zimbabwe can educate members about their spiritual gifts and aim to involve all members in ministry, God’s work will prosper much more than is presently the case.

Subject Area

Laity--Zimbabwe--Seventh-day Adventists; Lay ministry--Zimbabwe--Seventh-day Adventists; Seventh-day Adventists--Zimbabwe

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/515

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