Project Documents

Title

A Church Growth Study and Strategy for the Botswana Seventh-day Adventist Church

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

Bruce L. Bauer

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

Russell L. Staples

Abstract

Problem

The task of this dissertation was to evaluate church growth patterns of the Botswana Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church to determine factors that affect growth and to develop strategies to enhance its growth. Since its establishment in 1921, the Botswana SDA Church has not experienced consistent growth. By year-end 2000 it had a baptized membership of 20,295, twenty- four national pastors, fifty-seven organized churches, and eighty-six companies. A statistical analysis for 1990 to 2000 shows a decrease in annual baptisms and a steady increase in drop-outs, missing, and dying members.

Method

In an attempt to find a way in which the two fields could be helped to experience growth, this study looked carefully at two things: (1) Botswana’s historical background, and (2) Botswana’s growth patterns, as well as reasons for both growth and non-growth. A questionnaire was administered to 206 members of six selected churches. The results of the field survey were organized into tables giving frequencies and percentages of the responses. The data were analyzed and conclusions drawn based on the responses. The final results of the field survey showed that the following issues hinder growth and must be attended to if the two fields are to experience healthy growth: lack of lay involvement, poor spirituality of church members, insufficient numbers of pastors to fill district positions, great losses due to drop-outs and missing members, poor giving of tithes and offerings, lack of consistent church planting, and lack of SDA schools to foster Christian education.

Based on the analysis of the field surveys, some church growth strategies are suggested to enable the church to address factors hindering growth:

(1) Conduct church growth awareness seminars

(2) emphasize personal spiritual formation, lay training, and assimilation strategies, and

(3) stress church planting movements, and Christian education.

Conclusion

The dissertation concludes with specific recommendations to the church leaders, indicating that further field surveys need to be done on a larger scale in order to measure growth and to see whether the churches are experiencing growth or decline.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Botswana; Church growth--Botswana--Seventh-day Adventists

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/540

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