Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
R. Clifford Jones
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, from my pastoral observation here at the New Dimension Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Brooklyn, has not been as successful in retaining the unskilled and uneducated urban poor as other ministries (for example, the Nation of Islam). We preach evangelistic messages to change the lifestyles of the poor and in the process we either lose them or leave them on government assistance because we have no viable economic program to sustain them in our faith.
The purpose of this project was to develop and implement a model of industry- based ministry by which members could be empowered to be economically viable so they would not have to depend on others for their livelihood.
I examined various examples of Industry-based Ministries (IBM) in the urban setting, identifying their impact on the community in which they serve and the transformation of the people and their living conditions. I interviewed more than 10 ministers, attended more than eight seminars, surveyed internet materials, and utilized other presentations on the subject. I also reviewed the biblical and philosophical theology that undergirds such ministries for the poor.
There were positive changes at the New Dimension Church as a result of implementing (IBM) even on the small scale. (IBM) was voted in 2005 and implemented in 2006. Between 2006 and 2007 the church grew from 227 to 295 members, reaching 381 by 2009. There was a tremendous change in the baptismal rate. Not only were members retained, the church’s membership increased by 154. There was also a positive change in stewardship faithfulness. There was a steady financial growth in the church, averaging $300,000 per year from 2005 onward. (See table 3.) There was also a quality of life change as members applied their new skills and principles to open their own businesses and enhance their employments opportunities. The Adventurer Club began to take T-shirt contracts from various churches to design T-shirts for them. As a result they raised some money for T-shirt production in the process. There was a change in the overall confidence of members. Church attendance grew, member participation soared, membership reached an all-time high and tithe increased. There have been qualitative changes at the New Dimension since (IBM) was implemented. Finally, it became evident from the research that Adventist mission to the city and eschatology call for the implementation of Industry-based Ministry for at least two reasons. Alonzo Baker, an Adventist professor, reflects the first reason when he wrote: “Believers in the Second Coming should vigorously apply the ‘first aid’ of social betterment while waiting for the full recovery that only the ‘Great Physician’ can bring upon his return.” The second reason is to prepare God’s people for the crisis ahead before the enemy takes advantage of economic conditions to pressure them to forsake the Lord.
Church work with the poor--Seventh-day Adventists; Church work with the unskilled--Seventh-day Adventists; Church work with the poor--New York--Brooklyn; Church work with the unskilled--New York--Brooklyn; New Dimension Seventh-day Adventist Church (Brooklyn, New York)
Yankson, Sendak Kojo Duffu, "Industry-based Ministry: A Pilot Project at the New Dimension S.D.A. Church" (2011). Dissertation Projects DMin. 551.
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