Project Documents

Date of Award

1984

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

George Rice

Second Advisor

Steven Vitrano

Third Advisor

C. Raymond Holmes

Abstract

The church is a divinely called, divinely directed, and divinely destined institution. Yet the church is composed of human beings who are accustomed to human institutions. These humans tend to lead the church as any other institution, unless reminded frequently of the divine aspects of the church. To emphasize these divine aspects involves focusing attention on the Holy Spirit. The Spirit links Christ, the Head, with the church body. Certain factors facilitate the Spirit's ability to communicate the desires of the Head to the church body. Foremost among these is a conscious dependence of human decision makers upon the Spirit for direction and motive.

This project undertakes the development of that conscious dependence in the lives of the members of a nominating committee, two church boards, and a conference executive committee. The primary method involved an initial survey to determine attitudes and understandings regarding the nature of the church and of the Spirit's work with it. This was followed by study, discussion, and experimentation with various suggestions for greater Spirit dependence. The study concluded with an evaluation of the project by the participants. The rationale for the project involves a study of the nature of the church and of the Spirit's relationship to the church. This study is done from three perspectives that of Biblical writers, of Ellen White, and of theological and/or ecclesiastical writers.

The experience of the writer, along with that of the church decision makers involved in this project, seems to confirm the thesis of this project: Leading a church into a study of current organizational and decision-making techniques, along with a study of the Holy Spirit's leadership of the church in the past, can help in creating a climate of Spirit dependence in the decision-making bodies of that church.

Subject Area

Church polity

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/556

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