Project Documents

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

Russell Burrill

Second Advisor

Eduardo Schmidt

Third Advisor

Zebron M. Ncube

Abstract

Problem

The Henderson Highway Seventh-day Adventist Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was failing to attract unchurched young adults (ages 18-35). Many of the young adults who had grown up in the church were lapsing into irregular worship attendance. Attempts were made to help the congregation become more relevant to postmodern generations. However, these attempts failed to create a church environment that truly engaged young adults.

Method

Under the direction of its senior pastor, the Henderson Highway Church decided to plant a new congregation to reach unchurched young adults. The church was designed to be relevant to the postmodern context. Launched at the end of 2006, the new congregation focused on being an authentic community and creating a culture of evangelism. The Lighthouse of Hope Church was conceived as a high expectation church in which all members are expected to participate in cell groups and be involved in ministry. Sabbath worship experiences were designed to be informal and contemporary.

Results

From a small core group of sixteen individuals, The Lighthouse grew in two years to become a church family of more than 100 who attend worship at least monthly. At the end of 2008, the average worship attendance was 63 people per Sabbath. Half of the adults who regularly attend are in the target age range of 18-35. Half of the 28 individuals who were added to the church by baptism or profession of faith in the first two years were young adults. As of the end of 2008, 82 percent of regularly attending young adults were involved in ministry, and 77 percent were actively participating in small groups. Half of the regulars were not attending an Adventist Church prior to connecting with The Lighthouse. A Natural Church Development survey conducted in March of 2009 indicated exceptional church health.

Conclusions

In its first two years, The Lighthouse Church has been relatively effective at engaging young adults. Many more such congregations must be planted in order to reach postmodern generations. To fulfill the Great Commission, the Seventh-day Adventist Church must become a church multiplication movement in which newly planted churches repeatedly give birth to new daughter congregations.

Subject Area

Church development, New--Seventh-day Adventists; Church development, New--Manitoba--Winnipeg; Henderson Highway Seventh-day Adventist Church (Winnipeg, Man.); Church work with young adults--Seventh-day Adventists

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/587

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