Dissertation Projects DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Nancy Jean Vyhmeister

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

Alfonso Valenzuela


The success or failure of small groups in a church is determined by the leadership of the groups. A good group begins with a good leader. The quality of a group depends on the qualifications of its leader. Because this fact has not been kept in mind in Mexico City, the small group program has been weak. The purpose of this dissertation was to remedy this situation by developing a program for recruitment, training, and motivation of small group leaders. Moses used the small group to minister to the people of Israel. To do so he carefully chose thousands of leaders. The small group was the primary method of training for the twelve apostles. The early church used small groups to fulfill the Great Commission. The church growth movement in the second half of the twentieth century made the continuous multiplication of small groups a universally valid principle of spiritual and numerical growth.

Evangelical authors write at length about the importance of the leadership in small groups. From the literature it is clear that the essential elements in leadership are careful recruitment, adequate training, and constant motivation. One of the main functions of a pastor is to find and train leaders. In recruitment one must consider the qualifications a leader must have, as well as how and when to recruit. Training includes the study and identification of spiritual gifts, one-on-one training, and preparation in a formal class setting. The third aspect of the program deals with the principles involved in ongoing motivation of leaders.

The City of Mexico, with more than 8 million inhabitants, presents an enormous challenge to evangelization. Adventism has progressed, but it needs solid programs, with good lay leaders. This program of recruitment, training, and motivation was designed for Mexico City. It was applied in two pastoral districts: Central and Mixcoac, in the first for three years and in the second for four months. As part of the program, a ten-hour workshop to train lay leaders and pastors in the direction of small groups was developed and applied. The experience in the two districts put the effectiveness of the program to the test. A formal evaluation was made by a survey of the small group leaders who had been involved.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Mexico City (Mexico); Small groups--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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