Project Documents

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ronald Costa

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

David Penno

Abstract

Problem

The task of this project was to develop, implement, and evaluate a training program for lay preachers in the Seventh-day Adventist churches within the district of Fort Washington, New York, where the author of this document has served as pastor since 2014. Given that this missionary district comprises three churches (Fort Washington, Washington Avenue, and Luz y Esperanza), it is impossible for the pastor to always preach in every one of those congregations, Therefore, the preaching responsibility falls on the shoulders of church elders and other lay preachers. Pastoral observation indicates that, out of the 400 church members who attend weekly worship services, only fifteen participated in the quarterly preaching roll, and many of them did not have an adequate level of training in preaching.

Methodology

In order to fulfill the purpose of this research project, a study on preaching and related issues was undertaken in biblical literature, in the writings of Ellen White, and in contemporary literature. An analysis of the immediate context (the Seventh-day Adventist churches of Fort Washington, Washington Avenue and Luz y Esperanza) completed the theoretical platform for the design, implementation, and evaluation of a training program on preaching. Direct observation and surveys were used to evaluate the results of the project.

Results

A major contribution of this project was that it facilitated the design, implementation, and evaluation of a training program for lay preachers within the district of Fort Washington. The final assessment reveals that the participants significantly increased their preaching skills and their knowledge about preaching. From the total of 25 participants, 15 received a score greater than 35 (from a total of 40 points possible) in the final assessment. The program was received by participants with great interest, and it helped to bring about considerable improvement in the quality of preaching in the district of Fort Washington. The program also made it possible to add 10 new names to the preaching roll, which has brought variety to the preaching program, and it has also made the pastor’s burden a bit easier. After finishing the project, many of the preachers continued to use the abilities provided during the training, and most of them adopted the thematic sermon as their preferred model for the design and delivery of sermons.

Conclusions

The results of this project confirm what the Bible and contemporary Christian literature indicate: a training program on preaching has the potential of bringing about a positive impact on local congregations where leaders might feel the need for it, as it happened in the district where this project was implemented.

Subject Area

Lay preaching; Laity--Training of; Fort Washington Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church (New York, NY); Washington Avenue Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church (Bronx, NY)

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