Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Nancy Jean Vyhmeister
The faithful fulfillment of the gospel commission demands the use of correct and appropriate methods to bring new members into the church. For this reason, the Seventh- day Adventist Church has used various evangelistic methods. The purpose of this dissertation was to make a theoretical study of friendship evangelism and prepare a workshop to train church members and local leaders. The Bible shows kindness as one of God’s attributes in dealing with human beings. Ever since Creation God has provided what human beings need to live in an environment of good relationships. One of the ways in which God showed kindness was giving Adam a companion to establish a perfect relationship.
This virtue of God’s character has been manifested throughout the history of his people in many ways, as he showed his kindness and goodwill toward them. The miraculous provision of manna, the powerful liberation from Egyptian slavery, the provision of water in the desert are but samples of God’s gracious character. The death of Christ as a ransom for humanity is the culminating demonstration of divine goodness. Ellen G. White comments frequently on this characteristic of God towards his children, showing it as a model of the kindness and good relations that should exist among human beings. In addition, she presents kindness as a means for establishing friendly relationships which can be used as a method of evangelism.
Research shows that approximately 60 percent of those who join a church had their first contact through an Adventist friend, neighbor or relative. The growth of the apostolic church and the spread of the gospel at that time was due, in a great measure, to the friendly relationships established by apostles and members. The implementation of a program of friendship evangelism in each church can help to bring in new members. For this reason, a six-hour workshop on friendship evangelism was designed for church members and leaders. The workshop can be offered at the local church level, in a church district, or even to all the pastors in a given territory. The workshop materials appear in the appendix of the dissertation. The plan proposed will not only help church members to do friendship evangelism, it will also make the church a friendlier place.
Church growth--Seventh-day Adventists; Friendship--Religious aspects; Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists
Torres de Dios, Tomas, "El Evangelismo de la Amistad Como Factor de Crecimiento en la Iglesia Adventista del Séptimo Día" (2002). Project Documents. 606.
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