Dissertation Projects

Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Bruce L. Bauer

Second Advisor

Douglas R. Kilcher

Third Advisor

Erich W. Baumgartner

Abstract

Problem

The Euro-Asia Division is experiencing many challenges due to rapid growth in membership during the decade of 1985-1995. This study shows some of the main needs of the Division and suggests a strategy for developing home churches in order to meet the present challenges.

Method

A church-growth analysis of the Euro-Asia Division was conducted for the years 1985-1995 to discover problems and challenges. The advantages that a home-church approach would bring in solving many of the challenges is discussed. Guiding principles for organizing house churches and training home-church leaders are suggested.

Results

The church-growth analysis showed that the main challenges in the Euro-Asia Division are apostasy of new members, inadequate number of pastors, inadequate number of church buildings, and multitudes of unreached people. Home churches are effective means for assimilating new members, for providing pastoral care and adequate worship environment, and for reaching unreached people. It was \ suggestion that small groups be started on the basis of common interests but gradually move to the geographical groups. It was concluded that all four components of a home-church meeting (nurture, worship, community, and mission) should be included in each meeting. The role of the pastor and the involvement of the congregation was shown as vital for the success of house churches. The type of small group system (the appendage system, the incorporated system, and the integrated system) that is developed largely depends on who starts the house-church ministry, with lay leaders, assigned leaders, and pastoral leaders all impacting in different ways. To achieve 90 percent involvement of the congregation in home churches and successful outreach through small groups, the integrated system was shown to be best. A suggested training schedule, method of training, and principles for the selection of the home-church leaders are presented.

Conclusions

The integrated system for home churches is suggested in order to meet the challenges in the Euro-Asia Division. Each pastor in the Division should provide dynamic leadership in the development of a house-church ministry and should be personally involved in the training of the group leaders.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Russia; Euro-Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists; House churches--Russia

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/621

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