Project Documents

Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Erich Baumgartner

Second Advisor

Bruce Bauer

Third Advisor

Russell Staples

Abstract

Problem

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ghana is growing at a very fast rate. The rate of growth far exceeds the rate at which ministers are trained. There were over 300,000 baptized members at the end of 2005 and fewer than 200 pastors. The pastor to laity ratio is therefore very high. Some of the elders who are assisting the pastors do not have the needed skills to work effectively as leaders. As a result of this there is an increase in apostasies especially among new converts.

Method

In an attempt to train the laity in Ghana to assist the pastor in performing some pastoral duties, I have designed a curriculum to train the laity in Ghana. In designing the curriculum an attempt was made to look at the major tasks of a lay-leader in the local church. Six main areas were identified: leading congregations, worship, special services, committees, evangelistic outreach, and congregational health. Other factors such as biblical models of leadership as well as leadership models in the Ghanaian society were also considered. The curriculum was designed in the context of adult learning and a non-formal educational type of training. The training program has been designed to run for ten to fourteen days of intensive instruction followed by applied learning in the field through group discussions. There will be area (district) group leaders who will organize monthly follow up group discussions to keep the program going for six-months. After the six month period there will be a week-end retreat for reflection, assessment, and evaluation for those who attended the training program.

Preliminary Results

In my study of Theological Education by Extension (TEE) programs in Africa, I learned about some of the problems other instructors encountered and what helped them to be successful. I have also tested this curriculum in my local congregation and currently have about thirty equipped lay-leaders who perform most of the roles of a local pastor. By addressing some of the problems encountered by field based training programs this training program should be successful.

Conclusion

The curriculum developed to train the laity in Ghana will be a helpful tool to develop leaders that will support the pastors in their ministry assignments by helping train local leaders for the growing churches in Ghana. This will also help to offset the leadership needs in the Seventh- day Adventist churches in Ghana.

Subject Area

Laity--Seventh-day Adventists--Ghana; Laity--Seventh-day Adventists--Training of; Seventh-day Adventists--Ghana

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/625

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