Dissertation Projects

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

Gorden R. Doss

Second Advisor

R. Clifford Jones

Third Advisor

Rudolf Maier

Abstract

Problem

The current rapid growth of the church in Malawi lacks an on-going strategy to foster the membership increase and its spirituality. The failure to systematically train the laity as disciple makers has resulted in their under utilization. By default, the church has become clergy-dependent and the majority of the members warm the pews as mere spectators. Meanwhile, their conversions seem to be equated with disciple-making. There is need for a paradigm shift which will produce active lay persons who can adequately rise to the challenge of the Gospel Commission, making disciples of all nations. Although this research has a global impact, its main focus is on Malawi, a country with deep-rooted cultural practices and traditional discipleship models.

Method

The approach of the study was dictated by the definition of a disciple which is not synonymous with a convert in that a disciple reproduces faith in others and seeks to make them disciple makers too. The Old and the New Testament scriptures provided the foundational bedrock for this proposed disciple-making strategy in Malawi. The primary sources included pertinent literature on discipleship, missiological and anthropological reflections, and personal experience. The strategy emphasizes the need for lay training and deep commitment by the church administrators.

Conclusion

There were models of disciple-making in the Bible times through which future kings, prophets, priests, and other national leaders served as interns before assuming their respective offices. The learners observed and worked closely with their mentors in public and in private settings. The system helped to prevent a leadership vacuum and ungodly influences from filtering into the nation. Discipling is mentoring at best. Mentors shape the lives of their trainees. Both the ancient and the modem worlds have used mentors. Jesus called and mentored twelve uneducated men who became a nucleus of His church to reach the world nations. This disciple-making strategy will multiply the number of productive lay persons, improve the quality of their spirituality, and greatly reduce the rate of membership backdoor losses. It will also increase the number of gift-oriented ministries. The local churches will be centers of spiritual renewal. Malawi will be a mission-minded church.

Subject Area

Discipling (Christianity); Seventh-day Adventists--Malawi

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/642

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Share

COinS