Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Many of the churches in the North Kerala Section have been stagnant for years. In some churches over 50 percent of the members are inactive. This study analyzes the hindrances to the growth of three churches in the Kottayam District and suggests a strategy for church growth.
The theological, historical, missiological, and practical dimensions of church growth were examined. A church growth approach was used which included an analysis of the factors involved in the growth and decline of three SDA churches in the Kottayam district. The growth patterns of three churches over the past ten years were analyzed. Appropriate growth strategies were then designed.
The growth analysis found that one church grew because of its inspiring worship services and an active healing ministry. For ten years the pastor has not been transferred. Each member contributes to the unity of the church. The youth and the lay members take active part in witnessing. In the other two churches lay members were not interested in outreach programs due to lack of vision and insufficient training. Moreover, there was a lack of visitation, as well as of love and fellowship in the church. The worship services were monotonous and there was lack of spirituality in the church. The members felt that the programs of the church did not meet their needs.
It was concluded that a ten-day lay training program would help to train the laity to do the church activities as well as outreach activities more effectively. The introduction of a new worship format appropriate to the local situation will meet the needs of the worshippers. Prayer ministry and cell groups will make the church a praying church. Church growth seminars will help in vision building, ministry skill enhancement, and developing strategic thinking. Health seminars will help to find receptive people and to present the gospel without prejudice in new areas.
Seventh-day Adventists--India--Kerala; Church growth--India--Kerala--Seventh-day Adventists
Stephenson, Robinson, "A Church Growth Study of Three Churches in Kottayam" (2000). Professional Dissertations DMin. 668.
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