Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Anthony Wagener Smith
There was no discipleship strategy for new members at the Mount of Olives Seventh-day Adventist Church. Although the majority of new converts remained with the congregation, the church lacked a clear plan for nurturing the spiritual growth and leadership development of its new members.
A strategy was developed in harmony with the practices and principles of biblical discipleship found in the New Testament and described in academic literature. It entailed the development of new members, particularly, and the entire congregation in general, by addressing the following four areas: spiritual nurturing, evangelism, leadership development, and stewardship/financial management. The strategy utilized traditional arenas in the church such as Sabbath worship service, Bible Class, Sabbath School, Prayer Meeting, and Revival Meetings to facilitate discipleship in the four dimension mentioned above. It also provided for the establishment of small groups, workshops, and training sessions in order to equip new members and the greater portion of the church. A combination of quantitative and qualitative measures was used to evaluate the effectiveness of discipleship strategy: namely, a questionnaire, a focus group, and an analysis of the church membership records.
The discipleship strategy had a positive impact on the spiritual growth, leadership development, and retention rate of new members at the Mount of Olives Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In the process of developing, implementing, and evaluating the project, I have grown personally and professionally. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to engage reflectively with new members and the congregation at large in the mission of evangelism, spiritual growth, and leadership development—the essence of discipleship. The discipleship intervention had a positive influence on the spiritual growth and leadership development of the new members. However, this strategy would have been more effective if it had delineated various levels of competencies that the new members needed to reach and also provided for a rite of passage celebration at each level.
Discipling (Christianity); New church members; Church work with new church members--Seventh-day Adventists; Mount of Olives Seventh-day Adventist Church (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Coleman, Michael G., "A Strategy for Discipleship of New Members at the Mount of Olives Seventh-day Adventist Church" (2018). Dissertation Projects DMin. 671.
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