Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
The Normandie Avenue Seventh-day Adventist church is centrally located among other nearby Seventh-day Adventist churches in south Los Angeles, California. The presence of youth and young adults in worship services has diminished. Ministry participation among this group at Normandie has also diminished. Adventist and non-Adventist youth and young adults are not being attracted to the church or its ministries. Youth and young adults who do attend worship service and or participate in ministries do not have a strong relationship with the pastor or other spiritual figures. A 2008 study shows the median age of Adventist congregations is 51 while United States census data show the median age of the Westmont neighborhood of south Los Angeles where Normandie is located is 25. Normandie's youth and young adult situation is a microcosm of the other area Seventh-day Adventist churches in the area.
The purpose of this project was to use the sport of basketball as a vehicle to bring a pastor or spiritual leader into proximity of youth and young adults. The pastor or spiritual leader can then develop healthy relationships with the young people and serve as a spiritual mentor. This spiritual mentoring relationship strengthened the spirituality of the participants and helped to increase the presence of youth and young adults in worship service. It also aided in the increase of participation among youth and young adults in the ministries of Normandie. This project provides a model for outreach, evangelism, and overall ministry to youth and young adults. This ensures that Normandie Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church is providing relevant and effective ministry to the community where it is located.
The methodology included an open run of basketball for youth and young adults. This took place once a week for eight weeks. Spiritual disciplines were also taught to the youth and young adults who participated in the open run.
The project was implemented as proposed. Youth and young adults participated. They were exposed to a spiritual environment during game play. They were taught the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, devotion, and testimony. Relationships between youth and young adults and a spiritual mentor were formed.
The project has demonstrated that sports mixed with spirituality is an effective way to gain the interest of youth and young adults. It is an effective way to place spiritual mentors in proximity to the young people they are trying to reach. This project has also demonstrated that sports is an effective way to reach both churched and un-churched youth and young adults. This method of reaching youth and young adults can be combined with other approaches geared toward these demographics for a more complete and well-rounded ministry.
Church work with young adults--California--Seventh-day Adventists; Church work with youth--California--Seventh-day Adventists; Normandie Avenue Seventh-day Adventists (Los Angeles, Calif.); Sports--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists
Jenkins, Michael S. Jr., "Ministering to Youth and Young Adults Through a Sports Initiative in the Normandie Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church" (2019). Dissertation Projects DMin. 679.
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