Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Douglas R. Kilcher
R. Clifford Jones
The Antioch Seventh-day Adventist congregation was started in 1988 and grew steadily; however, for the last four years membership growth has plateaued. This lack of church growth has caused much concern among the church’s administration. The original hope and intention that the congregation would establish a growing church was founded on the premise that in order for the congregation to grow, it must implement intentional church growth programs.
In order to learn how churches grow, I surveyed literature on church growth. I also interviewed six pastors of growing churches — three who are Seventh-day Adventists and three who are non-Adventists — to learn what caused their churches to grow. A Task Force consisting of the members of the Antioch's church board convened many times to consider what measures the church should utilize to help effect intentional church growth. The Task Force assisted me in designing and implementing a program we believed would lead to marketability and high visibility of the church, and to numerical and spiritual church growth.
There was no significant numerical growth. However, the laity and I believe that the church has become more marketable and visible through a new approach to public evangelism. The seminars in financial planning, health and nutrition, and parent and child relationships received high ratings. The outreach programs used touched many lives, both near and far. The people have requested they be repeated. The church is cognizant that intentional outreach is necessary if we are going to witness successfully and thus experience dynamic church growth.
The study has increased my awareness of intentionality and church-growth skills. It is my intention, with the cooperation of the church, to implement some of the strategies learned, because I believe that one of the main purposes for the existence of the church is to witness to people, to invite them to commit their lives to Jesus, and to become a part of the church. This study has enriched the literature on intentional church-growth ministries.
Church growth--Seventh-day Adventists; Antioch Seventh-day Adventist Church (Long Island, N.Y.)
Forbes, Trevor Saint Aubyn, "Development of a Program for Intentional Growth in the Antioch Seventh-day Adventist Congregation, Long Island, New York" (1997). Professional Dissertations DMin. 683.
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