Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

Alfonso Valenzuela

Third Advisor

Miguel A. Valdivia


The purpose of this dissertation was to promote the use of work teams in the Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. A team is defined as a group of individuals who keep a reciprocal relationship and coordinate their tasks regularly in order to achieve a common goal. Unilateral decision-making and unidirectional communication are incompatible with the basic nature of the church.

This project develops a training program for team leaders at the local church, based on the leadership principles derived from the life and ministry of Nehemiah. In the study of the literature, Nehemiah stands out as a model of spirituality, integrity of character, and leadership of teams. He showed outstanding organization, planning, coordination, delegating, and conflict management skills. Training was offered in the form of a seminar named “Hands to the Task.” This seminar applies the concepts gleaned from the theological analysis and team management theories, within a nine-hour curriculum module. The seminar reviews the theoretical basis of the subject area, and proposes practical strategies for the formation and leadership of teams at the local church level.

The thesis proposes that the team leaders at Maranatha have a need for training in specific areas. The objective of gaining knowledge about the way work-teams function in order to increase their likelihood of becoming productive units was identified. With this in mind, the goal of promoting better coordination in the fulfillment of the church’s mission through the use of work teams was set. The research analyzes the thought of leadership and group dynamics theorists, and discusses the foundations needed for teamwork, the leadership principles for team leaders, and the functional mechanics of teamwork. It also studies the themes of communication, conflict management, and strategies for promoting effective group meetings.

The implementation of this project proved very beneficial for the leaders at the Maranatha church. It gave them the opportunity of reviewing previously learned concepts, of exploring new ideas in the field of group dynamics, of learning new skills in the leadership of teams, and of promoting an environment of cooperation and motivation. Post-seminar surveys show that the congregation is more satisfied with its leaders. Teamwork at Maranatha is more efficient and is helping the church grow.

Subject Area

Maranatha Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church (Grand Rapids, MI); Leadership--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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