Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

College

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Bruce Bauer

Second Advisor

Nancy Vyhmeister

Third Advisor

Gordon Christo

Abstract

Problem

After Perestroika ushered in new opportunities for public evangelism in Russia, local and foreign evangelists have been baptizing thousands of new converts every year. The rapid growth resulting from these crusades has brought about new challenges. This study analyzes some of the challenges associated with public evangelism in Russia and suggests a strategy to improve the longterm results of these campaigns.

Method

A descriptive analysis of John Carter's 1992 evangelistic campaign in Nizhniy Novgorod city was conducted in order to suggest ways to improve long-term results from public campaigns. The strengths and weaknesses of evangelistic campaigns in Russia are discussed. A practical strategy for conducting public evangelism in Russia is clearly presented which covers the pre-evangelism phase, the conducting of the crusade, and the post- evangelism phase.

Results

The socio-political conditions which prevailed in Communist-dominated Russia made public evangelism an inappropriate method of evangelism until 1989. After the dismantling of Communism unlimited doors for public evangelism in Russia were opened. Today public evangelism is the major source of church growth in Russia. A major problem facing Russian evangelists, however, is a high attrition rate among new members. Several factors have contributed to this. First, there was little effort among Russian pastors toward building a proper concept of evangelism among members. Furthermore, most members were mere spectators while the local pastors and conference officials dominated the crusade management. Therefore, evangelists need to ensure that the local church is empowered to make the crusade their own.

Evangelists have a tendency towards preoccupation with the actual conducting of the crusade while neglecting pre- and post-evangelism phases. Obstacles to success during the pre-evangelism phase include misallocation of resources, lack of entry events, and failure to draw up action plans. The conducting of the crusade is often hampered by the lack of a system for distributing incentives and neglecting various cultural factors. The greatest need, however, is for a properly planned and funded follow-up phase. The biblical model of discipling has not been implemented and churches are failing to assimilate thousands of new members.

Conclusion

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a strategy for public evangelism in Russia in order to meet the needs of the pre-evangelism, the evangelism, and the post-evangelism phases of public crusades. Each evangelist, whether local or foreign, should give adequate priority to follow-up plans even before the crusade begins, and properly meet the many needs of spiritually mature members as well as new members.

Subject Area

Evangelistic work--Russia; Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists--Russia

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.

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/710

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Share

COinS