Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Anthony Wagener Smith
The membership data from the Waitara Church revealed a gain of 1.33% in baptisms and professions of faith. However, attendance data collected indicated that the weekly attendance numbers in the Waitara Church, within the Greater Sydney on any given Sabbath; did not add up to the numbers found on the local church membership roll. This disparity in membership numbers raised questions regarding the whereabouts of those who do not attend church any longer but continue to claim to be Seventh-day Adventists, this is a member retention problem that needs attention.
Reconnecting ministry strategy was developed in order to reconnect with former and missing Adventists in the Waitara Church within the Greater Sydney Conference. After a 14-month preparatory period, a Home Coming Event was held on May 6, 2017; at the Waitara Seventh-day Adventist Church. The efficacy of the project was evaluated by the attendance of former members.
The implementation of the reconnecting ministry program resulted in a first for the Waitara Church with 15 former members in attendance. While churches in Greater Sydney Conference were encouraged to hold a Home Coming Event, according to reports, the Waitara Church was most successful because of its intentional strategy. The outcomes were very encouraging with members suggesting that a similar initiative be held every alternate year. The testimonies from former members who attended the Home Coming Event were appreciative of the fact that the church had not forgotten them. There were requests from other churches to hold a similar program in their churches.
Based on the results of the implementation of this strategy, to reconnect with former and missing members in the church at Waitara, it does seem to be an effective way to establish relationships with those who no longer attend church. This strategy also appears to have had a very positive impact on the spiritual climate of the church in Waitara; therefore, to implement this strategy biannually is recommended. Studying the possibility of implementing this strategy in other churches both in the Greater Sydney and other Conferences within the Australian Conferences is also merited.
Church work with ex-church members--Seventh-day Adventists; Ex-church members--Seventh-day Adventists; Waitara Seventh-day Adventist Church (NSW, Australia)
Govender, Roger, "Development and Implementation of a Ministry Program To Reconnect Former Adventists within the Waitara Seventh-day Adventist Church" (2018). Professional Dissertations DMin. 723.
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