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

Bruce L. Bauer

Second Advisor

Rudolf Maier



In many Christian religious circles, the subject of clergy and laity has received much attention because of a sharp distinction between them. In Africa, the laypeople are expected to give allegiance to the clergy and also to depend on them for spiritual guidance and help. Although the New Testament teaches the concepts of the priesthood of all believers (1 Pet 2:5, 9-10) and the priestly ministry of the church as the function of the total church membership, there is still a persistent tendency to create a dichotomy between clergy and laity. This practice clearly shows two classes of believers: a special order, the clergy, who monopolize ministry and a second-class order for believers, the laity, who are ministered to. As a result many pastors are worn out, discouraged, and in need of affirmation, and members are not maturing in their Christian experience.


Literature on a biblical understanding of church, ministry, and the role of the laity has been reviewed through library research. Other Christians’ approaches to motivating their members for involvement were looked at through observations, informal interviews, and library research. Resources needed for the implementation of the project were developed. Seminars and workshops were conducted to impart knowledge to the church members to help them develop skills and influence change.


Despite time constraints, six seminars were completed with an average of fiftyone church members attending each seminar. Feedback on seminars indicated a positive change of attitude of the participants. The project is ongoing and church officers are very supportive of it.


The involvement of church members in this project was influenced by several factors such as former religious affiliations, search for significance, and appropriate training. Church members who continue to be uninvolved in church activities may need a personal invitation, affirmation, or one-to-one coaching to become more involved.

Subject Area

Laity--Burkina Faso--Seventh-day Adventists; Laity--Burkina Faso--Training of; Lay ministry--Burkina Faso--Seventh-day Adventists; Ouaga-Center Adventist Church (Burkina Faso)