Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

College

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Min Ho Joo

Second Advisor

Lisa Clouzet

Third Advisor

Joseph Kidder

Abstract

Problem

The Seventh-day Adventist Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR) data in December 2019 showed that among the 1.4 billion population in the Mainland China, there were 467,516 Adventist members, and the population per Adventist member ratio was about 3,000:1. Furthermore, there are about 50 million Chinese people living overseas. As a result, there is a great need to efficiently and effectively spread the Gospel to nearly 1.45 billion Chinese people around the world. In July 2020, the online Chinese discipleship network, ACN, was established to create a global Chinese discipleship network by connecting and utilizing Spirit-filled human resources, and providing discipleship programs to Chinese-speaking people throughout the world. The ACN needs to build a core team through an online discipleship program that transcends the geographical, political, and the pandemic boundaries.

Method

A six-week small group discipleship program was designed and conducted via Zoom video conference from February to March 2021, and the aim was to build a core team for the ACN. Among 12 enrolled members, nine members completed all the sessions. For evaluation, they were given a 4-point Likert scale questionnaire during the first and the last sessions. In addition, each participant was interviewed with the same set of questions. The data were evaluated to determine if the core team had matured to the point where it was growing by discipling other Chinese speakers or serving the ACN.

Results

Nine core team members of the ACN were trained for small group discipleship activities. Through their relational Bible studies, prayers, and spiritual fellowship in a small group setting via Zoom video conference, they received a sense of divine calling and came to abide in Christ (abide in the Holy Spirit, abide in God’s Word, and abide through prayer). The most significant change after the six-week discipleship training was the members actively participating in and leading the ACN small group activities alternatively each week. They started their own small groups to disciple and evangelize in other situations.

Conclusion

Based on the data collected from the ACN core team members who participated in this online discipleship program, it was apparent that the participants experienced transformational outcomes. The results of their active participations in the small group discipleship trainings and their leading of the ACN small group activities indicated that this discipleship intervention benefited and motivated the core team members to multiply more discipleship small groups.

Subject Area

Discipling (Christianity); Internet videoconferencing; Internet in church work; Internet in evangelistic work; Seventh-day Adventists--Missions--China

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