Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
S. Joseph Kidder
Over the past five years (2015-2020) the Brantford Seventh-day Adventist Church has experienced a decline of baptism among young people ages 10-14. Some of them have been involved in church programs, and some have attended the local Christian school. According to Barna (2003a), children are more ready to accept Jesus at ages 10-14. At Brantford Seventh-day Adventist Church, this is the average range of the children. This church has more than 80 families and more than twenty-five children at that age group. After many of them leave for high school, they lose interest in baptism and in following Jesus.
With the help of my adviser and church leaders, a six-week seminar was conducted to address the situation. The seminars were intended to provide a biblical view on parenting and to educate the parents on how to guide their children to accept Jesus. These seminars were held in the local church on Sabbath afternoons. Parents were asked to fill out questionnaires before and after the seminars. This provided an understanding of the relationships that parents have to the unbaptized youth, age 10-16.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the seminars were not so well attended but the six parents who attended gained valuable information. Parents shared their experiences and their practices of raising their children and understood more clearly their responsibility, God’s call for them, and an improved biblical foundation of parenting. The parents of Brantford church, who participated in this study understood that the church is a place of spiritual guidance, and so is the school, but the home is the primary place where the children receive spiritual nurture, guidance, and leadership for their spiritual lives. They were convinced that family worship, church attendance, and quality time with their children, were crucial to their gradual conversion and decision for baptism.
All of the parents who attended the seminar completely agreed with the content of the presentations and were willing to implement them in their families, and the leaders were fully supportive. The concern I had before the seminars that parents would not accept the content very willingly seemed to have vanished during the seminars. Most importantly they were equipped with the materials that they needed for raising their children. These seminars can be modified and used to further nurture the congregation, and as outreach in the community.
Church work with children--Seventh-day Adventists; Evangelistic work--Canada; Brantford Seventh-day Adventist Church (Brantford, Canada)
Gietsel, Alexander, "An Evangelistic Approach to Children of the Brantford Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brantford, Canada" (2022). Professional Dissertations DMin. 754.
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