Professional Dissertations DMin
God, Others, and Ourselves - The Stories We Tell and the Meaning We Make: A Narrative Approach to Adventist Mission in the South England Conference of the British Union Conference, United Kingdom
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
A disconnect exists between the Adventist Church in the United Kingdom and its wider context as evidenced through the reduced number of accessions coming from the majority population and from second, third, and subsequent migrant generations. This present study was to propose and trial a worldview awareness training experience.
A Six Conversation journey experience was devised and presented over a six-week period in the summer of 2021 via Zoom, in line with adaptations due to the COVID pandemic. Volunteer Adventist participants would explore their individual and collective meaning and identity narratives, grow awareness and understanding of other such narratives in their context, and engage these meaning/identity narratives considering a Scriptural perspective in which God consistently seeks ways to be among, and identify with, humankind. Seven participants agreed to be interviewed at the conclusion of the training experience. Qualitative interview data was evaluated using the Kirkpatrick model for training evaluation.
The study brought a range of individuals together with varying ethnic and national identities and invited them to journey together for six weeks. The online nature of the presentations and interactions were a hindrance to relational interface intended to draw participants into the experiences and perspectives of others. Nevertheless, interviewees shared regarding intersecting points with their faith journey that brought both affirmation and challenge, while also indicating that intervention concepts were found to be worthwhile in individual mission and ministry contexts. Most expressed confidence that they would be able to practice these locally. At time of evaluation there are no visible or discernible Level 4 outcomes due, in part, to the nature of the online platform combined with participants who were not otherwise known to one another and who were geographically separated, but more importantly because such outcomes cannot be meaningfully measured two to four weeks after the Six Conversation experience.
While the qualitative data does not seek to objectively measure the results of the intervention, the insights gained from this study suggest, (a) value in and appetite for the general approach, (b) the desire from a diverse church membership for the journeying experience, and (c) that there should be further, more intentional development of the intervention for a hybrid digital/in-person experience to facilitate the maturing and expansion of the concepts. This intervention appears to have found touch points within the Adventist community in the UK.
Storytelling--England--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; South England Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists; General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Trans-European Division. British Union Conference. South England Conference; Seventh-day Adventists--Missions--England; Self-consciousness (Awareness)--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Self-perception--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists
Erasmus, Wayne B., "God, Others, and Ourselves - The Stories We Tell and the Meaning We Make: A Narrative Approach to Adventist Mission in the South England Conference of the British Union Conference, United Kingdom" (2022). Professional Dissertations DMin. 764.
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