Professional Dissertations DMin
A Strategy for Planting a Growing Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rivers West Conference, Nigeria
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Rivers-West Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church, like most Seventh-day Adventist Conferences in Nigeria, is growing at 1% (GC Statistics 2020) while the population of Nigeria is growing at 2.5% (The World Bank Data, 2021). The local Adventist church membership growth is not matching the country's population growth when compared to the obvious spontaneous growth of other Christian churches like the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) which began thirty-eight years after the advent of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria; they have about twenty thousand (20,000) churches (History and Growth of RCCG, 2014) while the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria has two thousand seven hundred and ninety four (2,794) churches in 2021 (GC Annual Report 2021). A major contributing factor is the Conference's lack of a strategy for planting churches.
Under the author's leadership, and the support of the Conference, a vision for church planting, as well as a strategy for accomplishing this vision, was developed. Volunteers, which composed the church-planting team were drawn from the Conference in 2019 for this mission endeavor. These volunteers were inspired and trained to become missionaries for this enterprise. At the conclusion of the project, 17 people from the church planting team were given questionnaires to evaluate the outcome of the church planting project and their spiritual growth and maturation over the course of the process.
In the Rivers-West Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church, a church was planted at Anyu in the Odul clan of Abua/Odual Local Government Area, Rivers State, Nigeria. Volunteers chosen from different parts of the Conference reported a greater awareness of the secrets for success in church planting. These success secrets include: (a) creating a mindset for pioneering mission among the members and within the conference, (b) longer-term planning, and training of volunteers, (c) creating a process for volunteers working in the church plant effort to grow and become mature disciples, and (d) recruiting participants who understand the language and the culture. Finally, the need to plant more churches and recruit volunteers for future church planting efforts was noted.
From the Conference's perspective, the volunteer's feedback, and the author's experience and engagement with this church-planting project, it was demonstrated that a combination of vision, strategy, planning, training, and perseverance resulted in a significant impact upon Anyu, Nigeria. Further, some volunteers developed a stronger drive for future church planting. But, most compelling, was the demonstration of how essential revival is, and complete reliance on the Holy Spirit. Further, research on integrating a deeper discipleship model with the volunteers and those who formed the new church plant is recommended.
Church development, New--Nigeria--Seventh-day Adventists; Church growth--Nigeria--Seventh-day Adventists; Rivers West Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. West-Central Africa Division. Eastern Nigeria Union Conference. Rivers West Conference
Maduagu, Smart B., "A Strategy for Planting a Growing Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rivers West Conference, Nigeria" (2022). Professional Dissertations DMin. 773.
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