Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
James Lorenz II
The Tracy Seventh-day Adventist Church is facing a shortage of committed leaders and volunteers. Most of the current ones have been serving for several decades and they desire to train and mentor potential replacements, but there are not enough people from the younger generations to take up the mantle. The demographics of the church do not represent the demographics of the community; older adults are overrepresented and younger adults are underrepresented. The church needs more youth and young adults to relieve the older members, or else the church's existence could be in jeopardy.
In consultation with my advisor and using information gleaned from theological reflection and a review of relevant literature, I developed a three-phase intervention that had a total of 13 steps. The first phase included six steps: strengthening the church's prayer ministry, deepening relationships with core influencers, recalibrating the church's mission and vision, taking church leaders through the Growing Young assessment, familiarizing the church body with Growing Young concepts, and finally having the church members take the initial Growing Young assessment. The second phase consisted of five steps: creating a Growing Young team, developing and launching an introductory membership class, providing individualized coaching, preaching intentional sermon series, and starting a young adult ministry. The third phase included two steps: having the church members take the final Growing Young assessment, and processing the outcome and determining the next steps.
The data from the assessments showed incremental improvements (between 1.3% and 6.5%) in five of the six Growing Young indicators and a small decline (0.9%) in the sixth. The changes were not substantial enough to be of much significance, but they do seem to suggest a positive trend was occurring. The final assessment indicated that the church members continued to engage in their strengths throughout this process while they worked to improve their weaknesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused several issues with this intervention, and despite my best efforts to adapt, the results were hampered by the problematic circumstances. I believe the methodology was sound and would have produced greater results had there not been a pandemic. Yet despite COVID-19, there were indicators that the church was heading in the right direction, and I would not hesitate to implement this project again. More than that, the impact that this project made on me was invaluable in terms of the personal, academic, and spiritual growth I experienced.
Generation Y--Religious life; Generation Z--Religious life; Church work with Generation Y--Seventh-day Adventists; Church work with Generation Z--Seventh-day Adventists; Tracy Seventh-day Adventist Church (Tracy, Calif.)
Kraft, Tyler, "Creating a Culture Shift in the Tracy Seventh-day Adventist Church To Attract Millennials and Generation Z" (2023). Professional Dissertations DMin. 787.
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