Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

David Jamieson

Second Advisor

Nelson Silva

Third Advisor

Joseph Kidder



There was no intentional synergistic relationship between the home and the church at the Barriere Adventist Church. As a result, church leaders often expressed discouragement when they saw teens become disengaged with church and spirituality. They suggested that the root problem of this symptom was the lack of cooperation between the two faith-forming institutions in keeping young people engaged and growing in their faith. As a pastor, I saw this deficiency and our urgent need for change.


A six-month action research strategy was designed and delivered at the Barriere Adventist Church. Twenty members from every generational cohort were interviewed to investigate the above-mentioned problem. Subsequently, a focus group was formed to devise an action plan that the church could implement, evaluate, and revise regularly. The objective was to develop a synergistic relationship between the home and the church to engage and retain our church's young population. A four-level qualitative evaluation process was used to discern the effectiveness of the research and the yielded results. Reactions, learning, behaviours, and results were evaluated and recorded for future cycles. The method was dynamic and interactive in order to address the present needs of the church. The goal of the research was to align the two faith-forming institutions in order to provide a robust foundation for an intergenerational church structure. The initial stage focused on assessing the current circumstances of the church. The second phase transitioned to a focus group with the purpose of formulating proposals. In the third phase, the focus group recommended an action plan for implementation in the church. Finally, the focus group met again to evaluate the outcome and draw conclusions. Once the first cycle was complete, the process was restarted for a second round. This cyclical method of action research was intended to fine-tune the vision of the church and provide an action plan to reach its desired goals. Secondly, it provided data to other contexts that intend to synergize the home and the church with the purpose of engaging and retaining young people in their faith. -


The study revealed a positive correlation between synergizing the home and church and the increased engagement of children and youth with their faith. In order to evaluate the correlation between this action research and the long-term retention of young people in the church, a longer time frame and study will be necessary. Furthermore, the topic of retention and attrition of young people in the church is complex and comprises several factors that exceed the scope of this project. However, qualitative trends that emerged from this study suggest that young people, when intentionally engaged, want to be involved in serving and leading in the church. The intergenerational model also yielded improved communication and collaboration between every age group in the church. Lastly, the intentional and mutual collaboration of the church and home increased the involvement of every member and helped foster an intergenerational mindset in the church.


This project sought to explore if the home and church alliance would yield positive results in engaging, reaching, and retaining young people in their faith. After the initial action research cycle, it is evident that young people were more engaged in their faith than before. They also showed interest in participating in the church. Synergizing the two faith-forming institutions with an intentional intergenerational approach positively impacted the Barriere Adventist Church. Though it is a small sample size, and the intervention was over a short period, this project provided the framework for a potential culture shift, where the engagement and retention of young people will be at the forefront of the church's agenda.

Subject Area

Barriere Community Seventh-day Adventist Church (British Columbia, Canada); Church work with youth--Canada--British Columbia; Faith development--Canada; Home--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists