The goal of this study is to suggest new praxis in missional ecclesiology for the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church.
This study is built on a theory-praxis-theory structure. Part One defines the terms of the study and describes how the church developed awareness of its current praxis. Two sets of survey data are analyzed, giving a picture of the church’s development over the course of three years. This data reveals a church transitioning from traditional ministry directed primarily to church members into a body that understands its calling to serve God’s kingdom outside the walls of the church.
Part Two develops a critical interpretive framework of missional theology, principles of contextual analysis and leadership, and change theory. Many efforts at congregational transformation result in mere programmatic reworking because attention is not paid to these deeper issues. Additional qualitative data is then introduced, vis-à-vis this interpretive framework.
Part Three evaluates the findings and draws conclusions about the formation of missional identity in the church. Finally, new praxis is proposed for continuing the process of missional transformation.
Emerging from this study is a picture of a church experiencing profound shifts in its core identity—changing from a congregation in numerical decline, disengaged from the community, and with no apparent sense of mission to a congregation that knows it exists as a sign, a witness, and foretaste of God’s reign. The church has not arrived, nor is there is any foreseeable possibility of arriving at a place of stasis relative to the church’s mission in our rapidly changing world. What remains are next steps for deepening the new missional ecclesiology.
Theological Mentor: Alan Roxburgh, DMin
Material is subject to copyright.
Bell, Ryan J., "Making Space for the Spirit: Cultivating Missional Identity in the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church" (2011). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 25.