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The purpose of this doctoral project is to develop a relational approach as an apologetic for Auckland Bible Church (ABC) to reach the younger, more post- Christian generations in New Zealand and to help them grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. The current religious climate in New Zealand shows that church attendance is declining. Many young people today consider that what the church is offering is irrelevant and disconnected to their everyday existence.

This project is looking to examine and critique what these young adults are turning to instead in contemplating how they live. I have examined what is typical of our postmodern culture by calling it a “Richard Dawkins, Lady Gaga, and” culture. These three icons represent secularism/atheism, sex, and consumerism/materialism. These are some of what our young adults believe will offer meaning and purpose in their lives. I have suggested and critiqued how these factors influence culture. I have also provided some examples in how young adults are using these cultural stimuli to give them meaning and purpose in their everyday decision making.

Through this analysis I have shown that what young adults most value today is genuine relationships. Truth, whilst still important, is secondary to belonging and experiencing. In the past, the approach to apologetics involved rational proof discussions. Today such a methodology is ineffective in this post-Christian age where truth is relative. These young adults are looking for experience before explanation.

I have critiqued these thoughts theologically as to why it is vital to take a relational approach to make disciples. I have then discussed and implemented new relational initiatives ABC can pursue to both retain and attract young adults. Finally I have reviewed the results of these initiatives to demonstrate how they have been effective.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

First Advisor

Morey, Tim

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New Zealand, Discipleship, Culture, Young Adults, post-Christian




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