No more empty seats

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Thesis
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Category
Online DMin Project  [ Browse Items ]
Edition
English 
Publication Year
2018 
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Abstract
San Bernardino Community Seventh-day Adventist Church, where I am the pastor, is full not only of unrealized potential but also of too many empty pews. Its beautiful sanctuary for 400, regularly receives barely 30. The attendees are resourceful, well resourced, and willing to serve. Yet the surrounding community and four nearby schools are less known for church-attending potential than for poverty, crime and low education. A plan was needed to bridge the chasm between the church and the community with ministry actions and choices that are showcased through the Trinity of Ministry model where people are led, evangelized and discipled across barriers of alienation and social and spiritual distances. Previously, I had been a pastor in three different churches in as many cities. Finally, I had returned to a city that I loved and that had been my initial staging point into a career in ministry. It was an honor to be asked to become Senior Pastor. Everything was going well at the prominent church that I had been serving at in Riverside. My family loved it there, and the decision to leave was a major one. People often ask why I chose to leave a prominent church in Riverside for a smaller, less prominent one in San Bernardino. My answer is always the same: POTENTIAL. I saw, felt, and heard the word time and again. Three major sources of potential revealed themselves in San Bernardino: the Campus, the community, and the congregation. However, barriers including church decline, the perception of the San Bernardino community, and the willingness of the congregation to buy into a vision of self-renewal and change were also present. I felt as if I had the ministerial competencies to help the church reach its potential and make it to be a model church around the world. “No More Empty Seats” illustrates how empty pews in many churches, primarily Seventh-day Adventist churches in North America, can be filled with ministry that chooses to realize the potential, to confront the barriers, and become a model church.  
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