Date of Award

4-1-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

Degree Name

D.Min.

First Advisor

Dr. Edward Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a pastoral care model to assimilate new members into the Temple of Faith Deliverance Church of God in Christ. The model was designed to assist the new member's discovery of his or her learning style, spiritual motive gift, and personality preferences, making them more aware of how they take in information, what they tend to do with information they learn, and how consideration of all these components impacts the way they experience spiritual awareness and satisfaction.

The model consisted of a new members' orientation weekend, followed by eight weekly teaching sessions on spiritual gifts, one-on-one interviews to attempt to tie the components together to move members toward ministry. This work grew out of years of this writer's concern that the church could be more intentional in directing new members toward suitable ministry pursuits.

We sought to develop a model that was informed by professional who had spent years understanding human development and attempted to transfer the knowledge gained from the psychological world to the work of the church. This multidisciplinary approach could be modified as appropriate to each setting.

The results of this study have inspired us to continue to work to develop a systematic approach to a new member assimilation for Pentecostal churches. We were challenged to examine a stage development approach to new member development as we surveyed the work of Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, James Fowler and Lewis Rambo. An eclectic approach ensued as we proceeded to apply our research. We feel that the understandings gained from this work will produce much fruit for new members as they get in touch with the way they are wired by God for God's service.

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