2018-2019 Grant in Aid of Research

Integrating Humanitarianism with Adventist Evangelism: an Evaluation of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Traditional Outreach Methods

Koloina Rakotondrainibe

This research looks at the retention of church membership, which has been a big dilemma for the Adventist Church over the past year due to family background and other community life challenges. There is a decrease in member growth and spirituality. This paper explores the lack of personal effort which has been a breeding ground for people to leave the church. There is a need for those strongly established in the church to connect with newer members by personal effort. If less time was given to sermonizing and more time was spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor should be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, and the inexperienced counseled. To respond to that spontaneous change in the Church which remarkably impacted member growth, this research will explore possibilities for how to improve the method employed to bring new souls in the church and maintain them inside, and moreover, how to empower inactive Adventist Church Members. Our study focuses on South African Indian Ocean Division (SID), best known for its stupendous evangelization result and fast growth. Madagascar is used primarily as a place of study. The objective of this research is to incorporate humanitarian work and community development into an existing method and strategy used by pastors. The realization of this project is assumed to maintain the church growth, eliminate some members’ issues leading them to leave the Church, and keeping existing members active in mission. It would create a new approach to evangelism. The method use right now only reaches people and brings new souls to the Church in order to increase the number of baptisms, but this new approach will give us three dimensions of growth: number, spiritual, and community development. In addition to developing a new evangelization strategy, I seek to analyze the absence of personal effort in the ministry because such inaction is a key factor to the unprecedented rate of decrease in spirituality occurring in the ministry.