Awarding Institution

Andrews University (Avondale)

Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Theology) MA(Theol)


Arts & Theology


Ministry and Theology

First Advisor

John Oaklands

Second Advisor

Kerry Hortop


Problem: One of the most important problems facing the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the failure to hold many of its own young people. In part, this could be the result of ministers failing to communicate with the juniors of the church. So often the sermon is expressed in abstract language which is almost impossible for juniors to understand. It appears that many ministers feel that their duty to juniors has ceased once the children's story is over.

Method: Methods of communication, and in particular, the social sciences are studied to find a style of sermon that will help juniors understand and benefit from the worship hour. The research includes a review of the child development studies of such persons as Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, Erik Erikson, and James Fowler. The principles discovered are applied to the sermon to determine if this application enables children aged nine to twelve to remember and make simple applications of its message.

Procedure: Between June 1 and August 24, 1985, four sermons were preached in Dora Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church. After each sermon the juniors were given opportunity to discuss their feelings. They were compared with the comments of four observers who noted the reactions of the juniors during each sermon.

Results: It was found that the attention of the juniors could be held during the sermon when the principles were applied. The adults also expressed their appreciation for the simple sermons.

Conclusion: The sermons indicated that it is possible to present a subject that will minister to the whole family. Thus a reappraisal by pastors of their methods of sermon presentation is suggested.


Project Report (M.A.)

Andrews University, School of Graduate Studies, Avondale Campus, 1985.

Published with permission from Andrews University.

Staff and Students of Avondale College may access a print copy of this thesis from Avondale College Library (264.0083 P22).

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