Date of Award
Master of Arts (Theology) MA(Theol)
Arts & Theology
Ministry and Theology
Alwyn P. Salom
Problem: One approach used by a number of Seventh-day Adventist evangelists to attract public attention has been a presentation of archaeological topics and Bible history. Often there has been a rapid change of emphasis to doctrinal material which has resulted in a decline in attendance. There is need for an approach that can adapt to public interest and continue the presentation of the Gospel in the same framework. The purpose of this present study was to ascertain trends from evangelists' experience and to conduct an evangelistic series which would maintain the archaeology them throughout.
Method:Research was done to provide an archaeological framework for presenting the Gospel during the evangelistic mission. Twelve lectures were given as a result of study into public interest in the past and a felt need for "roots". Three surveys were conducted, the first from the experiences of twelve evangelists. Two surveys were made of the audience at the mission, the first from those attending the opening programme, the second of the ones who ceased attending. Comparisons were made of the audiences interest and reasons for ceasing attendance. The evangelists' surveys were compared to trace the relationship of change in subject matter to decline in attendance.
Results: There were trends shown in the evangelists' experience that a greater drop in attendance occurred when the subject matter was changed. In the missions conducted by those that did not alter their archaeological emphasis there was a more gradual decline in attendance. This was also the position in the mission conducted by the writer. The first survey of the audience revealed their interest in archaeological topics and those who maintained attendance wished to continue to hear these themes. The second survey showed that those who stopped attending had done so for personal reasons and not because the subject matter was sustained.
Conclusions: It was observed that an audience is unprepared to change its interest and therefore stops attending. It seems evident that a greater awareness of the public's interest and an adaptation to that interest by the evangelist would assist in maintaining attendance. It is recommended that a fuller range of topics be presented in a longer series including extra seminar programmes.
McClure, D. (1982). The continuous use of the archaeology theme throughout an evangelistic series (Master's thesis). Andrews University, Avondale Campus, Australia: Andrews University.