Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Church Growth, Old Age, Senior
Christianity | Religion
Kim, Hoo Sik, "A Strategy for the Church Growth through the Development of Senior-Friendly Pastoral Ministries: The Case of the Senior Ministry at Shinlim Central Church in Korea" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1776.
The purpose of this study is to suggest the necessity of and alternative strategies for senior-friendly pastoral care to achieve sustained church growth amid the growing phenomenon of aging in Korean society. The recent aging of Korean society also has effects on changes in church members. As the ratio of senior members becomes increasingly high, pastoral alternative strategies for coping with it has also been urgently needed. The problem is that although this social phenomenon was already foreseen several years ago, there are insufficient practical strategies for pastoral care to deal with it.
The researcher first conducts biblical, theological, historical, and sociological investigations into the necessity and value of senior ministry through literature review. Further, the strengths and weaknesses of senior ministries in six churches, which serve as models of senior ministry among mid-sized churches in large cities, are compared and analyzed through case study research. From this, the reasons why the methodology of senior-friendly ministry should be emphasized across pastoral care for seniors (worship, education, mission & evangelism, service & outreach, and fellowship) are revealed, and the senior ministry at Shinlim Central Church, which achieved church growth through the strategic application of senior-friendly ministries developed from this perspective, is introduced. The evaluation of the ministries is verified through a questionnaire survey of participants.
This study offers practical methods for pastoral care in preparation for the aging of church members, thereby proposing one ministry strategy for more efficient pastoral care for seniors.