Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Jeff W. Johnsen


Spiritual, Gifts, Church, Growth, Ministry, Leadership


Christianity | Religion


This thesis project uses spiritual gifts found in scripture as teachable models for church growth to address a decline in church attendance at Friendly Missionary Baptist Church. The research assumes that if church members are aware of their spiritual gifts, they will use them to build a healthy church. Therefore, the question that this thesis project asks is, “Will an understanding and development of spiritual gifts grow Friendly Missionary Baptist Church?” The Bible is the primary literary resource for God’s provision in transforming believers into His image. It is the foundation for church members’ spiritual growth. The book of Acts exhibits five teachable models for growing the church, the gifts of proclamation, prayer, faith, teaching, and leadership, which are the focus of the investigation in this thesis project. Creswell’s Phenomenological Research provides a research framework for data collection and analysis. Church members are the target group for this qualitative study. Each participant gave responses to a pre-test and a post-test to validate the reliability and results of the assessments. Four key results can contribute to the spiritual growth of this membership: first, members should use their gifts to glorify God; second, members should share their gifts with others; third, members should use their gifts to draw unbelievers to God; fourth, members should use their gifts to lift-up others in the congregation. This research thesis project provides foundational steps for this church and other churches in understanding how to use spiritual gifts to grow the church.

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