Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Michael Patrick Sanders


Leadership, Church Growth, Healthy Church, Discipleship, Strategic Plan, Healthy Leader


Christianity | Leadership Studies | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the health and spiritual maturity of a new startup church, namely People of Destiny Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PODHDM) and identify ways in which PODHDM can grow spiritually and numerically, in the 21st century. The thesis will supply characteristics of a healthy church from the writer’s viewpoint, and from suggestions by notable scholars. The thesis will also explore hindrances to church growth, looking through the lenses of the church, as well as scholars, and provide insights and strategies to foster healthy church growth. This study will suggest that Sunday sermons are not enough to feed the flock and spur them on to spiritual maturity. This thesis project will share how the characteristics of a leader and his/her role in ministry can affect church health. With the use of questionnaires, spiritual growth of congregants, and the health of the church can be assessed. Compiling this information will help to bring to the forefront the issues that a startup church faces, while trying to grow its congregation numerically and spiritually.