The Influence of In-Home Family Discipleship and Youth Ministry on Young Adult Disciple Making
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Abstract THE INFLUENCE OF IN-HOME FAMILY DISCIPLESHIP AND YOUTH MINISTRY ON YOUNG ADULT DISCIPLE MAKING Daniel Wayne Hinton, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2016 Chair: Dr. Brian C. Richardson The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between a student’s youth ministry involvement, their in-home discipleship experience and their participation in disciple making as a young adult. The researcher used quantitative methods to measure young adults’ participation in disciple making and their childhood spiritual development at home and in youth ministry. He utilized qualitative methods using open ended questions to explore the best practices of parents, youth ministry programs, and other influential factors. Chapter 2 reviews the pertinent literature to this study. The issues of the spiritual development of children, the biblical foundations for disciple making, and the observable current performance of parents and churches in disciple making are explored. Chapter 3 describes the process by which the data for this study was gathered. Approximately 400 young adults, ages 18-29 who were enrolled in one of 8 discipleship or leadership programs were invited to participate in the survey adapted from three existing validated tools developed by Brad Waggoner, Brandon Shields, and Timothy Paul Jones. The participants also responded to three open ended questions written to reveal specific influential practices. Chapter 4 reports the analysis of the data from the completed survey. The quantitative data was analyzed using Pearson Correlation Coefficient. The project revealed there was no significant correlation between a young adult’s quality of in-home family discipleship experience and their later participation in making disciples as a young adult. Similarly, the study revealed there was no significant correlation between a young adult’s level of involvement in youth ministry and their later participation in making disciples as a young adult. Analysis of the qualitative responses revealed several repetitive influential forces on a young adult becoming a disciple maker. There are implications here for in-home family discipleship practices, youth ministry, and those interested in discipleship training. The final chapter presents the conclusions based on the findings of this study. Any variances in the data and the reasons for their existence are also explored. Based on the results of the research, applications are made for Christian parents, church and youth ministry leaders, as well as other practitioners interested in the spiritual development of children toward spiritual maturity, leadership, or disciple making.