Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Matthew Edwards, DMin
David McDonald, DMin
Over the next 25 years, the American Church will be in a unique position to impact the eternity of almost 77 million people. As the Baby Boomer population moves into the third age of life, the church has the opportunity to reintroduce this population to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Within this large mission field is the added dimension of a large migration of retired and semi-retired people into Active Adult Living Communities (AALCs). While AALCs represent the largest-growing urban segment of the USA, the church is doing little to evangelize these communities. What the church does for these adults over the next fifteen to twenty years can have an eternal impact that is beyond measure as well as learn missional wisdom to reach other populations for decades.
This dissertation examines ways to effectively share the gospel with post- Christian populations in AALCs. Section One examines the demographics of the Boomer population and the uniqueness of the AALC and introduces a prospective tool that can be used in reaching this population: The Dinner Church. Section Two looks at various ways the church is reaching this population and their current impact. This section also explains the Dinner Church model and its potential as an effective tool for the AALC. Section Three unpacks the Dinner Church model to fully understand its effectiveness in evangelism today and where it would be ineffective in its use within the AALC. Section Four describes the artifact which is composed of two elements: 1) a book that introduces prospective participants into this Dinner Church model, and 2) an app that walks a new Sobremesa Dinner Group through their first four weeks. Section Five describes the specifications for both elements of the artifact. Section Six summarizes the value of my learning from the dissertation and potential for future research.
Divine, James, "The Sobramesa Dinner Group: Discipline Boomers in Active Adult Living Communities" (2021). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 425.