The Sudan Interior Mission’s Church Growth Approach in Southern Ethiopia: The Formation of a New Amagnyoch Community
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ABSTRACT THE SUDAN INTERIOR MISSION’S CHURCH GROWTH APPROACH IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA: THE FORMATION OF A NEW AMAGNYOCH COMMUNITY Anteneh Taye Aberra, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2017 Chair: Dr. John Mark Terry The term amagnyoch is used for distinguishing these ecclesial communities from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This dissertation addresses the Sudan Interior Mission’s church-planting ideology to establish an independent congregation in the Kembatta, Wolitta, and Siddma Triangle. Chapter 1 demonstrates the new ecclesiastical approach of the SIM church-growth movement in the process of establishing a new amagnyoch community. Chapter 2 presents Ethiopia’s historical background. It includes the overview of the history of Christianity in Ethiopia, starting with Judaism. That overview is followed by the conversion paradigm of the book of Acts; then by the Ethiopian Orthodox faith; and, finally, by modern Christianity. Chapter 3 introduces church-planting-methodology components. It also studies the genesis of SIM’s mission work, the intervention of the Holy Spirit, the triangular vision, and evangelism among animists. Chapter 4 delves more deeply into the biblical and theological evaluation of the SIM church-planting methodology. This chapter evaluates the biblical foundations, kingdom mind-set, word-centered teaching, and gospel-saturated commitment of SIM’s church- planting methodology. Chapter 5 examines the SIM’s understanding of missiology. Furthermore, it describes SIM’s mission philosophy and strategies of church-growth methodology, along with the model of relational stages of SIM’s church-growth methodology. Chapter 6 is a critical analysis of SIM’s church-growth methodology, and it additionally suggests applications for the contemporary Ethiopian church-growth methodology. Chapter 7 will conclude the dissertation by summarizing perceptions of SIM’s new ecclesiastical approach to church-growth methodology for the formation of new churches in southern Ethiopia. It is currently estimated that there are 8,600 churches, with more than eight million members.