Holding on to Their Faith: The Lived Experiences of Adventist Church Members in Southeast Asia
Keywords:Faith nurture, faith commitment, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventist church members, Southern-Asia Pacific Division, Adventist education, resilience
Guided by Kumpfer’s (1999) model of internal selfresiliency factors, this phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of 224 Seventh-day Adventist Church members from seven countries in Southern-Asia Pacific Division. The study aimed to address the concern of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on the faith nurture and faith commitment of its members, specifically on what factors influenced their decision to hold on to their faith. The participants revealed that they were converted to the Church through the influence of their parents and church members, attendance at evangelistic meetings, and, in countries where public evangelism was not possible, through Adventist education. Their faith was nurtured by their regular engagement in Bible reading and prayer, attendance at church services, and participation in church activities. They encountered challenges such as a lack of spiritual fervor in the church and conflicts/misunderstandings. Despite these challenges, they declared their commitment to remain in the church. They attributed this decision to their belief that the SDA Church is the true church whose teachings are based on the Bible and their assurance of present and future rewards.