Archived Friday Faxes
The sound of evangelism and growth resonated through the entire Year-end meetings held this week at the General Conference building. “While we are grateful to see how much the Lord has graced our church, there is still much to be accomplished,” said Pastor Don Schneider, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America in a report given to the committee members.
For this new quenquinnium, various initiatives have been laid out by the North American Division. These initiatives should not be confused with a strategic plan. Each of these would require considerable detailing of the suggested outcomes, methodology, timetable, required resources and evaluation methods, if adopted. According to Schneider “these proposals seek to provide for greater evangelistic growth through the coordinated use of resources that are available at the Division level.”
The initiatives within this area suggest that the Division take a more targeted approach for using its resources.
• Set a goal of 1.5 million members in the Division by 2010. This can be accomplished by challenging members to reach at least one person for Jesus. Provide incentives to conferences that demonstrate effectiveness in this area.
• Engage church members in connection events within their communities.
• Utilize the Hope Channel to help the Division grow.
• Target major metropolitan areas by utilizing a cooperative approach with media ministries, NET events and training of laity and church employees.
• Continue the church planting movement begun in the 1990s.
• Encourage every church to participate in at least one evangelistic outreach event each year.
• Focus on six to 12 year-olds for evangelism. Current research suggests that this is vital.
• Strengthen ties with Adventist Hospital Systems for evangelism in our health institutions and churches.
We must give more than “lip service” to the importance of local church congre¬gations. We must experiment with new ways of providing an experience with God for visitors and members on a weekly basis.
The North American Division must continually focus on world mission and our role in providing for it. We must remind ourselves of the benefits of contin¬ued, impartial benevolence for us and for the world field.
• Increase the number of Seventh-day Adventist churches and homes who have access to the Hope Channel. Utilize the Hope Channel to focus on world mission and evangelism and the NAD’s contribution to these areas.
• Encourage churches to “adopt” a missionary and communicate on a regular basis.
• By 2010, reverse the decline of mission giving in the NAD for the world church.
• Encourage more young filmmakers to capture stories of people involved with mission service.
• Emphasize church attendance. Set a goal to increase the percentage of members attending on a weekly basis. Significant effort needs to be made to reconnect with inactive members.
• Encourage more members to spend time in daily Bible study and prayer.
• Emphasize the development of small group ministries through Sabbath School.
Initiatives in this area are designed to confront indifference to Adventist education that may be increasing within the Church. They are also intended to address issues of scale and efficiency.
• Address the integration patterns of young people graduating from our institutions of higher learning into an active participation with a local church community.
• Cultivate a partnership between Adventist education and home schools.
• Analyze Adventist education with a view to increasing K-12 enrollment.
Creatively use technology and communication channels to reach every person in the Division with the Gospel message. Advancements in the initiatives within this area may be more attainable if coordinated at the Division level rather than the regional.
• Help churches take greater advantage of the Internet. Provide web sites to every church and feed content to these sites.
• Foster development of innovative media content for use in evangelism.
• Utilize the Hope Channel for direct communication to members.
• Provide for and encourage the development of more programs for media ministries.
To perpetuate and promote the foundation of trust needed to properly guide the Church, attention must be given to developing excellent leaders—ones who are not satisfied with the status quo.
• Cultivate the highest standards of leadership, integrity, ethics and accountability among denominational leaders.
• Recruit future pastors from the best selection of young people at both the high school and college levels.
• Be intentional about the inclusion of women in leadership positions.
To model appropriate responsible leadership, the North American Division will seek to accomplish the following actions within the next five years:
• Complete a comprehensive review of all financial policies.
• Validate the need of all NAD services, ministries and committees.
• Define the evaluation criteria and procedures to ensure that departments and ministries remain effective.