The Adventist church is the most Christ-centered church I've ever heard of.
Magazines often come to my desk which ipecialize in what is wrong with the church.I have not felt called to the ministry of tearing down the church or calling attention to what is wrong with the church. In fact, I'd like to tell you some things that I think are good about the church.
It preaches about Jesus.
Our church produces Christ-centered media programs, literature, and sermons every day. I want to make sure that church members talk about Jesus, so I'm reminding myself, right now, to do it. The Adventist Church is the most Christ-centered church I've ever heard of.
The church is growing.
It took us 97 years to reach our first million members, but in 1994 we added 629,710, and the total membership now is almost nine million.
The church encourages education.
My aunts and uncles did not accept this message, and none of them were privileged to receive the type of education I got. One of the main differences is this church. We talk about preparing for greater service, and education is a big part of that. Adventist members are among the most educated in the world. Imagine a city in the United States with a population of 800,000 supporting the number of churchsponsored colleges and universities that we operate in addition to supporting public education.
The church encourages healthful living.
You can hardly find an Adventist magazine that does not offer some suggestion for healthful living. All this contributes to the average Adventist living seven years longer than the average population.
The church is making bold attempts to spread the message about Jesus' return.
NET '95 was a great experiment. NET '96 will be bigger yet. Approximately 2,000 churches in North America will be open at the same time so people can hear the full message being preached. Twenty million handbills will be mailed-enough to fill 20 semi-trucks. I expect that more than 10,000 people will be baptized from this one initiative.
The church urges its members to be compassionate.
Corporately and personally. Thousands of people were helped by our community service centers last year.
The church is big business.
It owns thousands of pieces of property and has thousands of employees who handle millions of dollars. Once in a while something goes wrong with an investment. This happens so rarely that it makes big news. People talk about it for years, and some publications devote many pages to the discussion. Yet most every day correct business decisions are being made, and thousands of employees are doing their jobs properly.
This church is organized to help members and non-members find Jesus.
I'm thankful for the Adventist Church. It has made a difference in my life.
Don Schneider writes from Berrien Springs, Michigan, where he works as president of the Lake Union of the Seventhday Adventist Church.