Without an emphasis on reaching people, the church fails in the reason for its existence as described clearly in the mission statement: "The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to communicate to all peoples the everlasting gospel of God's love in the context of the three angels' messages of Revelation 14:6-12, as revealed in the life, death, resurrection and high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ, leading them to accept Jesus as personal Savior and Lord to unite with His remnant church; and to nurture believers as disciples in preparation for His soon return." 1
Over the next five years, the Seventh-day Adventist Church will embark on a strategic plan directly focused on its Godgiven mission: "Tell the World."
Tell the World is a vision for how the gospel of Jesus will be shared by the Seventh-day Adventist Church from 2005-2010. It focuses the church on its identity as a called- out community and its end-time mission of proclaiming the gospel to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (Rev. 14:6, KJV). The vision is clear: to invite every person in the world to respond to the good news about Jesus and His soon coming.
Tell the World is more than a program. It is more than a slogan. It is a vision of what the church, by God's grace, will be and do in fulfilling the command of Jesus to preach the Gospel to every creature. Tell the World is an individual and corporate commitment to live out the key values of quality of life, unity, and growth in God's family.
Tell the World inspires the church to know Jesus personally, to share Him enthusiastically, and to proclaim His name with one voice. Can we even begin to comprehend what God might do through His people in reaping earth's harvest? Imagine a global community living out the life of Christ in selfless service, a praying people empowered by His Spirit, nurtured on God's Word, and united in mission who will fulfill their destiny as God's ambassadors to a waiting world.
The church has identified seven key areas on which to focus its resources, energies, and prayers. These seven areas will unite the entire church in a vision of sharing the good news. They will involve every level of church leadership, every institution, every service, every initiative, and every church member.
Goals for 2005-2010
1. Spiritual Growth: Increase the percentage of church members spending time in daily Bible sti/dy and prayer from 50 percent to at least 65 percent. Recent surveys indicate that Seventh-day Adventists have confidence in the Christ who redeemed them. They have accepted the assurance of salvation through Christ alone. But other data relating to spiritual life raises serious concerns. Most church members do not spend time in daily devotions.
2. Community Involvement: Growing churches equip and train their members for service. They reach out to the community to meet felt needs. These dynamic growing congregations are sensitive to community needs, while at the same time, they are intentionally evangelis- , tic. Only one in three Adventist church members are sharing their faith or involved in community service. One of the strategic goals of Tell the World centers on increasing the percentage of members involved in the community from 29 percent to at least 40 percent.
3. Personal Witness: Tell the World challenges five million Adventists to reach at least one person for Jesus and bring them into fellowship with God's family in the next five years. If five million Adventists win five million of their friends and neighbors to Christ in the next five years, we will baptize as many people from this initiative as we have in all others combined in the last five years. "Win One" is a Tell the World initiative where each local region of the world field will develop action plans and programs to equip five million lay people in witnessing activities.
4. City Outreach: While in many areas the church experiences rapid growth, a huge challenge still remains. The world has a population of more than six billion. Every second, four babies are born. The greatest population growth in the world resides in big cities that soon will be home to more than half of the world's population. But in this increasingly urban world, most Adventist congregations are located outside the big cities. World divisions of the Adventist Church have targeted 66 major cities in a master strategy to make an impact on their massive populations. More than 400 cities in the world have a population of 1 million or more. The church is building on its Hope for the Big Cities outreach plan to plant and establish new congregations in more than 27 large cities around the world.
5. Church Planting; Plant and nurture 20,000 new congregations in unaltered areas while also providing proper nurture for the 17,000 congregations planted between 2000 and 2005. The early church exploded in growth because it constantly focused on planting new churches. New congregations generally pulsate with spiritual life. New members bring freshness to the body of Christ.
6. Evangelistic Programming: Involve every church in an annual evangelistic event resulting in 400,000 evangelistic outreach and discipleship programs, including 100,000 youth evangelistic series. Whenever Christ is wexalted, the Word is preached and appeals are made, the Spirit moves, and people are converted.
7. Media Ministry: Creatively use technology and communication channels— radio, television, Internet, publications— to reach every person in the world with the gospel message.
1. "Owned" by divisions, unions, and conferences with the General Conference providing support through visioning and resource assistance.
2. Flexible, incorporating the plans and initiatives of divisions, unions, and conferences.
3. Placed on the'agenda at each Annual Council for discussions, reports, and actions.
4. Communicated to the world church clearly, quickly, and regularly.
5. A high priority for all departments, institutions, and entities throughout the world field.
6. A matter of prayer and consideration for all church leaders, at every church level, as they develop plans within their spheres of responsibility.
Tell the World envisions a church of praying members, filled with the Spirit, nurtured on God's Word, a church where all departments, entities, leaders, and members are unified in a single-minded mission, a church that provides an opportunity for the entire world to hear and respond to the good news about Jesus Christ.
1. Working Policy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2004-2005 ed., A 0505.
Mark A. Finley
General Conference Vice President