TO SPREAD TRUTH FOR THESE TIMES
THE GENERAL CONFERENCE LAUNCHES
THE GREAT CONTROVERSY PROJECT
FOR THE WORLD FIELD
Countless people are desperately seeking to make sense of the calamities and senseless tragedies, large and small, that daily take place around us. These events are an inescapable part of life on this sin-sick planet. Yet there are answers for what is happening around us.
Seventh-day Adventists have answers for the times we’re living in through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. We have an obligation to share these answers that outline the good news of salvation. Ellen White’s book, The Great Controversy, is a uniquely clear and comprehensive presentation of those answers. It’s too good to keep it to ourselves. We need to share it with every person we possibly can. We need to make this powerful book available everywhere, to everyone, and at every possible opportunity.
THE PROJECT PLAN
The Great Controversy Project is a presidential initiative of the General Conference President, Pastor Ted Wilson. The challenge to the world field is to distribute massive quantities of The Great Controversy as part of the Church’s worldwide “Tell the World” emphasis.
Each Division has accepted the challenge and is making plans for this mass distribution in their area. The various ministries of the Church are also making plans to incorporate the distribution in their ministry specialty. Each leader and member, young and old, is challenged to help make this vision a reality. But it doesn’t stop there. Each entity of the Church—schools, media centers, health-care institutions, support organizations, independent ministries and any other ministry connected with the Church—is asked to join in with this global initiative.
THE PROJECT PHASES
The Great Controversy Project has two phases. Phase One is summarized in two words: Read it! During 2011 each church member is encouraged to read or reread The Great Controversy. As we share this book with others it is only right and logical that we be familiar with it ourselves. This year is also being used to develop the specific distribution strategies and book production logistics.
Phase Two can be summarized in one word: Distribute! This will take place during 2012 and 2013; it will be the Missionary Book of the year for two consecutive years. All media forms will be utilized to spread the book’s message—print, audio, visual, and social media. We anticipate real innovation and it will be fascinating to see how God will use these means to transform lives!
THE PROJECT PARTNERS
Each member is invited to be a partner in this bold plan. Everyone can be involved. If you have not yet heard of the plans for your region of the world or ministry specialty, please communicate with your conference or union and ask what they plan to do and how you can get involved. Share with them your ideas for reaching your local area. Of course, you don’t have to wait for your conference or union to make a plan. Congregations and individual members are encouraged to make their own plans and distribution goals. You might decide to personally distribute at least one book, one a month, one a week, or even more. You may want to donate funds to help the areas with less means to spread this Spirit-filled book. Institutions are also encouraged to get involved. Schools, hospitals, and other facilities should make their own distribution plans or arrange to participate in regional strategies. We plan to spread this book like the leaves of autumn.
THE PROJECT PARTICULARS
The General Conference is recommending that this book be published under a new title, “The Great Hope. A revealing look at the battle between good and evil— and who wins.” Our reason for the change is simple: we wish to make the book as appealing as possible to today’s audience. The understanding of the Ellen G. White Estate is that while the content of the book was inspired, there is no indication that its title was the product of any direct inspiration. In fact, its title was changed with each of the four versions published in Ellen White’s lifetime. We believe this new title maintains the spirit of the various early titles while emphasizing the comfort to be found in knowing not only how the battle has waged but how it ends.
Each Church division is choosing for itself what title and artwork they will use to distribute this book in their territory during the Great Controversy Project. They may avail themselves of one of the recommended options or create their own.
The divisions are also deciding which version or versions of the book to distribute in their territory. They are choosing from the Classic Version, Abbreviated Classic Version, Modern Language Version, Partial Version, and Children’s Version. Their choices will take into account the various cultural and political considerations in their area in order to present the book in an appealing and inoffensive manner. Once all these details have been finalized, information will be made available on how to purchase these special copies of the book at significantly discounted rates
Each book, regardless of version or cover, will contain a brief introductory letter that will tactfully explain to the recipient who we are and why we are distributing this book. There will also be contact information for the local church or conference, how to get free Bible correspondence courses and literature, listings of local Adventist TV and radio programs, and the web address for the project, www.thegreathope.org. This website will contain additional information and resources for both recipients and distributors.
THE PROJECT’S PRAYER NEED
This project needs your prayers. This is a bold and innovative project for the world Church. We are moving forward with prayer, humbly seeking God’s guidance each step of the way. We ask that you join us in this prayer.
THE PROJECT’S POTENTIAL
The Great Controversy Project will certainly raise awareness of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We trust that much of the attention will be positive; that many readers will sign up for Bible studies; that eager inquirers will come to our churches and meetings to learn more of the good news they’ve found in this book. We are also aware that some of the responses will not be so positive. Satanic forces have historically resisted this book and will doubtlessly do the same now. However, this is God’s project and we know that He will protect and preserve it.
As we make plans for this great initiative, we are giving thoughtful and prayerful consideration to possible sources of opposition and ways to lessen it. Yet realism indicates that no efforts will entirely eliminate all opposition. We accept these realities and step out in faith. Our prayer is that the Great Controversy Project will spread truth, transform lives, and bring us closer together as a Church family as we spread the word of Christ’s soon coming. May God bless this project in ways we cannot imagine.
Delbert W. Baker is a General Conference Vice President and the administrative coordinator for this project.