Over the past five years, Tell the World has been a broad vision, a bold challenge undertaken by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The ultimate goal is to provide every person on earth with the chance to know Jesus Christ.
More than a program, and more than a slogan, Tell the World is our acceptance of Christ’s commission to spread the gospel to every corner of the world, to each living person.
Of course, the goals and challenges of Tell the World are not new to us—they are part of the very fabric of our identity and heritage. They are fundamental to our mission.
From its very beginnings, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been a missionary movement. We have committed ourselves to not only make our world a better place in the here and now, but also to prepare people for the world to come. This is our first priority—the very reason our church exists.
Now the Church is re-emphasizing the challenge, extending an invitation to each Seventh-day Adventist to be part of this task. Now more than ever, it is time for each of us to become personally involved.
The strategic plan for the Seventh-day Adventist Church from 2010 to 2015 focuses on three important values: quality of life, unity, and growth.
QUALITY OF LIFE is a multi-faceted concept that goes to the heart of what it means to be an Adventist believer. For an Adventist, quality of life means first and foremost being sure of belonging to the Lord, finding the rest and assurance of forgiveness, and finding contentment on our life’s journey.
UNITY reflects the nature of the church as one family around the world, constantly communicating with one another, constantly sharing, and in that process learning to defer to one another for the good of the One Body of Christ.
GROWTH is expressed through evangelism, public witness, and nurturing the personal spiritual growth of believers.
Within the strategic plan, one priority will continue to reach out to an area called the 10/40 Window. This term refers to a region in the eastern hemisphere located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator. This general area of the world is home to the largest populations who also live in deep poverty and experience the lowest quality of life. This is also the hub of the world’s major non-Christian religions. A natural consequence is that this area has the least access to Christian resources.
Another important area of emphasis will be reaching out to the big cities of the world. They include huge populations where millions of people are still waiting to hear about Jesus. Take a look at the list of the world’s largest cities, and the ratio of Adventists to population.
These daunting tasks will need the prayers, witness, and support of every church member. Tell the World is not simply the responsibility of church administrators. It requires the prayerful consideration of each individual—leaders, pastors, and members. Tell the World should inspire each of us to reach up, reach out, and reach across. We can approach that concept by taking the following steps:
REACH UP to God through Bible study, prayer, and reading the Spirit of Prophecy, resulting in revival and faithfulness.
REACH OUT to others as a friendly church that puts Christ’s mission first, invites all peoples to fellowship, and makes a difference daily in the community.
REACH ACROSS the barriers that threaten to divide us as a family, endeavoring to disciple, nurture, and involve every individual in the life and mission of the church.
Church administrators and pastors can work together to facilitate effective networking among church infrastructure, institutions, and lay organizations. They can help to integrate local, regional, and global priorities in mission.
Pastors and elders can enable members to understand and celebrate both the local and global identity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Or they can help the members of congregations see themselves as a vital part of their global church community.
Individual members can demonstrate their commitment to mission by understanding, living, and communicating the gospel. They can participate in local church fellowship, worship, and service. They can be part of all aspects of mission priorities.
Each one of us can do our part by prayerfully considering how we can be involved. We shouldn’t constrain ourselves by worrying about what we can or can’t do. By working together, we can experience a new sense of purpose. Our churches can thrive and grow as others are drawn to the warmth and acceptance they find there.
In all that we do, may we constantly reveal God’s grace to those who are looking for Him. Together, we can Tell the World.
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