Ellen White envisioned putting Christ's method into action in urban areas through wholistic ministry centers that she called "centers of influence."
They would feature a variety of activities such as lifestyle education, small-group meetings, literature, restaurants, treatment rooms, public meetings, and "reaping" ministries.
"It is through the social relations that Christianity comes in contact with the world," she wrote, and urged Adventists to "strive to place themselves where they will come in direct contact with those needing help."
The Office of Adventist Mission is working to help establish a network of self-sustaining centers of influence in key urban areas around the world. These will be branded the same, be undergirded by the same theological/spiritual principles, but will vary in shape, size, and sophistication depending on the city. Their look, style, and flavor will be shaped to local situations, but the philosophy and principles of operation will be consistent.
These centers will have a goal of becoming self-sustaining financially, and, where possible, will be linked to some revenue-generating enterprise such as a medical or dental clinic. They'll utilize local Adventist workers and volunteers, and partner with church departments, institutions, and lay organizations.
Although these centers are primarily seed-sowing, they should connect to small groups and urban church planting initiatives. They must be long-term, on-the-ground projects.
If you'd like to touch the lives of people in the world's largest cities, please support the Adventist Church's Centers of Influence by clicking here.
To connect with people in Manhattan, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has established a center of influence called Life Hope Center Bryant Park.
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