“Christ for the World”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 370
Superintendent or Sabbath School teacher
“Any Way We Can”
While the offering is being taken, ask the children to sing "Jesus Love Me" in Greek or Macedonian. See page 31 in the Children's Mission for words.
“Rise Up, O Church of God”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 615
Participants and Props:
Participants: Three to six speakers—a narrator and two or more reporters. If your group is small, two reporters can take turns presenting the project reports. [Note: participants should be familiar enough with their material so they can present it with appropriate emphasis.]
Props: A map of the Trans-European Division. (Scan the map on the back page of the quarterly or download it from www.AdventistMission.org and project it onto a screen.) A PowerPoint presentation listing each project as it’s presented will help listeners keep track of the projects they’re giving to.
Narrator: How does one share the gospel with people who are too busy or too wrapped up in their own concerns to care about God? The leaders of the Trans-European Division (TED) are grappling with this question and have come up with some exciting answers.
Many people living in the TED are considered secular and postmodern. Their lives focus on material gain, circles of friends, and secular pastimes. Restaurants and theaters are busy; churches are not. God is not part of most of the peoples’ lives.
“We must reach people any way we can,” one division leader said. And God is showing them innovative ways to do just that. Our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today will help fund some of these outreach efforts.
Reporter 1: Imagine children pulling on their parents’ hands, begging them to hurry—to church! In a region of the world where as few as 10 percent of the population attend church regularly, families are discovering that Messy Church is a fun way to spend time together and learn about God.
Messy Church is a program similar to Vacation Bible School, but it meets once a month. Each program focuses on a Bible story and includes a craft that helps cement the story in children’s minds. A rousing song service and a family meal follow, providing fellowship time for all ages.
Children and adults alike are spreading the word that Messy Church is “awesome,” “epic,” and “so much fun.” Many beg to return after just one visit.
Children must bring an adult—a parent, grandparent, or guardian—so the entire family can benefit from the program. Judging by the success of the pilot program at Stanborough Park Adventist Church outside of London, this program will make a huge impact in other areas of the TED as well. Part of today’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help train leaders from across the TED to adapt Messy Church for their own regions.
Reporter 2: Another unique program focuses on the history and culture of a country to guide people through the Bible’s story of redemption.
The program, called Bible 3-D, was tested in Iceland, where producers used the nation’s history and biblical roots to introduce long-forgotten Bible truths. They created an interactive walk-through exhibit that included the country’s oldest and most precious Bibles, photographs, and exhibits relating to the stories that make up the country’s history.
“We need to draw people’s attention to Christ any way we can,” said Janos Kovacs-Biro, division ministerial and Sabbath School director. “Everyone loves stories, especially stories of their history as a people. They love to touch and experience things for themselves. We created this exhibition to appeal to these senses.”
The exhibition coincided with evening meetings held in the same building in the heart of the capital city. Turnout exceeded expectations, and comments from those who attended were positive and exciting.
“Every country has its own story,” Kovacs-Biro says. “We want to find those stories and use them to build a bridge to link people with the Savior. This program shows great promise.” Today’s offering will help produce similar programs throughout the TED.
Narrator: It’s exciting to find new ways to turn people’s hearts to Christ. Countries with very small Adventist populations face unique challenges.
Greece and Macedonia are ancient and yet modern countries that lie adjacent to each other. They both are predominantly Orthodox countries with fewer than 600 Adventist believers.
Reporter 3: Greek Mission leaders have learned that it’s difficult for Greek Adventists to reach Greek Orthodox. But immigrants, who are experiencing great changes in their lives, are far more open to hearing God’s message of salvation.
Just a few years ago the Greek Mission rented a hall to house a growing international congregation in Athens. Today that congregation has grown from a handful to more than 150 members. The congregation is rapidly outgrowing its facilities and must find a larger, more permanent place to worship.
The mission plans to purchase a building that can be used as a worship center for the international congregation; an evangelistic center in which to hold seminars to reach out to the community; and a lay training center where members can learn how to approach their neighbors, colleagues at work, and people on the street with the gospel of Christ. It’s a big assignment for one building and one congregation, but the members are eager to move forward to bring others to Jesus in Athens, Greece.
Reporter 4: Fewer than 500 members live in Macedonia. But they share a zeal for the gospel seldom seen in other European countries. Members translate evangelistic books and Sabbath School materials into Macedonian to use for outreach and training. They’re eager to make their church known to the people of their country.
Church members in Macedonia have a vision to establish a missionary training and outreach center in one of the country’s prime vacation spots, a resort city on Lake Ohrid [OH-rid]. Thousands of visitors from throughout Europe visit this ancient city every year to relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the spectacular views. Church members are reaching out to the visitors with literature, testimonies, and prayer. And people are responding.
But the believers want to learn how to reach those within their boundaries more effectively. A parcel of land has been purchased in the city on which to build a church for the small but growing congregation of believers. The building will house a lay training center where Adventists can learn ways to share their faith more effectively wherever they are in Macedonia.
Reporter 5: Outreach includes traditional as well as innovative projects. Newbold College, the division’s only four-year college, trains young people from across the Trans-European Division and from more than 40 other countries. Today’s offering will help renovate the women’s residential hall to provide a safe and healthful place for young women to live while they prepare to serve their Savior.
Narrator: Outreach can be traditional or innovative, but it must capture people’s attention in order to reach their hearts. Today’s offering will strengthen infrastructure and reach out in new and energetic ways. Let’s help the people of the Trans-European Division share the gospel so that others can hear and respond to the Savior’s call to “come to me” (Matthew 11:28).
Next quarter the West-Central Africa Division will be featured. Special projects include:
Second Quarter 2014 will feature the Southern Asia Division.