As the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was getting ready to host its regional Leadership Summit, anticipation was high among church leaders in organizations and institutions across the region.
The summit, with the theme, I Will Go: Be His Witness, took place in Thailand, March 8-12. According to organizers, the event focused on mission and witnessing.
Church leaders from across the region attended the event, which served as a platform for sharing insights, experiences, and developing strategies to further the mission of the church across the region.
“This summit provided an excellent opportunity for leaders to interact, share ideas, and learn from one another’s experiences, with an emphasis on the devotion, empowerment, direction, and inspiration of every leader in our division,” SSD president Roger Caderma said.
“All of us participated and were invited to learn and to walk in our relationship with the Lord as we lead others to Him. The great commission is entrusted to His loyal church under the flag of a gracious God’s authority to reach out and teach, [in search] for transformed lives that begin inside us,” Caderma added.
One of the main goals of the summit was to emphasize the importance of witnessing, a crucial aspect of the Adventist faith. Witnessing is seen as an integral part of the church's mission, which is to share the good news of the gospel with the world, church leaders said.
The summit also provided an opportunity for church leaders to learn of the progress made in various areas of the church’s mission and to identify areas where further work is needed. Delegates who attended the summit had the opportunity of networking with others and participating in meaningful discourse, besides discussing ideas and tactics for implementing programs in their local churches through Mission Refocus and other initiatives.
Mission Refocus is a concept urging church leaders worldwide to act and reprioritize their resources, refocus, and commit to ministering in places and population groups where the gospel message of salvation has not yet been heard.
“Leaders from many divisions voiced their thoughts about the leadership meeting. Even before we came to Thailand, we had so many hopes from this summit,” Asher Ilyas Khan, executive secretary of the Pakistan Union Section, said. “Pakistan lacks young leaders; thus, this might have been one of the finest possibilities for us to acquire more and provide more to our own people,” he added.
Po Po Hla, president of the Adventist Church in Myanmar, said attendees learned from others’ experiences and challenges, discussing how regional leaders have handled circumstances when making critical choices for local churches.
As part of the summit, attendees participated in a range of activities, including plenary sessions, workshops, and small group discussions. They also had the chance of worshipping together and participating in a variety of social and cultural activities.
The Adventist Church in the SSD church region is known for its strong commitment to mission and witnessing, and the summit further strengthened this commitment. With a focus on collaboration and strategy development, the summit was an important milestone in the ongoing work of the church across the region.