BY LIBNA STEVENS/IAD
Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America celebrated its big city
evangelism impact across the territory with a special live satellite broadcast
program from Mexico City, Mexico, on April 12, 2014. The event was the
culmination of thousands of evangelistic campaigns, which ended last week
throughout the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory. The massive evangelism
campaigns are the work of thousands of pastors and lay members who have been
spreading the gospel in their communities this year.
as “Vision One Million,” the initiative carried a focus this year toward big
city impact 2014 throughout the 22 major church regions in Inter-America.
Vision One Million is an annual initiative in the IAD, which seeks to empower
one million church members to become true followers and witnesses of Jesus
while bringing one million new members into the church during the 2010-2015
18,000 church members filled the Mexico City Arena (Arena Ciudad de Mexico) to
witness the two-hour satellite event. The program was transmitted through The
Hope Channel, Esperanza TV, 3ABN, and 3ABN Latino in English, Spanish and
French. The live program included
baptismal ceremonies and musical performances.
want you to know that we are pleased that you have chosen our city to reach
your objectives with your Impact 2014 efforts,” said Cesar Palacios Trejo,
mayor of Azcapotzalco, as he welcomed the audience. “We know that with your
efforts you will help mold a better society.”
City’s Director of Religious Affairs Arturo Manuel Diaz Leon thanked the church
leadership and its members for enriching the lives of the citizens of Mexico.
has seen this church grow with dignity while enjoying the freedom of belief the
nation offers,” said Diaz. “Thank you for fostering principled values in your
members and seeking to serve and be useful in your endeavors.”
General Conference President Ted N.C. Wilson delivered the keynote speech
during the live program, he praised the work of pastors and church members for
the city evangelism impact achieved throughout the last three months, and urged
them to continue being a people that studies and promotes the reading of the
Word of God.
is calling you as a remnant church to be part of revival and reformation to
proclaim the prophetic messages of Daniel and Revelation,” said Pastor Wilson.
Adventist leader encouraged the congregation and viewers to be part of the
great emphasis in the world on the mission to the cities and to “pray like you
have never prayed before, for God is calling you in a special way to help
propel this great Advent message.”
the message in cities across the IAD is the main evangelism emphasis this year,
said Pastor Balvin Braham, associate ministerial secretary and main organizer
of the event. “We want to focus on areas where we have planted churches and
grow more members there,” said Braham. “We also want to focus on areas where
there is no Adventist presence and plant new churches.”
part of the Mexico Impact 2014, nearly 100 ministers and evangelists from
Central America, the Caribbean, French Antilles, Colombia, Venezuela, Canada,
and England, traveled to Mexico earlier this month to partner with local
pastors and lay members in churches, auditoriums, community centers, and small
groups, for one week. During that week they met with new believers about
joining the church, then spent one week in Mexico City to impact the city with
evangelism campaigns, reported Pastor Braham.
a populous country like Mexico with more than 115 million people, we wanted to
foster a big city drive not only among local leaders but also to connect with
preachers from outside of the country to participate in a major city impact so
they could get additional experience to go back to their own local territories
within the context of this evangelism in big cities,” said Braham.
than 6,400 evangelistic campaigns were held throughout Mexico, 200 of which
were held in Mexico City last week. The thousands of campaigns in Mexico
generated more than 28,300 new members, reported Pastor Braham.
also took part in a three-day school of evangelism last week focused on
evangelistic strategies for urban areas, church planting in urban areas, use of
technology in evangelism, social media evangelism, evangelizing those of
non-Christian religions, contextualization in evangelism and more, explained
Braham. Thousands of pastors across the IAD territory also viewed the
evangelism training via the Internet.
addition, the church in Central Mexico hosted a six-week school of evangelism
in Mexico City with some 30 ministers from across Mexico. The ministers were
trained in urban evangelism and took part in urban outreach with local district
live event also highlighted the work of more than two-dozen young people who
traveled from IAD’s major church regions to Mexico City to participate in urban
training under the world church initiative One Year in Mission. The IAD-run
OYiM initiative had trained young people doing missionary work throughout the
metropolitan region to strengthen the Adventist presence and do visitation in
un-entered areas with health classes, English classes, social and spiritual
activities and more.
Tomas Torres, president of the more than 74,000-member church in Central
Mexico, was thankful for the support of the Inter-American Division and its territory
in boosting urban evangelism in Mexico City.
a privilege to share with you this historic moment for the Adventist Church in
Mexico City,” said Torres.
union was established just five years ago as the Central Mexican Union, headquartered
here in Mexico City with one conference and three missions,” said Torres. “The
church now has three conferences, one mission and a brand new region today,” he
growth of the Adventist Church has been richly blessed by God and church
members who dedicate time to proclaim the gospel message,” said Torres.
the church grow to a five-region territory in Central Mexico is a strategy that
was set in motion nearly a decade ago when IAD administrators studied and planned
to pay closer attention to the big cities throughout Inter-America, explained IAD
President Israel Leito.
are glad to see this progress and continue to work towards targeting our cities
across the territory,” said Leito. “We realize that this big city impact is not
as easy as in rural areas as far as soul-winning is concerned, we have to go
deep into the structure in establishing centers of influence, special
initiatives to reach the post-modern mind.”
the church has established 24 centers of influence in cities across the IAD.
Work has begun where there are non-Christian communities throughout the
territory. That work includes special health initiatives and planning new
churches in urban areas, IAD leaders reported.
numbers are slowing down, added Leito, something leaders have noticed and have
been studying. “The soul-winning plan we set out was to have an average of
250,000 new members joining the church every year, that would give us
approximately one million new members by 2015, but we understand big city
impact is not fueled by the traditional evangelism approach,” said Leito.
are working on rekindling the fire of soul-winning throughout the territory,
stressing to our pastors not to stop nor slow down on the vision of the mission
to reach more souls for the Kingdom,” Leito added. “It’s the power of the
Holy Spirit which will open the way to reach more people with the gospel in the
city impact, the church across Inter-America has held massive evangelism
gatherings this year, such as the one in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and a health
initiative in Monterrey, North Mexico. In addition, there has been evangelism
outreach in Tabasco, Southeast Mexico, city-wide impact throughout Jamaica,
evangelism impact in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, urban outreach in Guatemala,
and more. Church leaders reported nearly 45,000 baptisms as a result of intense city evangelism efforts and some 30,000 baptisms in rural evangelism efforts so far this year.
Next year, the IAD will
carry out “Vision One Million” city impact throughout its territory and will
host the annual celebration program in the English speaking Caribbean
For more on Inter-America’s
Vision One Million Big City Impact 2014 initiative, visit: http://visiononemillion.org/