October 31, 2015

North American Division Outlines 11 Goals for Next 5 Years

Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s North American Division, has presented 11 goals that the division will pursue over the next five years, including 1,000 new congregations and the active involvement of every one of its 1.2 million church members in “growing the kingdom of God.”

Jackson spoke Thursday at the opening of the division’s weeklong year-end meetings, themed “The Grand Collaboration,” at its headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Members of the division’s executive committee, special guests, and presenters are attending a series of business meetings, devotionals, and worship services that will determine the direction of the division for the next five years.

Jackson called for a sense of unity in the mission of the church as he started the morning business session with the president’s report focusing on his “11 Dreams for the Division.”

“Either we are one, or we are a disgrace to the name of Jesus,” Jackson said. “We are stronger when we work as a team.”

After reminding executive committee members that “The Grand Collaboration” is all about placing their hands in the hand of God and allowing Him to lead and shape them, Jackson outlined his vision for the division as 11 strategic goals:

  1. “I dream of a North American Division where every member is actively involved in growing the Kingdom of God. Where all members live out their lives in Christ with the knowledge that they have been called by God to serve as ministers.”
  2. “I dream of a North American Division which has 7,300 congregations. Currently we have 6,277.”
  3. “I dream of a North American Division where we unite to celebrate the expression of our faith in our communities.”
  4. “I dream of a North American Division where our youth and young adults are actively engaged in the mission of the church and feel wanted and valued.”
  5. “I dream of a North American Division where we are fully utilizing the available technologies to the maximum extent possible.”
  6. “I dream of a North American Division where we are actively seeking out the new communities that are arriving on the shores of the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Guam-Micronesia.”
  7. “I dream of a North American Division where every church throughout our entire territory is a house of prayer.”
  8. “I dream of a North American Division where we have 300 successful and thriving female pastors.”
  9. “I dream of a North American Division where members are actively involved in blessing their communities with health ministries — where partnerships are developed to do large and small events to bless those less fortunate.”
  10. “I dream of a North American Division where our K-16 schools are thriving as a result of the collaboration of pastors and teachers who see each other as colleagues in ministry.”
  11. “I dream of a North American Division where our hospitals and health systems are included in our strategic planning and in the implementation of our mission throughout our territory.”

After Jackson spoke, division secretary G. Alexander Bryant presented his secretary’s report with the latest statistics, including 1,206,885 church members, 5,472 churches and 840 companies as of July 2015. The rate of growth for 2014 was 1.43 percent, with an average of 98 people joining the church daily.

Bryant said a troubling statistic indicated that the 251,166 new members who joined the church from 2009 to 2014 was offset by 132,998 people who had left.

Worldwide, 33 million people have joined the Adventist Church over the past 50 years, but 13 million have left, representing a net loss of 39.25 percent, according to the Adventist world church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research.

Several executive committee members went to the microphones to share their concern over the North American Division figures, and the entire committee joined in corporate prayer, asking for God’s guidance in finding ways to reach those who have decided to leave the church.

Bryant, at the conclusion of his report, shared some facts compiled in the preparation of his report, including:

  • 52.4 percent of the membership in the division is female.
  • More than 80,000 young people participate in Pathfinders and Adventurers.
  • The church has 105,650 young adult members.
  • A large percentage of the church membership is 45 to 90 years of age.

Also Thursday, Elden Ramirez, director of the division’s Office of Volunteer Ministries, gave a brief presentation of the roles that Adventist volunteers play in the mission of the church. So far this year 49,632 people from the division have participated in short-term volunteer projects around the world. Currently division volunteers represent 46 percent of the people serving on short-term mission projects worldwide.

PowerPoint copies of the president’s and secretary’s reports can be found at the links below:

President’s report

Secretary’s report