The number of Seventh-day Adventist members in Papua New Guinea has exceeded 400,000 for the first time in the history of the denomination in that country.
South Pacific Division (SPD) associate officer Eva Ing noted the “exciting news” when reporting the June 2023 membership statistics to the General Conference of the Adventist Church.
SPD discipleship strategy leader Danny Philip said the growth was the result of a deep commitment by members to get involved and share their faith.
Since 2020 more than 6,000 new churches have started in Papua New Guinea.
“I am so happy that the church is growing in PNG; a lot of people have been involved,” Philip said. “Our lay people have been at the forefront of it, taking the church into their own homes, having worship together, sharing lunch, then giving Bible studies. One lady has started eight churches in the Western Highlands Mission.”
Philip said a key factor for church growth is members having a strong personal commitment to Jesus, including daily devotions, personal prayer and Bible reading, and applying it in their lives.
“The second factor is training new people who are coming into the church. The church should be a training school — how to read the Bible and study with other people, how to share your faith, and how to keep people engaged. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated. Sharing your personal experience with Jesus is a powerful method. No one will argue with you.
“We want to encourage the involvement of every Adventist as part of the movement, using whatever spiritual gifts that God has given you for His service. Imagine what the Adventist Church would look like if every member brought in just one person in a year. Just one. There would be double the membership. That’s qualitative and quantitative kingdom growth. The Lord will work in miraculous ways, and He will bless their efforts.”
With planning well underway for the 2024 “PNG for Christ” evangelistic campaign (scheduled for April 24-May 12), the Adventist Church in PNG is looking forward to continued growth.
“You can see the energy of people has been ignited,” Philip said. “People want to be involved and are looking at what they can do to support the campaign. They also recognize that PNG for Christ is not a one-off event; it is happening everywhere. We are looking forward to more disciple-making in our division.”