Trans-European Division Focuses on Disciple Making through New Appointments

Anthony WagenerSmith and Kayle B. de Waal tapped for new positions.

Trans-European Division Focuses on Disciple Making through New Appointments

On July 1, 2021, the Trans-European Division (TED) Administrative Committee voted Anthony WagenerSmith and Kayle B. de Waal to serve as Evangelism and Mission Coordinator and Disciple-Making Coordinator, respectively.

The appointment of these two new roles within the TED will help the region to advance the key objectives of the Strategic Framework voted by the TED Executive Committee in May 2021, according to division leaders. The Framework includes a strong emphasis on Adventist identity, evangelism, mission, and disciple making.

“Now, more so than for many years, is the right time to share the Adventist message of wholeness and hope in Jesus,” TED president Raafat Kamal said. “In light of the viral pandemic, economic upheaval, nationalism, and a post-Christian worldview that offers no hope for the future, we have an opportunity to present our unique biblical, end-time message of hope.”

WagenerSmithholds a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary in California, United States, specializing in missional church planting. He currently serves as associate director at the North American Division Evangelism Institute (NADEI), as well as assistant professor of Practical and Applied Theology in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. He is a church planter with experience in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, United States, including a parachute church plant, Compass Community, in a low socio-economic area that then experienced growth by multiplying mission-focused home groups and empowering volunteer lay-pastors.

A significant part of WagenerSmith’s new role at TED will be mission coordination in equipping and training. It includes mentoring, coordinating, and evaluating the development of church planting projects, house churches, evangelism projects, Centres of Influence, Mission to the Cities projects, Total Member Involvement, plans to enter new territories, and reaching people groups while developing and supporting new, innovative approaches and programs. He will also be responsible for establishing five training outreach centers strategically positioned across the 22 countries of the division region, and directing the newly established TED branch of the GC Center for Secular and Post-Christian Mission.

As outlined in the TED Strategic Framework, WagenerSmith will also take the lead in developing mission initiatives for TED’s “mission fields,” those areas with minimal Adventist presence despite a keen sense of mission. They include Albania, Bosnia, Cyprus, Greece, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

De Waal holds a doctorate in New Testament with a focus on church growth from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He currently serves as Master of Arts course convenor and senior lecturer in New Testament at Avondale University in Australia. He has experience in pastoral work and evangelistic mentoring, as well as academic and research leadership.

Among the responsibilities for his position, De Waal will coordinate the work of the new TED Adventist Disciple-Makers Institute (ADM) and develop a disciple-making practicum. He is expected to work in synergy with the TED unions and attached fields, as well as Newbold College and the four union seminaries in Croatia, Hungary, Poland, and Serbia. His goal is to support practical training components for the seminaries relating to placement, internship, and continued education for pastors. De Waal will also focus on training for elders, “front-line strikers,” and church members working in tandem with the Evangelism and Mission Coordinator.

“As we prayerfully worked through a shortlist of names, it suddenly struck us that these two individuals, working together with our other staff and our field leaderships, could seriously enhance our training, mission growth, and discipleship skills at every level,” Kamal said.

Field presidents across the region agreed, and current TED directors and officers unanimously supported the proposal in the July 1 session of the TED Administrative Committee.

The appointments are part of the continuing process of selecting the best team to work with the needs outlined in the Strategic Framework, according to division leaders. The plan is for the team to be complete by TED Year-End Meetings in November 2021.

As the Administrative Committee concluded, Kamal reemphasized the challenge to all leaders and members across the TED. “Christ’s mission is to seek and to save the lost. He is asking us to join Him as He leads us, empowered by the Holy Spirit,” he said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.