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Year End 2011 Adventist Mission Convention

Year End 2011 Adventist Mission Convention

The Euro-Africa Region of the Seventh-day Adventists (EUD) started its annual council on Friday, November 4, with a two-day program focused on Adventist Mission.

November 11, 2011 | CD-EUD Pictures C.Cozzi

The Euro-Africa Region of the Seventh-day Adventists (EUD) started its annual council on Friday, November 4, with a two-day program focused on Adventist Mission. More than 70 administrators, departmental directors, lay members and pastors attended this Executive Committee meeting on the Campus Adventiste du Salève, in Collonges-sous-Salève, France.
The goal of this special meeting was to continue enhancing the church leadership in order to accomplish the mission that Jesus gave to all of us to announce His Second Coming.

EUD President, Bruno Vertallier introduced this meeting inviting the participants to reflect on Luke 4, when Jesus inaugurated His practical and inspiring mandate. Continuing his message, President Vertallier underlined the urgency of announcing the return of Jesus, starting by a personal witnessing lifestyle.
Speakers of this convention included Gary Krause, General Conference Adventist Mission director, Paolo Benini, EUD Global Mission director, and Mario Brito, EUD Ministerial Association secretary.
A general overview of the church’s situation in terms of mission was extensively presented. Every 30 seconds someone becomes a Seventh-day Adventist. Every 4 hours a new Seventh-day Adventist church is organized.
There are 132’000 Adventist churches and companies present in 206 of 232 countries and areas of the world where Seventh-day Adventists are established.

One of every 407 world inhabitants is Adventist. In Europe the ratio is one for every 1’800, showing that the growth here is the most difficult. 25’000 new congregations are expected in 2015, with 296 in the EUD territory. “Our responsibility is to be a witness,” said Krause “to be faithful, and to play our part in God’s much larger plan.” Following a strategic plan for western countries such as those in the EUD, Krause highlighted the Urban Mission challenge. The world’s urban population went from 10% in 1900, to 47% in 2000 with a projection of 60% in the year 2030. Taking this trend into consideration, the GC’s Annual Council launched the ‘Mission in Big Cities’ project, which will also be implemented in our countries. This is a challenge that needs to be combined with a more precise church planting program, including the small group model.
“To reach o

ur goal,” said Krause “the mission has to be welcoming, community based and wholistic.” In other words, the character of the mission has to be more relational than ‘institutional.’ A friendly attitude, good preaching, great events, as well as training and equipping church members should provide the needed elements to accomplish the mission.
Paolo Benini, presenting the factors that lead people to a new relationship with Christ and their Church, confirmed this relationship character of mission, affirming that “studies show the best method to invite people to accept Jesus is a personal and friendly attitude.” More than 75% of new members were drawn because of this attitude, compared with 1-2% from traditional methods. 
“Preaching the Gospel is not a question of numbers,” said Benini, “but how to labor for those for whom Christ died.” And Mario Brito echoed “People are looking for Christ, not for religious practices.

” In this context, Krause urged the participants to consider ways to create a place where barriers are down in order to invite people to enter into contact with Jesus more easily. Once this contact is established, then we can help them to become His disciples. Finally, the Biblical approach for mission is to make disciples according to Jesus’ method, “sharing faith in high quality relationships and creating a welcome and loving atmosphere” concluded Gabriel Maurer, EUD Executive Secretary. At the end of these two days of Adventist Mission Convention, the Executive Committee voted the following declaration:

Declaration of commitment on mission
The members of the Executive Committee of EUD, representing different countries, cultures and backgrounds realize that our methods in accomplishing the task that has been entrusted to us may vary according to the context. However we commit ourselves to being more intentional about contextualized mission and discipleship both in our personal and professional life by dedicating time, finances and effort to reach out to the community that is surrounding us according to our best gifts, talents and possibilities.

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