During the works of the Inter-European Region (EUD) of the Seventh-day Adventists (Adventists) Executive Committee, a new module has been introduced. All the members have been divided in groups to elaborate a strategic framework that will drive the church for the next quinquennium.
“I realize that a great number of programs and initiatives are driven without having a common goal and synchronized schedule of implementation, and very often department directors don’t always know what is happening in the other departments, thus there is a lot of duplicated work and similar initiatives,” affirmed President Brito. “If we want a more effective church, we have to pay more attention to working together as a well-organized team. This provides an excellent opportunity for spiritual and relational growth that generates deeper motivation and unity,” he added.
This Strategic Framework that the Executive is called to formulate is not intended to stop the work of the various departments of the church, but to establish priorities according to the needs and the available resources. The objective is to provide general guidelines for a united ministry to be implemented in the EUD territory at all church levels.
“My wish is to create awareness and the right motivation for all church members to be involved in the ministry entrusted to them – individually and collectively,” said the President.
The Executive worked for two days around these purposes and the ten groups of executive members sent in their proposals to an association of writers, to be synthesized and assembled. Finally a statement, clearly outlining the executives' responses, has been presented by the writers and is to be published further down the road.
“We are fully aware that we cannot make everyone happy,” said Matthias Müller, one of the writers, “so we tried to focus on the essential.” This Strategic Framework, even though still in process, has been adopted by the Executive.
“For me, this way of working together was a challenge because we had to bridge the gap between the strategy developed on the level of our worldwide church and the needs and facilities on a local church level,” said Christian Grassl, Austrian Union President. “The process of working intensively in small groups and reporting to the larger body became more and more valuable during the meeting. It was motivating to concentrate so exclusively on the mission God wants to accomplish with and through his church,” declared Grassl.
David Jennah, Swiss-French Union President affirmed that “… it is uplifting to make concrete proposals that touch the real needs of the churches, and thus reach the point at which strategic plans of the EUD become possible.”
"We experienced a serene environment of collaboration and reflection," said Ruben de Abreu, Franco-Belgian Union President. "This dynamic process of working in groups with people from different origins allowed us to better understand the diversity that exists in this area and how it enriches all of us.”
“The feeling of being united and working out a common strategy or solution is very helpful,” confirmed Günther Maurer, Swiss-German Adventist Church President. “I suggest spending time together in a specific group (presidents, secretaries, treasurers), not only in the beginning , but also continuing with such a unit until the end of the days. In the beginning we have to search together. At the end we can share precious thoughts before going back to our home countries”.
Concluding his first Executive Year-end Meeting, President Mario Brito pointed out the reality and the urgency of the mission, the unique motive for the existence of our church. “Accomplish the mission: what does it mean?” asked Brito. “What touches me is that God doesn’t want to do things alone; He calls me to be a co-worker. God wants us to be implicated in the project of redemption.” “The hobby of our heavenly Father? It is saving humanity, looking for the lost sheep,” challenged a smiling President to the members of the Executive. “God wants us to love people. God wants us to be involved in saving humanity. If we love each other, the strategy we are starting for this new quinquennium will be accomplished by itself.” He concluded by saying, “Jesus wants us to be the message!”