Reformation Continued…

Reformation Continued…

Year-End Meeting of the Inter-European Division - The President’s Report

November 10, 2017 | Bern, Switzerland. | C. Cozzi, CD-EUDNews.

"500 years ago, Martin Luther unintentionally began a debate that rapidly grew into a movement - local, national, European and finally worldwide." With these words, Pastor Mario Brito, President of the Inter-European Region (EUD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church introduced the autumn session of the year-end EUD Executive Committee. So, the motto of the whole meeting.

The committee was held in Prague, Czech Republic, from November 2-6, with about 85 participants, mostly officers from various countries, administrators, pastors, laymen and departmental directors.

Taking in account the celebration of 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation this year, the participants were, somehow, expecting the President to mention Luther in his introductory speech.

“Martin Luther simply wanted to correct some abuses that were taking place on behalf of religion. This is why he started a debate expecting to redress the situation. This was a common procedure in that time.”

The debate went farther, deeper and wider than he had ever dreamed or expected.

“It looks like the debate is fading away today,” affirmed Brito, “and we should be asking ourselves if we shouldn’t start it all over again.”

"Today, more than ever, we need to post again a few theses on the doors of our churches and offices, for internal debate which I hope will quickly spread and create a movement that leads us back to God and to a meaningful relationship with each other", said Pastor Brito.

He declared that now is the time to unleash the tremendous potential of justification by faith. It will help us grow stronger and bolder in our commitment to spread the Gospel message.

The (Im)Possible Mission

Referring to last year's report, the president once again stated that the EUD Adventist Church is struggling to keep its members. The growth seems to be insignificant, even inexistent. "If nothing is done to stop the current trend, our plateauing condition may soon be converted into a negative growth. I truly believe that it is possible to reverse the situation and have a healthy growth in our territory."

Continuing his report, Brito confirmed that it is possible to reverse this negative trend. “In order to do so, it is necessary to take into account a few important issues” explained the President. “The first is a meaningful relationship with our Creator and Saviour. As we understand the depth of His love manifested in the creation and redemption of humankind we are moved to deeper level of relationship with Him and each other. We will pay more attention to our children and youth; we will be involved in small Bible study groups in homes; we will organize our church activities in such a way that most of the members will naturally and joyfully involved in team work.”

Considering that all the unions belonging to the EUD territory are taking the growth challenge seriously, some interesting results are taking place in several unions.

Considering the scope of the report he mentioned just a few of them.

Italy - Biblia Expo

Organized in two different cities with a total of 1,100 non-Adventist visitors. Thirty of them accepted Bible studies. A good number enrolled in the Bible Correspondence School.

Spain - Biblia Expo

Organized in 8 different locations with a total attendance of 3,500 non-Adventists. More than 150 of them enrolled in the Bible Correspondence School. Fifty people accepted Bible studies.

Portugal - 10-day evangelistic campaign

This event was broadcasted in 111 churches producing good results in terms of baptisms, decisions for baptism, and Bible Studies.

Bulgaria - Total Member Involvement Evangelistic Campaigns

A project carried out in 71 public meetings, led by 47 Bulgarian pastors and 24 guest speakers, resulting in about 2020 visitors, 375 decisions for Bibles studies and 98 baptisms.

Romania - Total Member Involvement Evangelistic Campaigns

More than 2000 evangelistic meetings led by 1,400 church members and 600 pastors. The results are encouraging: 31,700 visitors, 4,814 decisions for Bible studies and 2,667 decisions for baptism.

In his conclusion, President Brito mentioned that "we should keep in mind that our mission is making disciples. This is the bottom line of everything we do. As we talk about mission we may be tempted to focus on numbers and strategies instead of focusing on individuals to be saved and transformed into the image of God. Mission starts at home with our children and spouse."

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