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July 17 is the Reach the World Day

The initiative, “Reach the World: I Will Go” is rooted in the Great Commission of Jesus.

July 17 is the Reach the World Day

Bern, Switzerland.Andreas Mazza, EUDnews with the contribution of ANN.

At the 2019 Annual Council, the Executive Committee (EC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church approved the strategic plan for the next quinquennium.

The initiative, “Reach the World: I Will Go” is rooted in the Great Commission, “which calls Jesus’ followers to go and make disciples of all nations. The Great Commission in Matthew 28 is clear: Jesus’ followers are to go and make disciples of all nations. The gospel must be shared with the hundreds of unreached people groups around the world. I Will Go outlines specific objectives and ways to accomplish this task.”

The plan was developed by the Future Plans Working Group strategic planning and research oversight committee, chaired by Mike Ryan, assistant to the president, after consulting with divisions and receiving approval from the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee in 2019.

The details of the plan reflect data collected from Adventist members through several research studies. This information identifies areas that can help Seventh-day Adventist members to grow spiritually and become more effective in their mission to the world.

The strategic plan was to be officially launched at the General Conference (GC) Session in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2020. However, due to widespread uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak and safety concerns for delegate travel, the GC Session has been postponed until June 2022. This has presented a challenge for formally unveiling the new five-year strategic plan, although divisions and other Church entities are already in the process of implementing the main objectives.

The ‘I will go Initiative’

The “Reach the World: I Will Go” initiative covers a broad spectrum of church life, but predominantly focuses on the responsibility of individual and corporate mission. There are three main emphases: Mission, Spiritual Growth, and Leadership; and 10 objectives, with Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for each category.

David Trim, director of Archives, Statistics and Research for the Adventist Church, explained: “The reason for our strategic plan is to make certain that we remain focused on the really important matters. How do we know what the really important matters are? By the research that we do. ‘Reach the World’ was based on research, and it remains our overarching strategic plan.”

Of the surveys given to church members in all 13 divisions in 2018, there were 63,756 responses to questions dealing with personal spiritual practices, the local church environment, and a range of biblical beliefs.

Trim said that the Adventist Church will be testing the progress on the KPI’s, whether they are successful or not, by research. Research indicates strengths and weaknesses in the system. Trim pointed to statistics from 2012-2018 as indicators of areas where growth needs to take place.

As shared on the I Will Go website, this five-year plan is more than a strategic plan. It’s a mission-focused tool based on real data and the Great Commission. Its value will be determined as the Church works together as a worldwide team of brothers and sisters, under the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the World Church, said that through this focus, “we hope to see a worldwide, massive involvement of all our church members in their evangelistic and witnessing commitment during these last days of earth’s history as they all become active in Total Member Involvement—everyone staying close to Christ and doing something for Him through His power.”

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