Focus Evangelism on Medical
Ministry, Wilson tells Annual Council
Keep Seventh-day Adventist Church united in difficult times, he says (Posted November 7, 2012)
BY EDWIN MANUEL GARCIA
, Adventist News Network
peaking to a packed auditorium at General Conference headquarters during the Sabbath morning, October 13, worship of the 2012 Annual Council, Ted
N. C. Wilson, world church president, implored leaders to focus evangelism efforts on health ministry, while also urging them to help the movement remain united during difficult times.
Wilson called for the congregation to consider the health and unity messages as “two important interrelated burdens of Christ and burdens of mine, and I hope yours.”
He quoted from the book of Matthew, as well as the writings of church cofounder Ellen G. White, to state that medical missionary work and health reform are an “integral part of mission to the cities,” and that there is a “great need for selfless unity in Christ” to proclaim the three angels’ messages.
His sermon, “Never Doubt—God Is in Control,” came on opening weekend of Annual Council, where hundreds of world church leaders, lay delegates, and others converged at headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, to hold several days of Executive Committee business sessions. (The full text of Wilson’s sermon is online at http://bit.ly/OIYNJV.)
SABBATH SERMON: Seventh-day Adventist Church president Ted N. C. Wilson delivers the Sabbath sermon during Annual Council on October 13, 2012. [PHOTOS: Ansel Oliver]
The renewed focus on health ministry, to launch in metropolitan New York beginning in 2013, is a major effort to evangelize in mostly large-city communities.
“In every city Seventh-day Adventists should minister to people not only from their local churches but also from such centers of influence as health clinics, vegetarian restaurants, reading rooms, counseling centers, and community service centers,” Wilson said.
That work, he said, will require the involvement of lay members as well as an organized effort by established denominational ministries such as Adventist Community Services, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Adventist World Radio, Hope Channel, and Adventist Book Centers. The evangelistic outreach is expected to reach 650 of the world’s largest cities by 2015.
Wilson’s message relied heavily on Matthew 14—the feeding of the multitude—to make his point about unity.
In his sermon, which was broadcast on Hope Channel, Wilson repeatedly acknowledged that it is critical for the church to remain united. “ ‘It is the word of the living God that is to decide all controversies,’ ” Wilson said, quoting from Ellen White. “ ‘It is when men mingle their own human smartness with God’s words of truth in giving sharp thrusts to those who are in controversy with them that they show that they have not a sacred reverence for God’s inspired word.’ ”
He added: “I speak to myself as well as to all others that in whatever discussions take place, let us always say things in a Christlike spirit and with respect, allowing the Word of God to decide all controversies.”
He concluded the sermon by asking the congregation of 700 attendees to hold hands for prayer and sing the hymn “We Have This Hope.”