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Sixth Business Meeting
57th General Conference Session, July 3, 2000, 9:30 a.m.

Voted, To approve the following partial report of the Nominating Committee:

General Conference

General Vice Presidents

    Lowell C Cooper
    Gerry D Karst
    Armando Miranda
    Leo Ranzolin
    Calvin B Rock
    Ted N C Wilson

Division Presidents
  Violeto F Bocala, Southern Asia-Pacific Division
  Luka T Daniel, Africa-Indian Ocean Division
  Laurie J Evans, South Pacific Division
  Ulrich Frikart, Euro-Africa Division
  Israel Leito, Inter-American Division
  Pardon Mwansa, Eastern Africa Division
  Ruy H Nagel, South American Division
  D Ronald Watts, Southern Asia Division
  Bertil Wiklander, Trans-European Division

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 5, Church Membership, page 30, Baptismal Vow and Baptism, to read as follows:

Baptismal Vow�Candidates for baptism or those being received into fellowship by profession of faith shall affirm their acceptance of the doctrinal beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the presence of the church or other properly appointed body. (See p. 29.) The minister or elder should address the following questions to the candidate(s), whose reply may be by verbal assent or by raising the hand.


  1. Do you believe there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons?
  2. 2. Do you accept the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary as the atoning sacrifice for your sins and believe that by God�s grace through faith in His shed blood you are saved from sin and its penalty?
  3. 3. Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour believing that God, in Christ, has forgiven your sins and given you a new heart, and do you renounce the sinful ways of the world?
  4. 4. Do you accept by faith the righteousness of Christ, your Intercessor in the heavenly sanctuary, and accept His promise of transforming grace and power to live a loving, Christ-centered life in your home and before the world?
  5. 5. Do you believe that the Bible is God�s inspired Word, the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian? Do you covenant to spend time regularly in prayer and Bible study?
  6. Do you accept the Ten Commandments as a transcript of the character of God and a revelation of His will? Is it your purpose by the power of the indwelling Christ to keep this law, including the fourth commandment, which requires the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord and the memorial of Creation?
  7. Do you look forward to the soon coming of Jesus and the blessed hope when �this mortal shall . . . put on immortality�? As you prepare to meet the Lord, will you witness to His loving salvation by using your talents in personal soul-winning endeavor to help others to be ready for His glorious appearing?
  8. Do you accept the biblical teaching of spiritual gifts and believe that the gift of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church?
  9. Do you believe in church organization? Is it your purpose to worship God and to support the church through your tithes and offerings and by your personal effort and influence?
  10. Do you believe that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; and will you honor God by caring for it, avoiding the use of that which is harmful; abstaining from all unclean foods; from the use, manufacture, or sale of alcoholic beverages; the use, manufacture, or sale of tobacco in any of its forms for human consumption; and from the misuse of or trafficking in narcotics or other drugs?
  11. Do you know and understand the fundamental Bible principles as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Do you purpose, by the grace of God, to fulfill His will by ordering your life in harmony with these principles?
  12. Do you accept the New Testament teaching of baptism by immersion and desire to be so baptized as a public expression of faith in Christ and His forgiveness of your sins?
  13. Do you accept and believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Bible prophecy and that people of every nation, race, and language are invited and accepted into its fellowship? Do you desire to be a member of this local congregation of the world church?

Certificate of Baptism and Commitment�A space will be provided for the new member to sign the certificate as an affirmation of this commitment. Following the baptism, a Certificate of Baptism and Commitment will be presented to the candidate as a covenant document. The commitment will read as follows:


  1. I believe there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons.
  2. I accept the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary as the atoning sacrifice for my sins. I believe that by God�s grace through faith in His shed blood that I am saved from sin and its penalty.
  3. I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour and believe that God, in Christ, has forgiven my sins and given me a new heart, and I renounce the sinful ways of the world.
  4. I accept by faith the righteousness of Christ, my Intercessor in the heavenly sanctuary, and accept His promise of transforming grace and power to live a loving, Christ-centered life in my home and before the world.
  5. I believe the Bible is God�s inspired Word, the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian. I covenant to spend time regularly in prayer and Bible study.
  6. I accept the Ten Commandments as a transcript of the character of God and a revelation of His will. It is my purpose by the power of the indwelling Christ to keep this law, including the fourth commandment, which requires the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord and the memorial of Creation.
  7. I look forward to the soon coming of Jesus and the blessed hope when �this mortal shall . . . put on immortality.� As I prepare to meet the Lord, I will witness to His loving salvation by using my talents in personal soul-winning endeavor to help others to be ready for His glorious appearing.
  8. I accept the biblical teaching of spiritual gifts and believe that the gift of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church.
  9. I believe in church organization. It is my purpose to worship God and to support the church through my tithes and offerings and by my personal efforts and influence.
  10. I believe that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; and I will honor God by caring for it, avoiding the use of that which is harmful; abstaining from all unclean foods, from the use, manufacture, or sale of alcoholic beverages; the use, manufacture, or sale of tobacco in any of its forms for human consumption; and from the misuse of or trafficking in narcotics or other drugs.
  11. I know and understand the fundamental Bible principles as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I purpose, by the grace of God, to fulfill His will by ordering my life in harmony with these principles.
  12. I accept the New Testament teaching of baptism by immersion and desire to be so baptized as a public expression of faith in Christ and His forgiveness of my sins.
  13. I accept and believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Bible prophecy and that people of every nation, race, and language are invited and accepted into its fellowship. I desire to be a member of this local congregation of the world church.

Welcoming Candidates�After the candidates have, in the presence of the church membership or other properly appointed body, answered the questions of the vow in the affirmative, or assurance has been given to the church that such answers have already been given, the church body should be asked to vote on their acceptance into the church, subject to baptism, which ordinance should not be unduly delayed.

Receiving Members Who Are Not Known�In preparing for the baptism of his converts, an evangelist should invite the pastor or elder to visit his baptismal classes and become acquainted with his converts. Such contacts will enable the church to be better prepared to receive the new members into church fellowship. This general procedure should not apply in the case of isolated believers who wish to unite with the conference/mission/field church.

Baptismal Ceremony�At this ceremony the deacons should make the necessary preparation and assist the male candidates into and out of the water. (See p. 53.) The deaconesses should assist all female candidates. (See p. 54.) Care should be exercised to see that proper attire is provided for the candidates. Robes of suitable heavy material are preferable. If such are not available, the candidates should dress in such a manner that they will be modestly attired. The baptismal ceremony should be followed by extending the right hand of fellowship and the giving of a few words of welcome by the pastor or elder in behalf of the entire church.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 49, The Church Elder, To Cooperate With the Conference, to read as follows:

To Cooperate With the Conference/Mission/Field�The pastor, elder(s), and all church officers should cooperate with the conference/mission/field officers and departmental directors in carrying out local, union, division, and General Conference plans. They should inform the church of all regular and special offerings, and should promote all the programs and activities of the church.

The elder should work very closely with the church treasurer and see that all conference/mission/field funds are remitted promptly to the conference/mission/field treasurer at the time established by the conference/mission/field. The elder should give personal attention to seeing that the church clerk�s report is sent promptly to the conference/mission/field secretary at the close of each quarter.

The elder should regard all correspondence from the conference/mission/field office as important. Letters calling for announcements to the church should be presented at the proper time.

The first elder, in the absence of and in cooperation with the pastor, should see that delegates to conference/mission/field sessions are elected and that the names of such delegates are sent to the conference/mission/field office by the clerk.

The elder should give counsel and help to officers in the church to measure up to their responsibilities in cooperating with the conference/mission/field in carrying out plans and policies, and in seeing that reports are accurately and promptly forwarded.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 49, The Church Elder, To Foster Tithing, to read as follows:

To Foster Tithing�As one who faithfully returns tithe, the elder can do much to encourage the church members to return a faithful tithe. (See pp. 136-138, 191.) Anyone who fails to set an example in this important matter should not be elected to the position of elder or to any other church office. Tithing can be fostered by public presentation of the scriptural privilege and responsibility of stewardship and by personal labor with the members. Such labor should be carried on in a tactful and helpful manner. The elder should regard all financial matters pertaining to church members as confidential and should not place such information in the hands of unauthorized persons.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 50, The Church Elder, To Distribute Responsibility, to read as follows:

To Distribute Responsibility�In the distribution of duties pertaining to church activities, care should be taken not to lay too much responsibility upon willing workers, while others with perhaps lesser talents are passed by. The election of one individual to several offices is to be discouraged unless circumstances make it necessary. The elder especially should be left free from other burdens to perform effectually the many duties of this sacred office. It may be advisable in some cases to ask the elder to lead the outreach (missionary) work of the church, but even this should be avoided if other talent is available.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, pages 51-54, The Deacon, to read as follows:

The Deacon

The office of deacon is described in the New Testament (1 Tim. 3:8-13) where the Greek word diakonos is used from which the English �deacon� is derived. The Greek word is variously interpreted as �servant, minister, writer, attendant� and in Christian circles acquired the specialized meaning now attached to �deacon.� Scripture clearly endorses the office in the New Testament church: �They that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus� (1 Tim. 3:13). On this authority, the church elects some of its members to serve in eminently practical ways, caring for several aspects of church services, as well as for church property.

The deacon is elected to office, serving for a term of one or two years as determined by the local church. (See p. 45.)

Importance of the Office�No change

Board of Deacons�No change

Deacons Must Be Ordained�No change

Deacons Not Authorized to Preside�The deacon is not authorized to preside at any of the ordinances of the church, nor can he perform the marriage ceremony. He may not preside at any of the business meetings of the church, neither may he officiate at the reception or transfer of members. Where a church has no one authorized to perform such duties, the church shall contact the conference/mission/field for assistance.

The Duties of Deacons�The work of the deacons involves a wide range of practical services for the church including:

  1. Assistance at Services and Meetings�At church services, the deacons are usually responsible for welcoming members and visitors as they enter the church, and for assisting them, where necessary, to find seats. They also stand ready to cooperate with pastor and elders for the smooth functioning of the meetings conducted in the church.
  2. Visitation of Members�An important duty belonging to deacons is that of visiting church members in their homes. (See p. 55.) In many churches this is arranged by a distribution of membership by districts, assigning a deacon to each district, with the expectation that he will visit each home at least once a quarter.
  3. Preparation for Baptismal Services�The deacons should assist at baptismal services, ensuring that the baptistry is prepared and water heated, and that male candidates are cared for both before and after the ceremony. They should do their part in making the necessary preparations for this service; there should be no confusion or delay. (See p. 32.)
  4. Assistance at the Communion Service�At the celebration of the ordinance of foot- washing, the deacons or deaconesses provide everything that is needed for the service, such as: towels, basins, water (at a comfortable temperature as the occasion may require), buckets, et cetera. After the service they should see that the vessels and linen used are washed and returned to their proper place.

    Following the Lord�s Supper, great care should be exercised in disposing of any bread or wine left over after all have partaken of these emblems. Any wine remaining that was blessed, is to be poured out. Any of the bread remaining which was blessed should be burned.

  5. The Care of the Sick and the Poor�Another important responsibility of deacons is the care of the sick, relieving the poor, and aiding the unfortunate. Money should be provided for this work from the church fund for the needy. The treasurer, on recommendation from the church board, will pass over to the deacons or deaconesses whatever may be needed for use in needy cases. This work is the particular charge of the deacons and the deaconesses, but the church is to be kept fully acquainted with the needs, in order to enlist the membership�s support.
  6. Care and Maintenance of Church Property�In some churches, where the responsibility for the care and maintenance of the church property is not assigned to a building committee, the deacons have this responsibility. It is their duty to see that the building is kept clean and in repair, and that the grounds upon which the church stands are kept clean and made attractive. This also includes ensuring that the janitorial work is done. In large churches it is often necessary to employ a janitor. The deacons should recommend a suitable person to the church board, which takes action by vote to employ such help, or the church board may authorize the deacons to employ a janitor. Church board authorization should be obtained for all major repair expenses. All bills for repairs, as well as for water, light, fuel, et cetera, are referred to the church treasurer for payment.

Voted, To revise the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 54, The Deaconess, The Duties of Deaconesses, to read as follows:

The Duties of Deaconesses�Deaconesses serve the church in a wide variety of important activities including:

  1. Assistance at Baptisms�Deaconesses assist at the baptismal services, ensuring that female candidates are cared for both before and after the ceremony. They also give such counsel and help as may be necessary regarding suitable garments for baptism. Robes of suitable material should be provided. Where robes are used, the deaconesses should see that they are laundered and carefully set aside for future use. (See p. 32.)
  2. Arrangements for the Communion Service�The deaconesses assist in the ordinance of foot-washing, giving special aid to women visitors or those who have newly joined the church. It is the duty of the deaconesses to arrange everything needed for this service, such as seeing that the table linen, towels, et cetera, used in the celebration of ordinances, are laundered and carefully stored. (See p. 70.)

    The deaconesses make arrangements for the communion table including: preparing the bread and wine, arranging the ordinance table, pouring the wine, placing the plates of unleavened bread, and covering the table with the linen provided for that purpose. All these matters should be cared for before the service begins.

  3. The Care of the Sick and the Poor�Deaconesses are to do their part in caring for the sick, the needy, and the unfortunate, cooperating with the deacons in this work. (See p. 54 above.)

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 55, The Church Clerk, An Important Office, to read as follows:

The Church Clerk

An Important Office�The clerk of the church has one of the important church offices, upon the proper administration of which much of the efficient functioning of the church depends. Like all other church officers, the church clerk is elected for a one or two year term as determined by the local church (see p. 45); but because of the important and specialized functions of this office, it is wise to choose one who can be reelected to repeated terms to provide continuity in record keeping and reporting. In large churches assistant clerks may be elected as needed. The clerk serves as the secretary of all the business meetings of the church and should keep a correct record of all such meetings. If for any reason the clerk must be absent from any meeting, arrangements should be made for the assistant to be present to take the minutes of the proceedings. These minutes should be recorded in the Church Record book, or in another appropriate record system adopted by the church, giving the time and date of meeting, number attending, and a report of all actions taken. The clerk should also make a list of any committees appointed at such meetings, giving to the chairperson a list of the members of each committee, together with its terms of reference and an outline of work it is asked to do. The Church Record book may be secured from the Adventist Book Center or, in some countries, from the publishing house.

This Church Record book contains a place for recording the church membership, giving the columns necessary to show how and when members are received or removed. This record must be kept chronologically, and supporting data for each entry should also be recorded in the section where minutes of membership actions are kept. The church membership record must be accurately and currently maintained in order to show the official standing of the membership.
Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 56, The Church Clerk, Corresponding With Members, to read as follows:

Corresponding With Members�The clerk should endeavor to keep in touch with absent members by correspondence and should pass on to them interesting items of church progress, encouraging them, in turn, to report their own Christian activities each quarter. It is desirable for the clerk to write to them frequently.
Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, pages 56 and 57, The Church Clerk, Reports to be Furnished Promptly, to read as follows:

Reports to be Furnished Promptly�It is the duty of the church clerk to furnish promptly certain reports. Some of these are annual, while others are quarterly. It is essential that they be sent to the conference/mission/field secretary within the time specified as these reports are important for the accuracy of reports prepared by other organizations of the world church. The information required for these reports is to be secured from the treasurer, the Personal Ministries secretary, the deacon, the Sabbath School secretary, the Adventist Youth Society secretary, the church school teacher, and from the clerk�s own records.

Every item of information called for in the blanks should be supplied. Special attention should be given to the transfer of members, and members received and dropped for various causes, as indicated by the blank. The conference/mission/field secretary must report quarterly to the union conference secretary, and the union conference secretary must report to the division, and the division secretary to the General Conference office, relative to these important items; any omission or delay in the report seriously affects the work all along the way. Faithful attention to the details specified in the report blanks greatly assists in keeping accurate records of the worldwide work of the church.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 57, The Church Treasurer, A Sacred Work, to read as follows:

The Church Treasurer

A Sacred Work�The treasurer is called to an important task and is elected as are other officers for a one or two year term as determined by the local church. (See p. 45.) In large churches it may be deemed advisable to elect assistant treasurers as needed.

The treasurer can greatly encourage faithfulness in the returning of tithe and deepen the spirit of liberality on the part of the church members. A word of counsel given in the spirit of the Master will help the brother or sister to render faithfully to God His own in tithes and offerings, even in a time of financial stringency.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 57, The Church Treasurer, Church Treasurer the Custodian of All Church Funds, to read as follows:

Church Treasurer the Custodian of All Church Funds�The church treasurer is the custodian of all church funds. These funds are (1) conference/mission/field funds, (2) local church funds, and (3) funds belonging to the auxiliary organizations of the local church.

All funds (conference/mission/field, local church, and local church auxiliary) are deposited by the treasurer in a bank or financial institution account in the name of the church, unless the local conference/mission/field authorizes another system. This is a separate bank account which is not to be combined with any personal account. Surplus church funds may be deposited in savings accounts upon authorization of the church board. Where large balances are carried for building or special projects, the church board may authorize separate bank accounts. Such accounts, however, shall be operated by the treasurer.

  Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 57, The Church Treasurer, Conference Funds, to read as follows:

Conference/Mission/Field Funds�Conference/Mission/Field funds, which include tithe, all regular mission funds, and all funds for special conference/mission/field projects and institutions, are trust funds. At the close of each month, or more often if requested by the conference/mission/field, the church treasurer shall send to the conference/mission/ field treasurer the entire amount of conference/mission/field funds received during that period of time. The church may not borrow, use, or withhold such conference/mission/field funds for any purpose.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 58, The Church Treasurer, Adventist Youth Society Funds, to read as follows:

Adventist Youth Society Funds�Adventist Youth Society (AYS) funds have to do with both the Adventist Youth (AY) and the Adventist Junior Youth (AJY) Societies, and the funds of each society shall be kept separately on the church treasurer�s books. Society offerings to missions and general church work or to conference/mission/field enterprises shall be handed to the church treasurer as soon as possible after they are received, to be forwarded to the conference/mission/field treasurer. All funds contributed to society expense shall be given promptly to the church treasurer, to be held in trust for the society.

The expense funds of the AY Society shall be disbursed by the church treasurer on the order of the Adventist Youth Society Committee. (See p. 99.) Expense funds of the AJY Society shall be disbursed on the order of the AJY Society leader.
Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 58, The Church Treasurer, Funds of Auxiliary Organizations, to read as follows:

Funds of Auxiliary Organizations�Auxiliary organization funds include such funds as church outreach programs, welfare, family life, Adventist Youth Society, Dorcas Society, Sabbath School expense, and that portion of the Health Ministries funds belonging to the church, and may include church school funds. All money received by and for these organizations is turned over promptly to the church treasurer by the secretary of the organization, or by the deacons. These funds belong to the auxiliary organizations of the church. They may be disbursed only by order of the auxiliary organization to which they belong.

The treasurer shall give receipts for all funds received including those deposited by any of the subsidiary organizations of the church. On receiving money from the church treasurer, the secretary of such organization shall give a proper receipt to the treasurer.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 59, The Church Treasurer, Money for Personal Literature Orders, to read as follows:

Money for Personal Literature Orders�In areas where a local Adventist Book Center does not exist, church members may place their money for personal orders of literature, books, pamphlets, magazines, and subscriptions for periodicals in an envelope, with the order form properly filled out, and hand it to the Personal Ministries secretary. The treasurer then remits both order and payment for all such literature to the conference/mission/field Adventist Book Center, or to the publishing house according to the system adopted by the conference/mission/ field. At the close of each quarter the Personal Ministries secretary will make a report to the church at its quarterly business meeting, of the standing of its account with the Adventist Book Center and/or publishing house and shall provide a copy for the church treasurer. (See pp. 88, 89.)

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 60, The Church Treasurer, Preserving Vouchers, to read as follows:

Preservation of Financial Documents�Financial documents, vouchers, or receipted bills should be secured for all funds received and disbursed in accordance with the system authorized by the local conference/mission/field.
Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 61, Interest Coordinator, to read as follows:

Interest Coordinator

It is important that the many interests developed through the church�s (missionary) outreach be cared for promptly. To this end, an interest coordinator, who may be an elder, should be elected at the time of the election of church officers. (See p. 45.) This person is a member of the church board and the Personal Ministries Council and works directly with the pastor and chairperson of that council. The duties involved in this office include:

  1. To keep an organized list of all interests received by the church from every source such as Community Services, Ingathering, public evangelism, Bible studies, lay preaching and witnessing contacts, outreach (missionary) magazines, Sabbath School evangelism, literature evangelism, temperance and health evangelism, radio-TV, and church outreach (missionary) literature.
  2. To assist the pastor and chairperson of the Personal Ministries Council in the enlistment and recruitment of qualified laity for follow-up service.
  3. To render to the church board a monthly report on the number of interests received and the number followed up. When an interest is sufficiently developed, it should be shared with the pastor.

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 6, Church Officers and Their Duties, page 62, A Disfellowshipped Church Officer, to read as follows:

A Church Officer Removed from Church Membership

When a church officer is from removed from membership in the church and is subsequently readmitted to church membership, this action does not reinstate the individual to the former office.

Voted, To add a new section to the Church Manual, The Purpose of the Services and Meetings of the Church, to Chapter 7, The Services and Meetings of the Church, following Spiritual Worship, on page 63, to read as follows:

The Purpose of the Services and Meetings of the Church�The experience of a Christian is one of spiritual rebirth, joyful reconciliation, faithful mission, and humble obedience to God (2 Cor. 5:17; Phil. 2:5-8). Whatever a Christian does, or participates in, including the services and meetings of the church, is a testimony of this new life in Christ and a sharing of its fruits in the Spirit. The purpose of the services and meetings of the church is to worship God for His creative work and for all the benefits of His salvation; to understand His Word, His teachings, and His purposes; to fellowship with one another in faith and love; to witness about one�s personal faith in Christ�s atoning sacrifice at the cross; and to learn how to fulfill the gospel commission of making disciples in all the world (Matt. 28:19, 20).

Voted, To amend the Church Manual, Chapter 7, The Services and Meetings of the Church, pages 64 and 65, Arrangements for Church Meetings, to read as follows:

Arrangements for Church Meetings�Each church should arrange its services and meetings as seems necessary. Those most essential to the worship, study, and activity of the church are the Sabbath worship service, the communion service, the prayer meeting, the Sabbath School, the young people�s meeting, and the church outreach (missionary) meeting. Sessions for proper attention to the business affairs of the church are also essential.


Matthew A Bediako, Calvin B Rock, Chairmen

Vernon B Parmenter, Secretary

Athal H Tolhurst, Actions Editor

Carol E Rasmussen, Recording Secretary


Seventh Business Meeting
57th General Conference Session, July 3, 2000, 3:00 p.m.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: Before we begin our afternoon session, there is an announcement that is to be made.

CLARENCE HODGES: We regret to announce the passing and funeral of Sister Elizabeth Rice, nearing 100 years of age, still an active Bible worker in the North American Division, having worked in several conferences. We would ask your prayers for the family, that the sustaining presence of the Holy Spirit will be with them. Thank you very much.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: I understand that the Nominating Committee has another partial report.

NIELS-ERIK ANDREASEN: We have our fourth partial report. This one has three parts to it. The first part has to do with two additional division presidents that we would like to bring to you. After that we will turn to the Secretariat of the General Conference and then after that the Treasury Department. First the secretary will read to us the two names for division presidents, and then Pastor Paulsen will make a comment of introduction.

DELBERT BAKER: Mr. Chairman, we have the two presidents of the remaining three divisions. The first, president for the North American Division. I move we accept the name of Don C. Schneider. [Motion was seconded.]

JAN PAULSEN: A word of information, Brother Chairman, before the body votes on the recommendation. The incumbent president, Elder Alfred McClure, signaled some considerable time ago his intention to retire at this session. And therefore the vacancy that has occurred is being filled by the name that is being placed before you. Don Schneider is of course a North American. He has served in a variety of assignments. He began his work like so many of your leaders�in pastoral ministry, in evangelism. He has served as conference president of five different conferences in North America and has been union president in the Lake Union Conference for the past several years. He comes with a broad range of experience and a deep commitment to the life and the witness of the church. And I am delighted that we are able to place in nomination the name of someone who comes with the strength to fill a very important position. [Motion was voted.]

DELBERT BAKER: Mr. Chairman, I place before you the name of Artur A. Stele for president of the Euro-Asia Division. I move the name of Artur A. Stele. [Motion was seconded.]

JAN PAULSEN: Brother Chairman, the incumbent president of the Euro-Asia Division also indicated some time ago that he intended to retire at this session, creating the vacancy. Artur Stele is the president of our seminary in the ESD. Dr. Stele is a young, very dynamic visionary leader for the church. He holds a doctorate degree from Andrews University, and is giving outstanding leadership at Zaoksky Theological Seminary in the Euro-Asia Division. We are pleased to be able to place this name before you, and I want to say that there are several new persons being accepted by you, both as general vice presidents and as division presidents. It is our intention to present them to you with their wives before we end the session this coming weekend, so that you can see them before you. But the name before you is Artur Stele. [Motion was voted.]

DELBERT BAKER: Mr. Chairman, in the area of the Secretariat we have five names to present to you. For the position of undersecretary of the General Conference, I move the name of Athal H. Tolhurst.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: You have heard the name. I just want to make one or two comments. You have seen Brother Tolhurst both at the Annual Council and GC sessions, and I believe that we have the best undersecretary of the General Conference. He lives for and dreams of the policies. And I am happy that he is willing to serve. [Motion was seconded and voted.]

DELBERT BAKER: For the position of associate secretary of the General Conference, I move the name of Donald R. Sahly.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: Brother Sahly came to us from the Education Department. He was president of Southern Adventist University, and was invited to join the Education Department, and then Secretariat saw some qualities there and invited him to join the team. [Motion was seconded and voted.]

DELBERT BAKER: Mr. Chairman, this is a new name here. For the position of associate secretary of the General Conference, I move the name of Theodore T. Jones.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: I need to mention that Maurice Battle, who has served in this position for many years and is known as the international protocol officer, �duty officer,� and all the names that you can give to him, has indicated that he wants to retire. That is why we are bringing in a name to replace him. The name being suggested is Ted Jones. He has served in two divisions. He first served in Uganda during the reign of Idi Amin, and after that he went to Indonesia as a union evangelist. Since he returned to the United States he has served in many capacities�as departmental director, public affairs officer, editor of Message magazine, and, for the past six years, as the president of the Atlantic Union Conference. That is the name we are proposing to replace Elder Maurice Battle. [Motion was seconded and voted.]

DELBERT BAKER: Again, Mr. Chairman, there is a new name for the position of associate secretary of the General Conference, Agustin Galicia. [The motion was made.]

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: Again, Brother Mario Veloso, who has served as secretary of the Church Manual Committee and at Annual Councils, has done a tremendous job as associate secretary. He has been taking care of the Inter-American Division, South American Division, and, I believe, Euro-Asia Division, and has done a fine job. But he also has indicated that he would like to do something else, and has decided to retire. That is why we are bringing the name of Agustin Galicia. He is currently the secretary of the Inter-American Division. Before that, he had been a union president. He has served as a pastor and as a departmental director. He comes with many years of experience. [Motion was seconded and voted.]

DELBERT BAKER: Mr. Chairman, for the position of associate secretary of the General Conference I move the name of Vernon B. Parmenter.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: Vernon Parmenter has been the assistant secretary responsible for volunteerism. He has sent many volunteers to your divisions. He did wonderful work there, and we�re sure that he should continue to do that kind of good work that he�s doing. [Motion was seconded and voted.] Before you move on I need to make an explanation. There�s one more name that we haven�t brought this afternoon. And that�s the name of Elder Larry Colburn. This is a situation in which I, for the first time, need to respect my president. Tomorrow it will be explained to you what has happened, and probably another name will be brought in regard to that position. So Secretariat has one more vacancy.

DELBERT BAKER: I move the name of Robert E. Lemon for the position of undertreasurer. [Motion was seconded and voted.] For the position of associate treasurer of the General Conference, I move the name of Gary B. DeBoer. [Motion was seconded and voted.] For the position of associate treasurer of the General Conference, I move the name of Dennis C. Keith. [Motion was seconded and voted.] For the position of associate treasurer of the General Conference, I move the name of Donald E. Robinson. [Motion was seconded and voted.] And finally, Mr. Chairman, to complete the positions in the Treasury Department, for the position of associate treasurer of the General Conference, I move the name of Steven G. Rose. [Motion was seconded and voted.]

MARIO VELOSO: Now we will deal with the Communion service. We are suggesting to amend this section. Brother Chairman, we need to call attention to the section that is new in �Ordinance of Foot-Washing and the Lord�s Supper.� The main addition is regarding the proclamation of the second coming as incorporated in the understanding of the Lord�s Supper. We have always held this, but it was not incorporated in the Church Manual.

�A Proclamation of the Second coming��The Communion service points to Christ�s second coming. It was designed to keep this hope vivid in the minds of the disciples. Whenever they met together to commemorate His death, they recounted how �he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father�s kingdom.� In their tribulation they found comfort in the hope of their Lord�s return. Unspeakably precious to them was the thought, �As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord�s death till he come.� 1 Cor 11:26.��The Desire of Ages, p. 659.�

BRYAN BALL: Brother Chairman, I may be venturing out on thin ice here and may need rescuing, but I have been reflecting on the use of the word �sacramental� on page 120 of the agenda. Now, I don�t think that as Adventists we have a sacramental theology of the Communion. We don�t use the word �Eucharist� or �sacrament�; in fact, many of us back away from the word �Communion.�

LOWELL C. COOPER: Mr. Chairman, I believe that is a quotation from the Spirit of Prophecy.

BRYAN BALL: Correct. That is where the problem lies, of course. It could well be that Sister White was using that word in a different sense from the way in which it is understood today. My concern is that while the Church Manual is intended primarily for internal use, it does on occasion find its way into the hands of those who are not of our faith. I can recollect at least two occasions when doctoral students in secular universities wanted Adventist material and particularly requested a copy of the Church Manual. There is some ambiguity here, even though the statement is a quotation. I was just wondering whether, in order to avoid any possible ambiguity, we might find another quotation or maybe even leave this one out. There are plenty of other quotations in the document. It is just a concern that I have that may give a wrong impression to those who want to know exactly what Adventist theology is on this and other positions.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Brother Chairman, we will take the comment and give it consideration on the Church Manual Committee, but probably not for this session.

RONALD BISSELL: I would like to raise what I think is only an editorial question on page 121, line 5. It says in that act of washing the disciples� feet, Christ performed a deeper cleansing. The word �deeper� implies a comparison that I was not able to find. So this may be just be an editorial damage.

MARIO VELOSO: Mr. Chairman, a �deeper cleansing� is explained immediately in the next sentence. That of washing from the heart the stain of sin.

KOKOU ADZO: We have a problem in our field because there are some people that are raising the issue of the frequency of the Lord�s Supper.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Brother Chairman, we are not bringing any recommendation concerning that issue here. The question has been raised, and I suppose the Church Manual Committee can take a look at it. We would look for counsel from the division concerned if it is a problem. It seems that Scripture itself indicates there will be multiple occasions, for Jesus said, �As oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.� [Motion was seconded and voted.]

LARRY CAVINESS: In the interest of an upcoming Church Manual discussion tomorrow that will be the divorce and remarriage issue, I would request that we, as delegates, be given a copy of the commission study, that we may be able to review it and be informed prior to the discussion and vote on that issue. Should that be made in a form of a motion?

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: The assembly will not entertain a motion on this issue, because tomorrow morning before the issue comes to the floor we will explain it. The material coming to the floor is already in your agenda book, and that is what will be discussed.

LARRY CAVINESS: I think that our concern as delegates is that if we had the commission�s report, we could be better informed in terms of the background material presented on this issue. Would it be possible for us as delegates to have a copy of that commission�s report?

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: The practice of the reference given to that commission was to report back to ADCOM, and that has been done in Washington. The report has been given to ADCOM, and it seen by our council. So the material coming tomorrow is the document that has gone through our council that we will be dealing with here. We did not come here with a report from the commission. Any commission appointed by the Administrative Committee or by the General Conference Executive Committee reports to the committee that appointed that commission.

ALVIN KIBBLE: I would like to speak in support of the previous speaker, placing a request before this body and behalf of our chair, that the full report of this commission be made available to the delegation so that we can have the rest of the insight that was gathered and was shared at the earlier date to the committee. This is a very sensitive issue that many of us feel needs to be considered very carefully and thoughtfully before a final decision is made. And in all due respect to our chair, we would like to ask that it be given further consideration.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: Thank you. Will you be patient with us and wait until we come to the text on chapter 15?

ALVIN KIBBLE: My only concern, Mr. Chairman, is that if we wait, then we may be faced with some time constraints in getting the document available. If the chair along with those who need to be brought into counsel on this can reflect on it, you would have the evening to prepare the document, and we could have it in a timely fashion.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: The chair will consult, and tomorrow you will hear from us. Thank you.

At this hour we would like to introduce the second phase of the windows on mission. Yesterday we dealt with the first window. The title for the second window is �Taking Witness to Other Religions.� The Bible tells us that the gospel commission says that we should go all over the world. And Matthew 24:14 says, �And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.� This afternoon we want to spend some time looking at what God has done with the church throughout the world, and we want to ask ourselves, Are we really serious about the gospel commission? I believe we are. But this afternoon we want to bring some figures and facts to you so that the church will be aware of what is happening. What the Lord has done through everyone here is wonderful, but could it be that there are some areas that we have not really touched? This afternoon we have five individuals who will paint a picture for us in regard to taking the gospel to other religions. Where do we find those of other faiths? What kind of methods should we use? Have the things we tried worked, or are they not working? Is it something that we really need to be serious about, or should we just rejoice where we have been successful? The first speaker will be Mike Ryan.

MIKE RYAN: Just a very quick review of the 10/40 window. It starts at the Strait of Gibraltar; sweeps across to northern Africa and southern Europe; crosses central Asia, India, and China; and extends to the shores of Japan. In this window you find 66 percent of the world�s population.

The Adventist Church was born and raised in missions. It was its first love, and today we are still a mission-oriented church, and missions must remain our first focus. One hundred years ago southern Africa, the Inter-American Division, South America, places in eastern Asia, and Australia and New Zealand were considered the mission field. And at that time the church was thrilled with the knowledge that the gospel was sweeping around the world. It was going to places where no one had ever heard the name of Jesus. And the church rallied to this. It was a great emphasis on missions. Today these former mission fields are sending missionaries, and we have watched as the work goes forward. For example, there is one Adventist among every 65 people in the Philippines, and one in six in Papua New Guinea. One in 33 in Rwanda, one in 54 in Zimbabwe, and we could talk about a lot of other places, such as Inter-America and South America, where there is a very high concentration of Seventh-day Adventists. Although we rejoice in the success, there is a danger. A sense of satisfaction that the work is nearly finished. And we have often compounded this feeling by tending to report only the positive, and emphasizing how successful things are going. Every entity does it�the departments, the organizational structures of the church. Every ministry does it, and in many moments of weakness Global Mission has been known to do it too. You know it�s important to reflect on the progress, and I believe in that. But it can lend support to the idea that the work is almost finished, when in reality there is great diversity in the 10/40 window that creates both challenges and opportunities. And we need to realize that there is a new mission field, the dimensions of which we can hardly imagine. We have no choice; fortunately, the mandate is ours and we must go forward. I just want to mention briefly the diversity of things in the 10/40 window. There are 88 countries that touch the 10/40 window, and I would just like to mention a few points thatdescribe the diversity.

Cultures�the culture ranges from the sophisticated urbanites in Tokyo to the herdsmen of the central plains in Asia to the migrant life of those in the camel caravan of northern Africa.

�Religion�one in out of every five people in the world is a Muslim. And the majority live in the 10/40 window. There are 800 million Hindus, millions of Buddhists, millions who practice animism or a form of it. We talk a lot about breaking down the Berlin Wall and how Communism fell, but we need to realize that 1.3 billion are atheistic Communists. The 10/40 window continues to contain one the wealthiest, most secular countries in the world, Japan. And in contrast, there are countries like Bangladesh and Chad, which represent poverty.

Without question the 10/40 window is the poorest area in the world. The suffering of humanity inside the window is almost incomprehensible to the Western mind. The political structures, the governments, range from Communism to democracy, religious republics to military dictatorships. As you look into that window you can see wars taking place in many areas. The civil war of Sri Lanka. The tension between India and Pakistan. The war in the Middle East. I can mention many others. Also, the ratio diversity. You know that God has blessed the church with a diversity of race, but to a greater degree than our church has ever realized, we must develop methods and structures that recognize the diversity of race. You know we have no choice as a church but to take action. The dialogue on the 10/40 window is long overdue. This discussion must begin. We must be responsible stewards with God�s mandate and come together to plan wisely on what will be done to advance His cause in this area. Certainly the best ideas are going to come from places where people have experienced the various diversities we talked about. Those ideas will be most useful. The point to be made here is that the discussion is long overdue. The question that must remain before us is What shall we do? It is not What will we talk about? but What will we do? Then we must go about with all our energy and resources, organizing our work for effectiveness. Somehow we must get our arms around the issues. The question is What are the vital issues? What ideas do we have to solve them? To continue on this initial presentation, we want to look at four areas that open up tremendous opportunities and yet also create tremendous challenges.

The first is world religions, and I have asked Dr. Jon Dybdahl, the chair of the Department of World Mission at Andrews University, to give a very brief overview of the issues of world religions and possible actions that would begin to position the church for more effective mission. Now, I hope that you have read Dr. Dybdahl�s article on the 10/40 window in Bulletin 1. If you have not read it, I would encourage you to find the article and read it, because it is the basis of the foundation of what we are talking about if we are going to be serious about the challenge of the 10/40 window.

The second is training leadership and members. As a church we continue to face the challenge of effective training of leaders and members for missions. Pat Gustin, the director of the General Conference Institute of World Mission, will talk briefly and cover the vital points of this issue.

For the third, raising awareness of the challenge and opportunities, I have asked Dr. G. T. Ng, the academic dean of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, to talk about the needs to raise awareness of the 10/40 window throughout the church. I think we all recognize that unless we move together on this issue we will not stay together.

The fourth is positioning the church for change and action. Dr. Reinder Bruinsma, who has a long history of missions and is currently serving as the secretary of the Trans-European Division, will provide an overview of issues that needs to be addressed in refocusing the church for change. So as we listen to these presentations and enter into the following discussions, I would ask that you keep a prayer in your heart, because I believe that this is one of the most serious issues that we face in mission in the SDA Church.

JON DYBDAHL: Adopting as our specific mission the 10/40 window was a radical step. If we do it seriously, we are asking for major changes that we have not seen before in our church. It is like a young couple who decides that they want to enlarge their family by having their first child or by adopting a child. They have in their love decided that it is God�s will and theirs to grow their family. They have little idea of the major changes that are going to take place in their lives when this event happens. Their schedules will be changed; their time with each other will be different; there will be sleepless nights; there will be financial challenges they never thought of; eating will be different; their whole future will be different. Life will never be the same again when a child enters into that family. Since our founding we have been married theologically and evangelistically to the Christian world. We were born in North America, a supposedly Christian continent. Our first official missionary went to Switzerland, a Christian country. Even when we later went to places where the dominant religion was Hinduism or Buddhism or Islam, we in most cases went first to the small communities that were Christian or, at best, had the appearance of traditional religion. And so we became experts at showing a second coming to people who believe that Jesus would come after 1,000 years of peace. We became very good at demonstrating the seventh-day Sabbath to the Sundaykeepers. We can demonstrate the perpetuity of the law for people who are not serious about the law. We call those who believe in the natural immortality of the soul to a biblical view of humanity and the resurrection. However, what do you do with non-Christian people who have no knowledge of the Bible; who believe in the second coming of the Buddha; who have never kept Sunday, but rather hold Friday sacred? Those who accept law and lawkeeping as important, but a different law? What about those who believe not in the resurrection of the soul or immortality, but rathr espouse reincarnation? This whole thing requires radical rethinking into what we do as we share our message. Because of going mainly to Christians, we have not done well in our evangelism among non-Christians.

I refer to a chapter on Buddhism in the book Adventist Mission in the Twenty-first Century. As a missionary to Buddhism, Christian Maberly says that �Christianity has converted few Buddhists anywhere. Adventists have not been any more successful than any other Christians. In countries like Myanmar we may have a membership of some 20,000, but fewer than 200 of those will come from the millions of Buddhists. Much the same could be said for Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. Some exceptions do exist, but by and large most of our converts through the years have come from other Christians or from people of no religion.

We have decided to adopt 380 million Chinese religionists, 360 million Buddhists, 800 million Hindus, and 1.2 billion Muslims, and we are expecting them to eat the same food we have been feeding to other Christians. Many places in the world we have worked for decades, in some places even more than a century, and have never prepared specific Bible studies or evangelistic sermons designed for the non-Christian majorities in those countries. The only material available has been translated from other Bible studies and other evangelistic sermons specifically designed to win other Christians. We wonder why people do not respond. We are not feeding them food that nourishes them, and by and large we are not scratching them where they itch.

We have been called as a people to proclaim the three angels� messages of Revelation 14. Preach the everlasting gospel �to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.� If we expect to follow God�s call and reach all, we must adopt new methods. And not only new methods, but new creative expressions of Bible truths, new sets of Bible studies, and a new generation of evangelistic sermons that fit specifically to non-Christian religions.

Yesterday Dr. George Knight told us a list of things that he would do if he were the devil. I will tell you one thing that I would do if I had $1 million to give for evangelism. That is only slightly more impossible than Dr. Knight becoming the devil. If I had $1 million to donate to evangelism, I would assemble the best school available and plan to produce basic tools, Bible studies, evangelistic sermons, suggestions for witnessing specifically designed for the major in non-Christian people groups in the 10/40 window.

I teach at the Adventist Theological Seminary, and I would suggest that this task is the highest theological work that our church can do in this world that we face in the twenty-first century.

God has called us to bring into His worldwide family His children who now bear the label of Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, animist. Are we ready for the changes that this is going to bring? We are going to spend a lot of money. We are going to live through sleepless nights. We are going to get experience in our lives, the same as what happens with any new baby, but God�s call is that we move ahead. And if we do, in the end we will rejoice as we see many from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people in God�s kingdom.

PAT GUSTIN: When I think of the challenges before us as we seriously make plans to enter this mission field of the twenty-first century, I am reminded of a quotation that probably everyone in this room could quote in their sleep, in scores of different languages. But being able to quote it and actually live by it are two different things. In the book Education the familiar passage declares that with such an army of workers as our youth rightly trained might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified and risen soon-coming Saviour could be carried to the whole world.

The question I am going to ask this afternoon is: �What do we mean by �rightly trained�?� What kind of training does a �rightly trained missionary� receive, if he or she is to be a part of this army that Dr. Dybdahl has described as carrying forward the task and meeting the challenge of the 10/40 window?

Not only is this important when we think of training missionaries and workers themselves, but it is increasingly important when we realize that in this area we are talking about pioneer work, frontier work, planting new churches, and the church that the missionaries plant and the method and message that they use being passed on from generation to generation. So we must be very careful how it is done.

Our object to begin with is �be a missionary,� whether a whole missionary or a crosscultural missionary, the person must be a thoroughly committed Christian, well grounded in Scripture and beliefs of our church. In addition to that, however, they need a standard, what we might call standard missionary training. They need to have a deep understanding of the biblical mandate for mission, because this holds them through times when they otherwise might become discouraged. They need to know and practice spiritual discipline that will enable them to be strong personally amid spiritual battles. And because these missionaries move into these challenging areas that have been described to us, they must cross major cultural and religious barriers. Going into places where the work is not already established, where there is no one to welcome them and show them the way. They will be facing the challenges of adaptation to totally different ways of living, totally different ways of thinking, and totally different ways of communicating. So they must have specialized training to deal with this. And of course, in order to cope with life in general and certainly to be able to work with and communicate well with the people they are working for, they must know the language of the people where they are working.

This is not necessary for the communication of words, but anyone who has looked at languages seriously knows that you never understand a culture and the heart of the people in that culture until you know their language. This group of missionaries must know the people where they are working. Before there was even one Seventh-day Adventist missionary, Mrs. White made the statement recorded in Life Sketches that young men and women should be qualifying themselves by becoming familiar with other languages, that God may use them to reach communities with saving truth. In 1873 and 1874 the languages they learned were French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Today, as we enter the twenty-first century, we have young people who will learn Tamil, Hindu, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, and all the languages of the 10/40 window, so that they can go and serve, not as evangelists, but as those able to listen to and understand the people with whom they work.

In addition to this basic training that all missionaries should have, there are several additional areas. As Dr. Dybdahl mentioned, they will be facing non-Christian religions, dealing with people who share nothing of their beliefs and practices. They must study these seriously. I ask myself as I ask you: �In your academy or college Bible classes, how much training did you receive on how to reach a non-Christian? I have to admit that I received none. Missionaries need to understand how they can correctly instill the message and their practice of faith in the lives of the new believers. And because these missionaries will be finally involved in church planting, they must know and understand the principles of moving into a new area and planting a church. These missionaries will also be team players and team leaders. They must know the ways of working together in teams.

In conclusion, I would simply say that other mission organizations who have already accepted this challenge to move into these unreached areas have discovered that it is essential to give their missionaries extensive training.

Brothers and sisters, if we are serious about undertaking this task, we must also take seriously the training of those who go and serve. We are almost home? Yes, but until we as a church face the challenge of the 10/40 window we are not as close to home as we all would like to be. Training? This army requires both time and money, but can we possibly neglect it?

G. T. NG: The Great Commission is highly achieved in the Adventist Church, and widely so. Because it is the Great Commission that has driven the church in the past 150 years, we thank God for what He has done through the church. Sometimes, however, the Great Commis-sion has become the great omission. Recently I came back from visiting a church in one of our distant learning centers. I had 45 ministers in my class, and many of them confessed they did not know evangelism, did not see it as very high on the agenda of the churches. Too many problems to solve, they confessed. If the work is to move forward, the Great Commission must not become the great omission.

Second, the Great Commission sometimes becomes the great commotion. The task has moved its objectivity. There is good activity, but how many are driven by mission? These members are busy. Everyone is talking in a frenzy of activity. How many are necessarily evangelistic in nature? If the church is to move forward, the Great Commission cannot afford to remain as the great commotion.

Third, the Great Commission sometimes becomes misinformation. We have heard reports that the Lord has done great things around the world. The reports are generally positive in nature, and rightly so. One has to be positive, because the Lord has promised us the work will finish in great power. But positive reports should also include reports of challenges of reality. The reality is that there are very few in the 10/40 window who know about the gospel of Christ. The reality is that very few among our church members on the local church level realize that the great majority of the non-Christian world remains unevangelized.

So what do we do? First, we need to experience a paradigm shift from the maintenance mode to the mission mode. Every agency of the church must be mobilized and deployed for evangelistic purposes. Sabbath school, the youth, education, health, ministerial departments must be mission-oriented.

Second, we need a paradigm shift of hierarchy of the church to the local church. The local church, in my estimation, is the most important rung of the Seventh-day Adventist organization. Yet the local church produces two things that other levels of the church cannot and will not produce: baptisms, and tithes and offerings. The local church has been sadly neglected. The pastor is probably the most important and yet least appreciated worker in the SDA denomination. The pastor needs pastoral care. The ministerial secretary is supposed to help pastors in formulating their evangelistic plan, but the ministerial secretary is so busy conducting evangelism that pastoral care of pastors is neglected. This neglect reaches even to the curriculum in our theological seminary. How often do we teach our students how to work among the Buddhists? How often do we teach our students how to work among the Muslims, the secularists, and so on?

The third paradigm shift is from Christian to non-Christian context. The church has limited resources�finances as well as personnel. Annually scores of pastors from North America and Europe go to the Philippines to conduct evangelistic meetings. We appreciate their efforts. We welcome them. We admire them. We appreciate their sacrifice. But why the Philippines, where there are already 800,000 Seventh-day Adventists? Why not Dhaka, with a population of 8 million but with only 400 SDAs? Why not Bangkok, with a population of 60 million but with an SDA membership of 500?

The fourth paradigm shift is from rural to urban. The church has always been a rural church. And with the dawning of the new millennium we have ushered in a new era. And there are now more people living in metropolitan areas than there are in the rural areas. Our mission strategy and methodology are largely rural. They should be revised, reevaluated, or thrown out, if necessary. By the grace of God we will experience this paradigm shift in the face of this great non-Christian context we are facing as a church.

REINDER BRUINSMA: Reaching the people in the 10/40 window presents enormous challenges, including significant challenges as far as the administration and the organization of the church are concerned. First of all, there is something about the basic way in which we function. Something that we may have to unlearn. We as Seventh-day Adventist believers are very keen on telling the full story of what we are doing. Well, when we are working in the 10/40 window we may not be able to say anything about what we are doing. We may have to keep quiet, because if we speak, our activities may be closed down or people who work there may be put in great danger. It may not always be easy for us to keep quiet about what we are doing. We like to be highly visible. We like to have buildings, publications, things that tell the people that we are there. Working in the 10/40 window in many of those countries will mean that we cannot be visible but rather must remain hidden. And that takes some getting used to.

As the church we want full membership participation in what we are doing. But we must realize that it may be difficult for most Adventists in those countries in the 10/40 window to witness to non-Christians, as they themselves come from a Christian background. It may be not only difficult but dangerous for them, and that is something we will have to keep in mind. Working in the 10/40 window means that we will have to develop different organizational models or work with very little formal organization. Local groups or churches may have to remain underground, secret. Congregations may not be known by the word �church.� They may not even be known by the words �Seventh-day Adventist.� And that is something that we will have to relate to.

We have been talking here now for two days, I believe, about the Church Manual. Well, many of the policies of the church and the Church Manual will be quite irrelevant and largely inapplicable to the work done in the 10/40 window. We may not be able to organize a mission, let alone a conference. It may be not only unwise but impossible, and we will need to find a creative way of moving funds around. These are just a few of the things that we will have to deal with organizationally and structurally as we work in the 10/40 window. Being serious about working in the 10/40 window will mean that we will have to develop totally new procedures, programs, policies.

Pat Gustin referred to the need of training. We will need totally new training programs. We will need to be serious about how to recruit and how to train �tentmakers.� I�m glad that the church has made a beginning. With global partnerships there is a booth in the exhibition hall. It�s important that the church be serious about training �tentmakers.� Specialized training has been necessary. And you will forgive me, since I came from the Trans-European Division, if I make reference to an initiative that Newbold College is beginning next quarter. They will provide a training program especially geared to those who want to prepare for work in the 10/40 window under the Muslim peoples. There will be a totally different way of dealing with workers and budgets. We will need to find new ways of recruiting people for these sensitive areas. We cannot just advertise it. We cannot just tell everybody who is going where. There has to be a degree of confidentiality that will make it impossible to work with normal committee structures. And yet there must be some system that ensures proper accountability and also proper governments. It will be difficult to find solutions to all these problems, but if this church is really serious about witnessing to the millions of people in the 10/40 window it must be willing to start facing some of these questions and challenges.

MIKE RYAN: We�d like to begin discussion on this item and would encourage you to write down your comments. Keep it concise. We�re interested in your suggestions, your passions and ideas that we can include in the planning process. Brother Chairman, I turn this meeting over to you to initiate the discussion.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: Now is the time for us to get ideas from you. Whoever wants to make a statement or suggestion, we would like to hear from you. Please step to a microphone.

GERALD LEWIS: I would like to compliment each one of the speakers who has just shared with us. I have had the privilege of serving my church in five different countries overseas, and I would like to suggest that the number one priority is that we need to allocate much more of our resources for emerging opportunities for mission. So often when an opportunity presents itself, we wrestle with these situations on committee, and find there is no money. We must move away from chewing up all of our budgets on ongoing traditional and historical programs and institutions. Many times we have to question how much they are contributing to the number one goal of this church, which is to expand the penetration of the gospel to unreached people groups.

I have two or three other suggestions. I think we need to take more risk, think big, and be willing to suffer some failures and mistakes. We can�t learn from our mistakes if we don�t make them. We often learn more from mistakes than we do from success because we are forced to analyze why they happen.

We also need to invest more in contextualized ministries. We need much more targeting toward research and development activities. We won�t know where the penetration is going to come from until we experiment more widely.

Also, I�ve noticed the willingness of other mission organizations to invest long-term in individuals, with three and four years of language study. Oftentimes our workers are expected to penetrate difficult groups after only one or two months of such study.

The other thing our last speaker mentioned is tentmaking. I have worked with other colleagues and other organizations, and much more is happening in this area. I really want to add my voice to the speaker who raised the opportunities that present themselves for tentmaking, especially when so many areas of the world in which we try to work have laws that prevent us from working openly.

JONATHAN KUNTARAF: We really appreciate the information given just now. As we talk about the 10/40 window I would like to mention that some of the people from 10/40 windows live in North America. In fact, about 200 million people in the United States are unchurched people. And one of the most rapidly growing religions in the United States is Islam. We in North America also need some of these materials and resources in order to work among all those people. We need to train our laypeople so they can evangelize these people. One more thing: we have to adopt new materials or new methods of evangelism that we can use for non-Christians. We have to remember that there are many non-Adventists in North America. We need to know how to approach the people who come from other persuasions.

GREG SAUNDERS: Mr. Chairman, I would agree that we often need venture capital. We also need venture people in strategic locations. In Adventist Health Services, Nigeria, where we have been trying to develop a postgraduate training program for doctors, the medical work can often be one of the few ways we can open doors to reach into the Muslim areas. We have been wanting to develop this concept of using our existing institutions, which are often forgotten about when we talk about Global Mission. Many people don�t have the concept that we should use what we have in order to be a stepping-stone into the 10/40 window. We have many opportunities, but we are lacking not only capital but people, and also we are having a hard time interesting our leadership in this type of idea. I would like us to be able to find a way to work together on that type of issue.

ANDREJ GODINA: I would like to thank the people that have spoken before, and I would like to agree with most of the things that have been said and to reemphasize that the money issue is a big one and that any time anyone has an idea, the response is that �it�s not in the budget.� It always has to �be in the next year�s budget,� and that is one big problem. Also I would like to suggest that the way to reach unchurched people is the way Jesus did it, by helping the needy and not labeling us as Seventh-day Adventist Church people, just people helping people. I have a lot of Muslim friends, and we need to recognize that there is a lot of similarity between Christianity and Islam. We need to stop being arrogant and start realizing that there is a large society of people out there who are not stupid and who are not uneducated. When I speak to my Islamic friends, we always have very passionate debates about what is right and what is wrong. They feel they are right and I feel I am right, and we need to find common ground. Also, when I have an idea about evangelism, there is no way that I, as a young person or a person, can go to the church. I don�t recall there is anyone in the conference, the union, or the General Conference to whom I can submit my ideas and be accepted. It is always �Oh, you are too young� or �You�re too inexperienced� or �You don�t know what you are talking about; go home.� I am speaking from experience here. We need to start moving, shutting down all the educational establishments and making the Adventist mix with non-Adventists. We are supposed to mix with the people, not stay in our little rural colleges.

JAMES WU: I come from the Northern Asia-Pacific Division. I work in Taiwan, which is within the 10/40 window, where some have reached the idol worshipers and the Buddhist community through the medical missionary work.

Sister White wrote that soon there will be no work done in the ministerial line but medical missionary work. We used to understand this statement in the context of persecution�when persecution comes, ministers will be able to do only medical missionary work. I would like to look into this statement in the context of the 10/40 window. Now, more work can be done in the countries with a Christian background. We can reach these people through satellite network and in other ways. But in the 10/40 window I think we should do only medical missionary work.

We have worked in the community through a lifestyle center and restaurant. These can easily go into the community and be accessible to the people.

ARAMICE FRANCISCO DE SOUZA: I really believe that God has the right person at the right place. And I would like to suggest that all of us, where we work, where we are, really witness for Jesus. We preach to people. We show people our beliefs, and I would like to suggest that the church give special programs to people that work in companies. Start a program to teach our members how to testify of Jesus for everybody.

PASSMORE HACHALINGA: Mr. Chairman, I strongly support the direction that our church is taking. I know it is going to challenge our thinking, challenge our message of ministry, and challenge us to think of new initiatives and the new approaches. I think it is what our church needs to drive us to our knees and let God lead us.

TEOFILO FERREIRA: I don�t think Global Mission is a new subject. But I believe that the timing is very important. I believe that it is time to pay more attention to the non-Christian world. And to prioritize the teaching and preparing of pastors to go to the nonreached world.

ABDULMUSIN ABDULMAJID: Mr. Chairman, there are 350 million Muslims in our territory in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division. We have tried many approaches in our attempts to reach Muslims: contextual, dialogical, health, and also the traditional. We have prepared many materials on how to approach the Muslims through the contextualized ministry coupled with the medical and health approach. I have even prepared two books on reaching out to Islam.

MARCEL MILLAUD: I have a question to ask: In how many countries in the world do we not have an Adventist presence?

MIKE RYAN: Well, it depends on how the United Nations is numbering the countries at that moment. We have often said that we have a presence in 205 of the 236. So it leaves us about 31. However, we do have some very important ministries taking place in some of those countries. For example, the ministry of ADRA. ADRA works on the front lines of many countries, and it does have a presence in some of these countries. But in terms of Seventh-day Adventist believers, there are probably about 20 in which we have absolutely no Seventh-day Adventist. But we need to keep in mind that in some of these countries the population is very small. We�re talking even a few hundred in some cases. Of course, we do have Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia. But many of them are quite small. We need to keep in mind that in a significant number of countries the membership of the church, as compared with the population, is really insignificant.

KAREN FLOWERS: One thing that I observed as I traveled and worked in the 10/40 window is the strength of the family relationship, particularly of the extended family. I couldn�t help reflecting on the Philippian jailer�s experience, in which the whole family came to Christ. And we�re interested in bringing together what we�re learning about family systems and how they work and witnessing strategies, and we think it will be meaningful to the dialog.

ELLIOTT OSBORNE: I would like to bring encouragement by expanding the definition of church worker. My wife is an educator. She doesn�t work for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but she�s very much a church worker and a Seventh-day Adventist witnessing presence in the 10/40 window, as well as other windows. My children, coming back to America after spending a couple years in Kenya, saw themselves as workers.

MAX JOSE PIERRE: I have a chance to preach at the border of the 10/40 window, but the big problem is the problem of religious liberty. In New York we have mosques; in London we have mosques. We accept a culture here in Western society, but when we go to their culture the door is closed. I think religious liberty has to do some work in this area. I am very optimistic that the work could be done, and it could be done very fast if we use modern means like cassettes.

MIRIAM MWITA: I would like to emphasize the importance of language. For the past 12 years I have been a language teacher, and I realize that the classroom cannot give us the possibility of understanding a particular language. So I suggest to those working with the 10/40 window that women be a major target in this program. Women are teachers 24 hours; they can go to homes and various places that other individuals cannot go.

MATTHEW BEDIAKO: Thank you so much. We appreciate the comments that have come to us. Administration would like to get some of these ideas so that when we go back to Washington, we can work on them. So we thank you very much for your contributions.

GIDEON APENG: [Benediction.]


DONALD R. SAHLY, Secretary

BILL BOTHE and LARRY R. COLBURN, Proceedings Editors


© 2000, Adventist Review.