Spiritual Renewal

EDITORS' NOTE: Revival, reformation and a renewed emphasis to reclaim missing members and reach communities with the gospel was a significant message presented during General Conference Autumn Council and the North American Division Year-end Meeting in late 2010. Dan Jackson, NAD president, introduced documents that were read and voted on. Summarized here are his thoughts intended to impact church life and its mission during the next five years.

I believe we are living in a segment of time the Bible describes as "the end of the age." For Seventh-day Adventists of all generations, the resounding message of the Scriptures is: Jesus is coming soon! However, as I consider the scope of the task God has given us, it is not difficult to see the mission is far more extensive than can be accomplished through human energy and means.

As never before, you and I must have the power of God's Spirit take control of us personally and corporately. It is not acceptable for us to think we can continue to carry out God's work as we're doing now or have in the past.

We are in desperate need of spiritual renewal. As individuals and as a North American Division-wide family, we must appeal to God to gift us with His Spirit to such an extent that our hearts will continually focus on His will and His plan for us and the world around us.

As division president, I appeal to each layperson and to every employee to take this matter personally and seriously. This kind of commitment alone will move the church into the future God has in mind for our division.

In preparation for the 2010 year-end meeting, the NAD leadership team engaged in the process of strategic planning for the next five years. We resolve by 2015 the church in North America will have become transformed by the Holy Spirit and moved to action in the following five ways:

REACH UP (Revival and Reformation)

Churches experience a revival and reformation that results in life-changing transformations.

Members enjoy a vibrant and joyful relationship with Christ.

REACH ACROSS (Unity in Diversity)

New members' love for Christ is a catalyst to reinvigorate their congregations. New members are oriented to and inspired by the life-affirming culture of Adventism and are integrated into the church fabric.

Each member is actively involved in church life and ministry. Discipleship training and compelling leadership opportunities are provided for children, youth, young adults, students in public education, seniors and members with disabilities.

Adventists disengaged from church life are recognized as valued members of our family. Congregations implement ways to actively reconnect with them.

Congregations embrace and practice the concept of unity in diversity in such matters as age, gender, race and socioeconomic status; congregations are intentional in planning ways to educate members.

REACH OUT (Evangelism, Community, Discipleship)

NAD organizations of every type combine their efforts in communicating Adventism's distinctive message of hope and wholeness to every person within the NAD territory, with a focus on big cities.

REACH IN (Growing Disciples/Adventist Education)

Because Adventist education is a core church value, the local church is an education center for members of all ages — combining with the school to serve and evangelize children and youth within church and the community.

Through NAD resources, the church makes distinctive Adventist education available to every Adventist child.

The church finds a way to help strengthen and build a system of Adventist higher education.

REACH FORWARD (A Focus on Leadership)

The NAD, unions, local conferences and institutions collaborate to support mission and strategy through responsible stewardship and a culture of inclusive participation.

Organizations and institutions have in place a well-designed and active program to cultivate and develop leaders.

The NAD significantly increases member donations.

The NAD and at least four unions implement Assessment for Excellence programs that promote and document levels of financial integrity, operational efficiency, program quality and staff effectiveness.

I challenge every pastor, laymember, church administrator, departmental leader, institutional worker, health worker, literature evangelist, chaplain and educator to make revival, reformation, discipleship and evangelism the most important and urgent priorities of our personal lives and areas of ministry. As we seek Him together, God will pour out His Holy Spirit in abundant measure, the work of God on earth will be finished and Jesus will come. Please join the NAD family in experiencing God's blessing and direction in the final moments prior to His return.

The initiative, "REACH North America," was adopted as a guideline and measuring device both for personal revival and for corporate nurturing and outreach. The full document is available at www.nadadventist.org.

Watch the latest video presentation on revival by Dwight Nelson at

http://www.revivalandreformation.org/seeking-nelson or by using the GLEANER on the Go mobile media access code here.

Dan Jackson is the president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.

March 01, 2011 / Feature