A Collaborative 'War' Strategy To Bring Hope and Wholeness to Our Communities

Our North America Division territory is at war — spiritual warfare. Can you see the signs? Mean-spirited politics? Personal addictions of every sort? Satanic entertainment? Inroads of secularism? Rampant materialism? The ominous threat of terrorism? As the old hymn reminds us, we are living and dwelling in a "grand and awful time."

Against this bleak backdrop, enter the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We're uniquely positioned for the battle. After all, we're a church with a distinctive message of hope and wholeness! If the world ever needed our message in the past, it really needs it now.

Our Message of Hope

Adventism is a message illustrated by Sanctuary truths, modeled in the life of Christ, communicated by the prophets throughout the ages and succinctly expressed in the three angels' messages of Revelation 14:6–12. This special message points prophetically to Christ's second coming — a concept embroidered in our very name, Seventh-day Adventists.

Our Message of Wholeness

Our distinctive message not only points toward the future; it adds abundant life to the present. Hundreds of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of our Adventist message of health — a key doctrine embraced by the Church early in its history. Coupled with the assets of physical health is the assurance of God's saving grace and protecting care.

Wanted! A 'War' Strategy to REACH North America

Success in any battle requires discipline. Ellen White says it best: "If discipline and order are necessary for successful action on the battlefield, the same are as much more needful in the warfare in which we are engaged as the object to be gained is of greater value and more elevated in character than those for which opposing forces contend on the field of battle. In the conflict in which we are engaged eternal interests are at stake," (Evangelism, page 115).

Last October, church leaders in the NAD assembled in Silver Spring, Md. They came from Bermuda, California, Maine and Florida and from all points in between. One thing brought them together — the desire to REACH North America. These leaders, differing in so many ways, unified around the following five themes as a way to organize our diverse efforts in communicating hope and wholeness to North America.

What REACH Is

Revival and Transformation — Connecting with God through public and personal worship.

Education for Discipleship — Helping every youth and adult to become more like Christ.

Alignment with the Church — Connecting within our diverse church family.

Community Outreach and Evangelism — Connecting our communities with hope and wholeness.

Healthy Leadership and Management — Insisting on personal and church-wide excellence.

What REACH is NOT

REACH is not a program, project or slogan that expires in four to five years to make room for yet another catch phrase. Rather, the five REACH elements above are enduring principles that we as a Church value.

The Weymouth translation of Ephesians 6:12 states, "For ours is not a conflict with mere flesh and blood, but with the despotisms, the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world — the spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us in the heavenly warfare."

The North American Division is engaged in a different kind of war. It is not a conflict of hostility and bitterness, but a battle waged with God's amazing grace poured out to a world in desperate need of His love. And a glorious outcome is already decided!

October 01, 2011 / Perspective
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