If You Could Ask the President ...

January 01, 2006 | Steve Vistaunet

Let me make a not-so-wild guess. Many of us know precious little about the different levels of our Adventist Church structure. While we may go to church on Sabbath, read our bulletins and scan the Adventist Review or GLEANER for interesting tidbits, most of the time we’re oblivious. But that’s not how the plan is drawn up.

Over the years, our Adventist Church structure has placed increasing emphasis on a representative style of operation. That is, we elect delegates and conference leaders to represent us on committees where critical decisions are made on exactly how the church carries out its mission. As long as each of us stays engaged and informed, it works well. But if we disengage, the whole process, which depends on an active, passionate membership to guard against “kingly power” by a few highly-placed individuals, can bog down, get top-heavy, or become bureaucratic.

So I’m inviting you to engage, to reinvest in the corporate mission of our world church and our own unique mission here in the Northwest, to really care about what our church does.

This next October, North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) delegates will gather to elect officers and set the course of Northwest ministry for the next five years. In the April, May and June issues of the GLEANER, we’ll be interviewing our NPUC officers. I'd like your input.

If you could ask our NPUC president, Jere Patzer, one question, what would it be? Would it be about matters of organization and structure? … about his personal vision or philosophy? … some concern you have over a decision or policy? If you respond this month, we’ll have your questions and comments to consider as we work on our April interview article.

Go online at gleaneronline.org and simply follow the link to Let’s Talk, or e-mail me at talk@gleaneronline.org. When you share your question, also tell me why it is especially important to you. I’ll be anxiously awaiting your response. Please include your full name and the city and state where you live.

Click here to view the new Let's Talk section of the Gleaner Online.