11 October 2023 |
In the first business session of Annual Council 2023, General Conference administration unfolded crucial discussions surrounding the future strategic trajectory and mission focus of the global church for 2025-2030, according to a recent article by the Adventist News Network.
Mike Ryan, special assistant to the president, introduced a forthcoming strategic plan for 2025–2030, continuing under the previously adopted name “I Will Go.” This strategy aims to preserve the essence of numerous initiatives and worldwide programs implemented since its initial adoption in 2018. The formal adoption is slated for the next Annual Council in October 2024.
Dr. David Trim, Director of the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR), emphasized the pivotal role of data analysis in delineating future plans, offering insights into trends and areas necessitating enhancement from data ranging back to 2002. The current “I Will Go” strategy encompasses three explicit areas – mission, spiritual growth, and leadership, with a fourth added to make room for the direction of the Holy Spirit. It has employed 59 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to gauge its efficacy, but has encountered both triumphs and challenges.
Data revealing spiritual life practices and doctrinal beliefs among Adventist members unveiled crucial insights and concerns, such as a plateau in daily Bible reading and a decline in family worship practices over a decade. Moreover, certain doctrines, including those pertaining to the Holy Spirit and the sanctuary, were identified as areas where “there is work to be done,” indicating potential disconnects in belief and understanding among new and existing members.
Maintaining the name “I Will Go,” the new strategic plan stipulates 21 measurable goals, supplanting the prior model of KPIs, and introduces four strategic priorities: COMMUNION with God, IDENTITY in Christ, UNITY through the Holy Spirit, and MISSION for all. Dr. Trim accentuated the desire for a strategy that both encapsulates the collective mission and propels the Church towards the imminent return of Jesus Christ, sustaining a unity and pride among its worldwide membership.
Gary Krause, director of Adventist Mission, articulated the Church’s historical and ongoing mission through diverse methods, encouraging prayerful, albeit cautious, adventurousness in embracing new methodologies for gospel dissemination.
Administrative leaders Ted N. C. Wilson, Paul Douglas, and Erton Köhler championed the alignment of resources with the strategic plan and emphasized the urgency and essential collective involvement in mission fulfillment. Köhler highlighted the urgency intrinsic to the Adventist Church’s mission, accentuated by global mortality rates, particularly in nations within the 10/40 window.
The session culminated with Wilson’s affirming the indispensability of Total Member Involvement (TMI) to the strategic plan, urging everyone, from leaders to laypersons, to unite in a collective effort towards mission accomplishment. Members of the Executive Committee were invited to familiarize themselves with the detailed “I WILL GO” strategic plan and to proffer recommendations for further refinement over the forthcoming ten months.
Learn more about the strategic directions for 2025–2030 through the recorded live stream, available for viewing here: https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/live/.