October 29, 2015: The 2015 annual meeting of the executive committee of the Adventist denomination’s North American Division (NAD) started this morning with a review of goals by Pastor Dan Jackson, the president of the NAD. The denomination began in North America over a century ago and it has grown to 1.3 million members and more than 6,000 congregations, and Jackson referred to it as a “Grand Collaboration … all about placing our hand in the hand of God and allowing Him to lead us and to shape us!”
The expression of Adventist faith and mission in North America, Jackson emphasized, is in the congregations, elementary schools, secondary schools. colleges and universities, hospitals and health systems. “Collectively we are the expression of Adventism throughout our territory. No one expression is more important than another. We are stronger if we work as a team.”
“Here are my dreams for the North American Division team,” the long-time Canadian pastor who has also served as a missionary in Asia, told the group which includes all of the conference presidents, union conference officers, and presidents of education and health care institutions. The strategic plan that he introduced extends over the next five year.
“Number one … I dream of a North American Division where every church member is actively involved in growing the Kingdom of God. Where all members live out their lives in Christ with the knowledge that they have been called by God to serve as minister.” (1Peter 2:4-9)
“Number two … I dream of a North American Division which has grown to 7,300 congregations. Currently we have 6,277.”
“Number three … I dream of a North American Division where we unite to celebrate the expression of our faith in our local communities [through projects such as] Days of Hope and Compassion, Days of Wholeness and Compassion 10 Million.”
“Number four … I dream of a North American Division where our youth and young adults are actively engaged in the mission of the church and feel wanted and valued.
“Number five … I dream of a North American Division where we are fully utilizing the available technologies to the maximum extent possible [including] big data and social media.
“Number six … I dream of a North American Division where we are actively seeking out the new communities that are arriving on the shores of the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Guam–Micronesia as emerging immigrant populations.”
“Number seven … I dream of a North American Division where every church throughout our entire territory is a House of Prayer.”
“Number eight … I dream of a North American Division where we have 300 successful and thriving female pastors.”
“Number nine … I dream of a North American Division where members are actively involved in blessing their communities with health ministries; where partnerships are developed to do large and small events to bless those less fortunate [such as] Pathways to Health and Let’s Move.”
“Number ten … I dream of a North American Division where our K-16 schools are thriving as a result of the collaboration of pastors and teachers who see each other as colleagues in ministry.”
“Number eleven … I dream of a North American Division where our hospitals and health systems are included in our strategic planning and in the implementation of our mission throughout our territory.”
On this last item Jackson announced a Strategic Round Table early in 2016. The presidents and vice presidents from the health systems affiliated with the denomination will participate in these discussions.
[October 30, 2015]