20 September 2023 |
When the church of my childhood years organized a Pathfinder club, I became one of its early members. Our club meetings typically began with the recital of the Pathfinder Aim, Motto, Pledge, and Law. None of us questioned how doable the Aim was: “The Advent Message to all the world in my generation.” We didn’t know enough to ask how this was going to be accomplished and whose responsibility it was to make it happen.
Although generational cutoff points aren’t an exact science, the average span from one generation to the next is said to be about 25 to 30 years. By that reckoning, we are now into the third generation since I first recited the Pathfinder Aim. How close are we to achieving the goal of “the Advent Message to all the world”? How much progress have we made?
The task of reaching the world has faced some enormous challenges, some of which we could not have anticipated either in the formative years of the Adventist Church or at the time our little Pathfinder club was formed. In light of these challenges, should we reassess our goal of reaching the whole world with the Adventist message? Is it time to do a “reset” on the mission enterprise? Would that be an abdication of a prime directive that Adventists have believed to be from God? Does our failure to achieve our “corporate” mission goals have any implications to us individually? Why should this matter to us personally?
At the Adventist Today Sabbath Seminar on September 23, we will review some approaches to interpreting the “Great Commission” that Adventists and the larger Christian community have taken. We will also examine some of the contemporary challenges and opportunities facing our evangelistic endeavors and consider some options for a revised focus on mission.
Dr. Raj Attiken is an Adjunct Professor of Religion at Kettering College. He served in the church for forty-two years, for the last sixteen as president of the Ohio Conference. Raj began his pastoral ministry in Sri Lanka, the land of his birth. He and his wife, Chandra, have two adult children and two grandchildren.
Cherri-Ann Farquharson is a sustainable energy consultant who works out of Barbados.
How to join:
One-click link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89207661143
ATSS starting time depends on where you are. If you’re on the west coast of the United States, it’ll be 10:30 AM. On the east coast, 1:30 PM. Times in Europe, Africa and elsewhere will vary with local time changes. Please double-check the correct time where you live.
The class is intended to last about 2 hours, though the conversation often continues to 4 PM (Eastern time).
About our class:
- The AT Sabbath Seminar is intended to be a courteous forum. We discuss and ask questions politely. We don’t accuse, get angry, put people down, or judge the state of their salvation.
- Stick to the topic in both comments and chat discussion.
- Make your comments and questions short—don’t dominate.
- Keep your microphones muted unless you are called upon to make your comment or ask your question.
- Indicate your interest in speaking by raising your electronic hand—under the “reactions” button.
- Please use your name when you sign in! Not your phone number, not your initials. This will help us differentiate you from unwelcome guests who want to disrupt us. You can set your name after signing on by clicking on the 3 dots next to your picture, which drops down a menu.
We look forward to getting acquainted with you!
- Mark Carr
- Tom deBruin
- Pilira Zapita (Newbold)
- Kärt Lazic (Newbold)