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10 Comments

  1. Orion
    01 October 2015 @ 1:33 pm

    Yet, some still claim the SDA church isn’t growing….

    It might not be growing in North America, and not in many parts of the European Division (two of the most liberal and educated territories in the world… How interesting).

    Then, of course, when confronted by these numbres, some will claim that only those with low intelligence adhere to Adventism… Many have the audacity to think that those who live in less developed countries have a lower intelligence level than their counter parts. That seems to be the cop-out of choice these days.

    Praise God for the out poring of the Holy Spirit amongst those who still humble themselves and seek His face!

    Adventism grows by leaps and bounds throughout the world, except in those two territories, above mentioned.

    Sadly, some are too spriritually blind and deceived to see/acknowledge that fact.

    • William Noel
      01 October 2015 @ 3:02 pm

      It is growing in places like the Dominican Republic but struggling in others. What is the biggest, most obvious difference between the places? Where the church is growing, the members are focused on the fundamentals of the Gospel and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit so they can be effective in sharing God’s redeeming love. Where the church is not growing the church has become disengaged from ministries that touch the society around them, disconnected from the Holy Spirit and focused on things like arguing about prophecy.

      • Orion
        01 October 2015 @ 6:33 pm

        I wholeheartedly agree, Mr. Noel.

        I still cannot find the correct correlation as to why churches in North America And Europe are languishing, no matter what I suspect the culprit to be.

        I am hispanic, (i was born in DR myself) and I will tell you that my Dominican brethren are doing everything you just wrote PLUS upholding the entirety of the SOP, from Gen. to Rev. to the inspired writtings revealed to EGW.

        I’ve had the priviledge of studying with, learning from and learning under three of the greatest minds of SDA Adventism. One is a PhD, the second one an Mdiv, and the other one studied theology.

        I’ve also traveled and have been able to associate with many comitted, humble missionaries (Bible workers, Health and Lifestyle Missionaries, Canvassers, Coulpourters, etc). I’ve been able to see, up close, the love for the Gospel that several Lay Pastors have (if it isn’t for a love of the Gospel, idk which person would choose to be a Pastor and take on full fledge pastoral duties, w/o pay).

        I’ve also had the priviledge of helping countless people, financially, timewise, etc. These were people that literally walked into my life, or were sent to me by those who know me, and asked for my help in someway. Several of those relationships grew and they themselves asked to study the Bible with me, without me ever even leading them in that direction. I just prayed and served. God and the Holy Spirit did the rest, for I cannot do nothing of myself, as…

        • Orion
          01 October 2015 @ 6:46 pm

          I do not share any of the above to boast – forbid it, Lord! And I understand not all accept the inspired writings of EGW. And that’s for God to judge.

          I shared all the above to make this point:

          None of the people I mentioned, myself included, have ever made EGW the central focus or the main part of our outreach when working with souls. When I give Bible studies, I teach them that God gave the Spirit of Prophecy (which is Christ’s testimony – when we follow Him His testimony becomes our own, and, at THAT POINT, is that “the strength to follow God’s commands can never come from us”, but from Him!).

          I also show them Biblically that prophecy is a beacon of light in the darkness, that it makes us more confident in His Word as we can see that what He predicted comes to pass – that gives us confidence in what we believe.

          I teach them that God does exist and His Word is still alive and valid, that there is a rescue plan set in place to end all evil, and how valuable and how loved we are to a God that loves us so much that He did not hesitate to die for us, for me.

          Mr. Noel, as much as I love EGW, rest assured that I/we preach the Gospel – Christ alone and the power He gives us to over come.

          I know a few pastors who lead flocks in DR, PR, Mexico, Argentina, Chile. The church is growing rapidly in those places. Not only is the church growing; the souls are staying in the church as well.

          That is the power of the Gospel. Love – Christ! – is drawing…

        • William Noel
          02 October 2015 @ 10:53 am

          Orion,

          Your cultural origin explains much about why it is hard for you to understand the causes for slow church growth in places like North America. When you are used to seeing things happen in one way it can be challenging to explain why they don’t happen that same way in another situation. People think differently in various cultures and that explains part of the reason for different outcomes.

          Still, the greatest difference comes from how people relate to the fundamentals of the Gospel because those fundamentals are universal and unchanging. It is where the followers of Jesus remain focused on the basics of salvation, a living relationship with God and, most importantly, the individual guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit that the church grows. The growth rate (or lack of it) is a good measure of the distance people have wandered away from those basics and the power of God.

          • Orion
            02 October 2015 @ 11:16 am

            I agree.

            Now, Mr. Noel, there are faithful Norh American brethren who share your views and practice them in working with souls. Could it be that more such persons are needed? Maybe not enough people are practicing Christ’s methods, and that’s why the church isn’t growing?

            I’ve seen several caucasian, hispanic and black churches who practice Christ’s methods and are involved in community outreach. Yet, despite their specific ethnic background, the church is languishing!

            I’ve also seen various ethnically diverse churches who practice all of the above, and they are growing!!

            You’re right, it does puzzle me. And I also have to agree with everything Elaine wrote below… Her point baffles me even more: the birthplace of Adventism languishes, while the places where North Americans have sent missionaries to are bursting with growth.

            Could it be that the Gospel is rendered innefective in places where people think they have everything they need, in places where higher education is more accessible? Why is that? Is the Gospel aimed at the poor and uneducated?

            I’ve more questions than answers. I will just keep on working!

  2. Elaine Nelson
    01 October 2015 @ 7:39 pm

    It should now be common knowledge at least in the Adventist community, that in the western first world Europe, Adventism is losing members and hardly replacing the numbers. But the southern hemisphere is rapidly decreasing.

    Perhaps there should be some study and more attention given this shrinking membership; because it was these very same divisions that brought Adventism to the hemisphere where the church is rapidly growing.

    It was the U.S. that gave birth to Adventism, and these divisions who first sent missionaries to these countries, and still sends the larger tithe to aid in spreading Adventism there.

    Can anyone offer not only a reasonable explanation, but what could be done to change the rapid decrease in these areas while the other part of the world is growing?

    • Jim Hamstra
      01 October 2015 @ 10:12 pm

      A study was done several decades ago, by an Adventist anthropologist.

      He concluded that the SDA church grows rapidly in areas where it offers a path of upward mobility. The emphasis on a healthful and responsible life style, education, hope, etc, actually improve the lives of people who join-up.

      Conversely, in areas where the SDA church does not offer a path of upward mobility, the church struggles to grow.

      It is not so much that the Adventist virtues are lacking in these latter areas, as the fact that there are more opportunities for people who have already benefited from the upward mobility of prior generations, in places like the US, Canada and Western Europe. In these areas the church finds it more difficult to minister to the felt needs of the general populace. And for the same reasons the church does better among the immigrants, who after all are usually striving for upward mobility in their new homelands.

      As in most other aspects of life, so in religion, people who are given a meaningful choice will tend to act in their perceived self-interest.

      • William Noel
        02 October 2015 @ 10:56 am

        The ministry of Jesus was first and foremost about improving lives. The first result of every miracle He performed was an improvement in the recipient’s life. The blind were able to see, the lame to walk, the ill were healed, the demon-possessed were cleansed, the lepers were returned to relationships with their families instead of being outcasts from society. Most of all, sinners were reconciled with a loving and forgiving God.

        How many ways are there for us to improve the lives of others and by doing that to demonstrate His love? More than we have imagined.

  3. Essel Samuel Kofi
    13 September 2016 @ 2:42 am

    please am Essel samuel kofi from valley view university -Accra Oyibi branch. I have seen the good work done by the foundation in support of the church. may God richly bless the association.
    I am a student of Theological studies. I would like to ask for help in terms of my fees paying, in fact I find it difficult to pay because am the only one taking care of myself I Have no support from any where.
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    thanks.