By the Adventist Today News Team
If you had to name the one, single, most defining characteristic of the global Seventh-day Adventist faith, what would you say? The seventh-day Sabbath? The Second Coming? Conditional immortality? If you were to ask a hundred random people (those who had at least heard of the Adventist Church) what might they say? There is a rapidly growing movement within the Adventist denomination today among pastors, educators, conference officials and others who say it should be “JESUS. ALL.” These people, part of something called “the One project,” (www.the1project.org) maintain that Jesus as the One, the only One—loving Him, praising Him, centering all of one’s life in Him—was the single focus that brought together the first beginnings of our denomination, and that we may have blurred or sometimes even lost that singular vision over the century and a half of our existence. They think it’s time we got it back.
According to Japhet De Oliveira, Co-Chair of the One project, “In July 2010, five simple Jesus followers (Alex Bryan, Japhet De Oliveira, Sam Leonor, Tim Gillespie and Terry Swenson, all pastors or youth workers) got together in room 602 at the Holiday Inn in Denver” and after two days of fasting and prayer “acknowledged again that Jesus was number one.”
This was the beginning of the One project, which, in the year-and-a-half since that meeting, has grown rapidly.Today the project has a website and other web-based content, youtube videos, the first stage of an iTunes app, a Facebook group with 1,051 members so far, and twenty-eight partners ranging from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, General Conference Youth Department, and AdventSource to Fowler Films and RE:LIVE Ministry. Several union conferences in North America and several European unions are among these partners, and numbers are growing.
This is their vision: “We are committed to the idea that a Jesus-driven, Jesus-bathed, Jesus-backed, Jesus-led, Jesus-filled, Jesus-powered, all-about-Jesus Adventist Church is the uncompromising directive from our past, the joy of our present, and hope for our future. We claim the Primal Adventist Impulse: a longing to be with Jesus.” Through conferences, conversations, web-based content, and publications “the One Project seeks to stimulate preaching, worship, and adoration of Jesus within and through the Adventist church.”
This weekend a national conference is convening in Seattle and it has had such a large response that the organizers have had to reserve an additional 200 hotel rooms. July 28-29 an international event is scheduled for Sydney, Australia, and November 2-3 a European conference in Denmark. Next February 11-12 another national conference is planned for Chicago.
There are endless things Christians, Adventists included, can debate (and long live the conversation!) but there’s one thing on which every true Christian can agree: Jesus was the Beginning. He is the End. He is the One. Now and forever!
Jesus. All. Pass it on. With all the variety among Adventists, this movement is refreshing and long overdue.