Adventist World Church Leaders Experience Mission and Diversity During Division Tour
Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders from around the world witnessed mission in the North American Division (NAD) context when they visited several locations in the division during the 2019 NAD Experience held June 26 to July 7. General Conference executive secretaries and spouses joined the executive secretaries and spouses from the church’s 12 other division offices as NAD leaders shared a glimpse of the territory’s mission activity and ethnic diversity through touring four of nine union conferences: the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC), Pacific Union Conference, and Southern Union Conference. The recent division experience tours were held in 2017 in the Northern Asia-Pacific Division and Inter-American Division.
“Our goal is for them to see that the North American Division membership and leadership is passionately involved in the mission of the Seventh Day Adventist Church,” said G. Alexander Bryant, NAD executive secretary. “We also want them to see that the context of doing that mission in our territory is somewhat different than other places around the world. We all have to have different methodologies in trying to reach the people in our territories.”
Bryant shared that the tour’s purpose also included displaying the division’s diversity. “Many people look at us and they think that we’re one ethnic group primarily, but we’re a diverse group with no ethnic majority in our territory,” Bryant said. “In each of those unions our guests will see the great [world of] diversity and how it is part of our mission to serve that world in our territory.”
The tour is part of an initiative developed by world church leaders in an effort to cultivate understanding and learning of methods, programs, and activities that make the difference in each world division. “Since 2000, we have had this division experience,” explained GT Ng, General Conference executive secretary. “Division leaders often cocoon themselves in their respective divisions, hardly having a chance to look beyond the horizon.”