2019 Secretary’s Report to Annual Council
October 14, 2019
/ Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
/ Becky St. Clair
“I’m glad to be alive today!” G. T. Ng, executive secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, began the 2019 Secretary’s Report with an exclamation and a smile. He then continued by talking about the concept of Reflex Influence, a concept Ellen G. White mentioned six times in the last few years of the 19th century–significantly, a period of time during our church’s history when we experienced rapid missionary growth and serious financial challenges.
In 1900, White wrote, “The prosperity of home work depends largely, under God, on the reflex influence of the evangelistic work done in countries afar off” (Lt 134-1900.25).
“You may be wondering why we should talk about mission if there is no money for mission,” Ng acknowledged. “That’s a good question and I’m glad you asked.”
Ng then shared stories from a few churches around the world serving their communities in significant ways, even in a time of shrinking budgets.
“When I asked them where they got the money to do all of these things,” Ng shared, “they simply said, ‘Mission first; money follows.’ This is Reflex Influence. If we wait for the money, the mission will never be accomplished.”
The Mission Landscape of the Church
Gary Krause, director of Adventist Mission and an associate secretary for the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, began with ratios. In the year 2000, there was one Adventist for every 519 people on earth. In 2018, that number had grown to one Adventist for every 356 people.
There are currently 764 interdivision service employees, plus children, serving around the world. These employees serve in various capacities, including education, medical, media, administration, pastoral, and more. Additionally, 84 medical and dental school students from Loma Linda University are serving or preparing to serve around the world as deferred mission employees.