Adventist Church Embraces Diversity

Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Jonathan Gallagher / ANN
Adventist Church Embraces Diversity

Entitled Embracing Diversity, the self-declared aim of the book is to provide a "guidebook for understanding and reaching people of all cultures,"

In a conscious effort to show how much multicultural diversity means to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a new book released just ahead of the Church’s World Session features exactly that theme.

Entitled Embracing Diversity, the self-declared aim of the book is to provide a “guidebook for understanding and reaching people of all cultures,” noting that “leaders today must have the savvy and flexibility to function in a multicultural context; with sensitivity to local customs, ideals, and taboos.”

“Its purpose is to equip twenty-first century leaders with leadership competence that effectively reaches across cultures,” says editor Dr. Leslie N. Pollard, vice president for diversity at Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. “History and research demonstrate that effective leadership leads followers from the inside out.  Intelligent leaders know that follower outlooks and expectations matter.”

The book is to be featured in the upcoming World Ministers Council, June 25-29, in Toronto, where 8,000 Adventist pastors will be meeting prior to the Church’s World Session. The foreword is written by Pastor Jan Paulsen, president of the Adventist Church.

“Together we came from the hand of our Maker, and together we have been placed here to realize the potentials of God’s design in creation,” says Paulsen. “We walk together and we work together; we play together and we pray together. Together we most surely are. There is a future only for the ones who are prepared to move forward into the open space-open society, open opportunities, and open friendships in Christ.”

Paulsen affirmed the importance to the Church of recognizing the value of every individual in every culture.

“We owe it to God, to humanity and, ultimately, to ourselves to be true to God’s design for and value of every human being,” Paulsen concludes. “Christian leadership can go nowhere else and remain Christian.”

The usefulness of the work is underlined by Pollard, who says it is the first work that addresses how leadership can be effective in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multicultural Church.

“Such insights can be applied by members in many different contexts-in ministerial training, in educational institutions, in healthcare service-wherever multicultural communities converge,” says Pollard. “It is time to go beyond generic leadership training.  “Embracing Diversity applies the culture-specific values of understanding, sensitivity, and vision to our global faith community.”
Embracing Diversity is published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association [

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