When Judith Miranda and her husband visited Malibu, California over 10 years ago, there weren’t any Seventh-day Adventist churches in city limits. Miranda, a full-time registered nurse, decided not to sit still. She and other believers went from mansion to mansion in this wealthy community, praying with residents. In 2008 she helped plant a growing Malibu Seventh-day Adventist Church that continues this door-to-door ministry today. Miranda shared her story with 2015 Annual Council attendees on Friday evening. “You can do all the work you want, but if God’s work is not first, you are not going to be happy,” she said.
Church leaders highlighted ministries like Miranda’s throughout the weekend’s services as fundamental creative methods that will help launch the new Total Member Involvement initiative, also known as TMI.
In his Sabbath morning sermon, Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, rolled out this plan which asks for hands-on ministry involvement from each member of every church, around the world.
“Members in this worldwide church of almost 19 million are called to partner with the Heavenly Sower, Jesus Christ, in proclaiming His final message of love, righteousness, redemption and last-day prophetic warning heralding Christ’s soon return,” Wilson said to a full auditorium of church leaders and lay delegates. Wilson appealed to laypersons, especially, to help push the church’s mission more then ever before.
Duane McKey, the new director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is helping spearhead this initiative. There are realistic ways every person can take part, he said. “Maybe you can pray, if you can’t preach.” McKey has discovered several instances where church members created their own unique form of ministry. A woman in British Columbia pulled out her phone book and began to pray for 15 people each day, he said. Because of her faithfulness, she helped lead others to Christ.
On Sabbath Afternoon, Annual Council attendees received a commitment hand-out describing Total Member Involvement as “a calendar-driven intentional soul winning plan that discovers the needs of family, friends, and neighbors; then shares how God fulfils every need resulting in Church Planting with a focus on retention, preaching sharing, and discipline.” This plan includes strategies such as constant prayer and using Christ’s method of ministry, Adventist radio and television support, health ministry outreach, investments in Pathfinder and youth programs, Christ-centered evangelistic efforts and more.
McKey encourages all members to join in. Christ won’t return until the church is completely immersed in mission, McKey said. “If you’re scared, get out of your comfort zone,” he said. “Try it, and God will bless.”