Thirty-one years ago, the Seventh-day Adventist Church embarked on a bold new mission focus that would totally change the face of the church.
Church leaders identified key areas where mission was struggling--although the church was growing rapidly in certain parts of the world, many areas and people groups remained totally unreached.
The church would continue working in areas where it was doing well, but something needed to change if we were to be faithful to the Great Commission to go to all peoples. At the 1990 General Conference Session, Global Mission was created to focus on mission with a renewed sense of urgency. It was given two primary goals:
- Alert church members to the large number of unreached people groups;
- Plant new groups of believers among those groups.
Since then, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has nearly quadrupled in size. Millions of new believers have found life in Jesus and joined the Adventist family. They’ve come from new territories, new people groups, and various cultures. They’ve brought joy to heaven and strength to God’s church.
We praise God for the thousands of new groups of believers that have been started.
And yet, we’re still here.
Mothers still sit and beg beside busy city streets. Many still wake each morning in fear of the spirit world. Millions in the 10/40 Window have never even heard the name of Jesus. Only one-third of the people on earth are Christians; two-thirds follow other world religions, and a growing number claim no religion at all.
Cities are growing rapidly, and there are still cities of more than a million people with no recorded visit by even one Seventh-day Adventist.
We so long for Jesus to come.
That’s why Global Mission continues to focus on unreached people in the 10/40 Window, the cities, and the secular and postmodern West.
That’s why Global Mission sends out thousands of pioneers to start new groups of believers among the unreached and supports tentmakers in the world’s most challenging regions.
And that’s why Global Mission is helping start hundreds of urban centers of influence in cities across the globe.
Today, six Global Mission centers focus on the most effective ways to share the good news with people from non-Christian backgrounds. These centers find the best ways to build bridges of understanding and help field-test resource materials, methods, and models. Their goal is to remove the barriers that make it difficult for people to understand and accept the gospel.
We praise God for the millions who have found peace and hope in Jesus since Global Mission began.
But we need more Global Mission pioneers. We need more urban centers of influence. We need more prayer.
Thirty-one years ago, Adventist Church leaders cast a bold vision for mission. That vision still burns strong: To reach unreached people, to reach teeming cities, to reach those who feel no need for God.
Today, we still need people to answer the call to mission, to reach the unreached with hope, to share the good news of Jesus. We need people who will answer the call that still echoes after 31 years.
We need people who will say, “I will go!”