A practical plan for Seventh-day Adventist lay ministries and church leaders to better combine efforts in cross-cultural mission was one of the key results of the Cross-cultural Mission Conference held April 19 to 21 at the Adventist Church world headquarters, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
Nearly 300 delegates, including church employees and representatives of lay-led ministries, gathered from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas for the conference, which focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the church as it works cross-culturally. “This broadens our perspective,” said Isaiah Duong, one of the delegates, originally from Vietnam. “We can see how our church is worldwide. This helps us understand each other.”
Various lectures, demonstrations, and group discussions focused on ways to be culturally sensitive in sharing Adventist beliefs and practices. “Jesus became an insider,” said Charles Taylor, one of the key planners of Global Mission, the church’s initiative to reach into new areas of the world. “He spent 30 long years learning to be a Jew. He earned the right to be heard.”
Solvita Sokolovskaya from Belarus said she appreciated how the church’s strategic values of unity, growth, and quality of life are being adapted for different people groups around the world. “It’s good to adapt the strategy for other cultures,” she said.
On the final day of the conference, delegates joined in extended periods of prayer before identifying mission needs around the world. As these needs were listed, spokespeople from various ministries volunteered to help meet them. “It was an outstanding response,” says Mike Ryan, director of Global Mission and one of the planners of the conference. “There was a tremendous spirit of sacrifice and commitment, and it was inspiring to see so many supporting ministries volunteer their services to help meet specific challenges.”
More than 30 areas of mission need were discussed, including establishing health work in Mongolia; increasing training for medical workers; providing language training for young people wanting to work cross-culturally; and encouraging supporting ministries to support and train Global Mission pioneers.
Video highlights from the conference’s Saturday program will be broadcast via satellite by Adventist Television Network in two segments May 24, 25, 31, and June 1. For further information go to adventist.tv