A leading expert on business strategy will join Seventh-day Adventist Church officials at the denomination’s world headquarters this week for the church’s October business session.
Author, speaker and business consultant Gary Hamel is slated to present on organizational change at this year’s Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) training program. The program brings church administrators worldwide up to speed on current innovations and best practices in management.
Annual Council, set for October 10 to 16, is the yearly meeting of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Executive Committee, a group of more than 350 world church leaders. Annual Council is the church’s top business meeting other than General Conference Session, which is held every five years.
Hamel is a founder of Strategos, an international management consulting firm based in Chicago. The Wall Street Journal recently ranked Hamel as the “world’s most influential business thinker.” His books include “What Matters Now,” a guide to building organizations that thrive amid uncertainty and shifting priorities.
Annual Council delegates will also receive updates from the church’s Treasury and Secretariat departments. Adventist world church Executive Secretary G. T. Ng is expected to report on 10 of the church’s fastest-growing unions and 10 that are declining in membership.
Along with year-end statistical and financial reviews, this year’s agenda also contains proposed amendments to the church’s Fundamental Beliefs, including clarification of the denomination’s biblical understanding of origins. Delegates will decide whether to move forward with a version of Fundamental Belief Number 6 that merges the current belief with a reaffirmation of a “literal, recent, six-day creation.” Other beliefs may see “minor editorial changes,” said Myron Iseminger, undersecretary for the Adventist world church.
Also on the docket next week is a recommendation to approve administrative status updates for several “union missions,” or local church administrative units that receive appropriations. Delegates are expected to accept the regions’ bid for “union conference” status. Such updates reflect a region’s spiritual maturity and financial stability. As a “union conference,” a region is fully self-sufficient and responsible for electing its own church officers. These officers will be included among delegates to the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas.
This year’s Annual Council will also feature, for the first time, the option to replace the bulky binders delegates typically receive at church business meetings with an electronic version of the agenda. The church’s department of International Personnel Resources and Services pioneered the system and recently used it during a meeting at headquarters, saving upwards of $500 on printing costs for the agenda.
“That would buy an iPad,” Iseminger said. “This paperless system is much more efficient and will save us a significant amount of time, effort and money.”