Presidents from across the South Pacific Division met this week in Fiji to discuss the future of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in our region.
This can be tricky business. Why? Because although every level of our Church is interrelated, there isn’t direct lines of authority like there are in a business. Instead, there are lines of influence. But influence doesn’t always get everyone singing off the same songsheet.
And as these meetings are the signature inauguration of the Division’s discipleship emphasis, the stakes are high. Would the union presidents sign onto the vision? What about the enormous diversity among our conferences and missions? Is it really realistic to imagine everyone is going to sign onto the vision of focussing making disciples? And if they do, will they embrace the vision with any level of enthusiasm?
SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend. [Photo courtesy: Branimir Schubert]
There are many things we can say about the meetings at Fulton College. And plenty of ambiguity and maybe even different versions. But there is one thing that there is no fog on: the presidents are united. And not by halves.
“I wish every member could have witnessed the spirit of unity in our meetings,” says South Pacific Division president Pastor Glenn Townend. “Everyone—every single president—vocally support the mission of making disciples. And people from all over our division—Melanesians, Polynesians, Micronesians and Caucasians—all spoke up with such a heart warming level of enthusiasm. We are united in mission.”
“Specifically, we’ve united in the vision that we’ll follow Christ’s methods. Under His power, we’ll prepare the soil, sow the seeds, cultivate the seedlings, and harvest the crop and multiply the harvest. Exactly how each of us will do that will vary according to conditions, cultures and the talents of those involved. But we are united in vision and we are all pulling in the same direction under the same desire—to reach our world following the same methods that Christ used.”