Project Ten: Trusting in His Promises
Project Ten is part of the Southwestern Union’s five-year strategic plan. The goal is for our territory to experience 10 percent growth annually through baptisms and professions of faith, as well as reclaiming former members while becoming more intentional about retaining our new brothers and sisters. During the five years prior to COVID-19, we experienced an average annual baptism and profession of faith growth of approximately 3.5 percent. Though 10 percent baptism and profession of faith growth is almost three times greater than our average, partnering with God makes this goal attainable.
How might we achieve this goal? The answer has been clearly stated by Jesus the Christ, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV). Though Christ was commissioning the twelve as His witnesses more than 2,000 years ago, He was also speaking to us in extension.
In Letters and Manuscripts, Manuscript 24, Volume 18 (1903), Ellen G. White wrote, “To us also the commission is given. We are bidden to go forth as Christ’s messengers, to teach, instruct, and persuade men and women, to urge upon their attention the Word of life. And to us also the assurance of Christ’s abiding presence is given … God gave His Son up to shame and reproach and to an ignominious death that man might have eternal life. In view of this, why are we not working more earnestly to save sinners? Why are we so indifferent, so careless? Where is our faith, where our works?”
As we accept this high honor and responsibility, we will see major increases in the number of laborers partnering with God for the salvation of all. As a result, more individuals will be given the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ. We may not be certain of any individual’s response to hearing the gospel, but we are certain that Christ is with us when we share it. He said, “…surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
What a blessed assurance that no matter what we are faced with in the service of our God, He will never leave us to face it alone. While we are inviting those for whom we labor to accept Jesus and His way, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, God is encouraging and empowering the soul to give his or her heart to Him.
I remember giving a series of Bible study lessons to a woman when I was 16 or 17 years old. It was probably my first time giving studies on my own. After we went through the final study in that series of lessons, I made the appeal, and to my amazement, she said yes! Later, she followed through and was baptized! It was clear to me that Jesus kept His promise. He said that He would be with me, and He surely was. He had been in each lesson study, clearing up anything that I was not clear on, straightening up anything that I was not straight on. I can testify that, through His Holy Spirit, He was there!
May we commit ourselves to Christ and allow Him to convert us afresh to the mission. Together under Christ we will accomplish our goal of 10 percent, even exceeding it far beyond what we could think or even imagine.
By Stephen Brooks, Executive Secretary