The Future Is Now
DALLAS –The Southwest Region Conference has adopted four essential areas of ministry emphasis over the next two years. They are evangelism, education, media and digital ministry and Youth/Young Adult engagement and retention.
In Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV), Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
The goals for evangelism are for each Southwest Region Conference (SWRC) pastor/district to conduct one (minimal) public evangelistic campaign annually; for each SWRC pastor to mobilize and equip local church membership to do the work of evangelism and general ministry; to work in collaboration with the North American Division (NAD) and Southwestern Union on urban evangelism plans; and to develop and implement innovative evangelistic initiatives via media and digital ministry.
Isaiah 54:13 (KJV) says, “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
The goals for Adventist education are to increase enrollment by 50 percent for the upcoming academic year, 2021-2022; to intentionally recruit at SWRC churches in areas where SWRC schools exist; to provide online learning opportunities for students in the SWRC territory where there is no SWRC school, enabling students to enroll virtually in our SWRC schools; and to offer Three-Way Scholarships (SWRC President’s Office, local church and local school) across the SWRC schools. Twenty-five (25) Three-Way Scholarships will be given for the 2021-2022 academic year, reflecting 10 percent of the SWRC enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year; and to host the 2022 NAD Adventist Robotics Tournament promoting Adventist Education throughout the SWRC territory.
Isaiah 43:19 (KJV) says, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” In her book Evangelism, Ellen G. White says, “Means will be devised to reach hearts. Some of the methods used in this work will be different from the methods used in the work in the past; but let no one, because of this, block the way by criticism.” In Letters and Manuscripts, she goes on to say, “Men (and women) are needed who pray to God for wisdom, and who, under the guidance of God, can put new life into the old methods of labor and can invent new plans and new methods of working the interest of church members and reaching the men and women of the world.”
The goals for media and digital ministry are to create and produce an eNewsletter to be disseminated monthly throughout the SWRC; to create and produce weekly worship broadcasts to be shown on SWRC social media platforms; to repurpose and rebrand SWRC website and social media platforms; to develop a new ministry mobile app for the SWRC; to repurpose and rebrand the SWRC YouTube Channel providing inspirational worship content which meets the needs of intergenerational viewers; and to create the Southwest Region Conference Annual Film Festival.
In Ministry to the Cities, Ellen G. White says, “There is no class that can achieve greater results for God and humanity than the young.”
The goals for youth and young adult engagement and retention are to underscore the importance of youth and young adult engagement in church ministry and overall church life, inclusive of the intentional placement of young adults in local ministry leadership positions; to engage and seek to include young adults in conference-wide governance as reflected in representation on SWRC standing committees; to activate youth and young adults in evangelistic and mission opportunities; to train, equip and empower youth and young adults in general church ministry and programming including Sabbath School, Worship, AYM, Adventurers, Pathfinders, Bible Bowl, etc.; to provide support to youth entities within the SWRC (Youth, Pathfinder and Adventurer Federations, Bible Bowl, etc.); to actively listen to youth and young adults relative to their ministry needs, ideas and interests; to implement media and digital ministry opportunities specifically geared to reach youth and young adults; and to provide worship and service opportunities specifically geared to reach youth and young adults.
By Carlton P. Byrd, President