The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) is encouraging members to embrace the new theme for the World Church, I Will Go. The I Will Go strategy will pursue many goals of the World Church’s current five-year plan, Reach the World; the strategy simplifies the plan while retaining its sharp focus on spreading the gospel and nurturing church members. The theme was voted at the 2019 Annual Council Meeting and will be implemented at the 2020 General Conference Session.
The North Caribbean Conference is gearing up for Impact 2020 which will be held from March 6 to 14, 2020. It is an evangelistic tool, initiated by the Caribbean Union, to accelerate church growth. Impact 2020 will be the third evangelistic encounter sponsored by the Caribbean Union in one of its fields, having previously been held in Guyana and Suriname.
At the 2019 Ministerial Workers’ Meeting held in December, the NCC President, Pastor Desmond James, told workers, “We want to lift the commitment of the members. We want leaders and members to respond to the charge of going, in order to help fulfill the mission. Won’t it be a wonderful thing if each member, in the NCC, embraces the initiative and says, “I Will Go”? We have 41 congregations in the Conference and if each one embraces the theme and goes, we will make a difference in the communities and churches of the NCC.”
Pastor James challenged members to begin the year with a commitment to God and to the Mission of the Church, “I want to see a missionary movement; I want to see young people who are awakened by the Holy Spirit become more deeply involved in the Mission, but not only in the Mission here with us, but to the ends of the earth. Now, the ‘ends of the earth’ is simultaneous because we can never finish, first, here and then, end there. I perceive that God is awakening a movement that looks beyond their own local needs and, despite the challenges, looks further, to the ends of the Conference, where there are cultures, entire villages, that have nothing to do with Jesus. 2019 was good but I believe 2020 can be more exciting and rewarding.”
At the 2019 NCC Directors’ Caucus, Pastor James encouraged team leaders to realign plans with the World Church’s strategic initiatives, “It was set in motion at our Union Meeting and all team leaders should embrace the initiatives to bring them in line with the five strategic initiatives embraced by the Church in the IAD and Caribbean Union.” The NCC Strategic Plan includes a list of key performance indicators (KPI’s) in four categories: Evangelism, Education, Training and Service.
One of the KPI goals for the Conference is: A significant increase in the number of church members regularly attending the Divine Service and Sabbath School. A World Church survey, conducted in 2018, indicated that church attendance is down by 7 percent and is at 71 percent of the church’s 21 million members, compared to 78 percent for a similar survey in 2013. “We don’t know why that is, but it is a trend that we want to reverse,” said Pastor James. “As such we will be placing lots of emphases on the state of our congregations. We want to build healthy congregations.”
Through the Personal Ministries Department, the NCC will launch an initiative to reclaim hundreds of members. The ten-month campaign calls for congregations to determine the status of missing members and make every effort to welcome former members into the life of the church. Dr. Henry Peters, the NCC Personal Ministries Director, commented, “We have lots of them out there. We will utilize all efforts to inspire congregations to embrace the Mission and fulfill the command.”
The Executive Secretary, Pastor Wilmoth James, will track the progress for the first six months. He said, “We want to do our best to be sure that the Church is taking its place and impacting our communities. It is hoped that through our efforts, God will bless the Church in the North Caribbean Conference.”