A. Our Challenge
Seventh-day Adventists believe the focus of the church's mission is the same today that it has always been: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising 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." (Matthew 28:19,20) While we should engage in numerous activities as we respond to human need as Jesus did, our principal task is to "make disciples." In the secular culture of post-modern Britain, our challenge is to use every possible means - both traditional and innovative - to meet people where they are with the good news about Jesus.
C. Our Function
The department of "Personal Ministries" in the local church exists to encourage and empower its lay members to respond to the Gospel commission within their local church and community. The department exists at the BUC to co-operate with it's Conference and Mission leaders to:
- Identify and develop resources and training events that will assist pastors to "build up" the local church and develop each congregation into a Biblically authentic community.
- Assist pastors in training, equipping and resourcing every member in soul-winning service for God.
- Encourage local congregations to serve their communities in practical ways, and to promote and organise, in partnership with ADRA, the annual Ingathering campaign for the relief of human suffering abroad.
Ingathering is an annual two to three week public collection of funds organised in co-operation with ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) in support of selected ADRA projects. Members are encouraged to collect money for various development projects, based both in this country, and abroad. Members are given permits and badges, and special collection tins for door-to-door collecting. Each year the projects vary depending on current needs. Projects have included building clinics in Africa, immunisation programmes, well-digging, and the Special Needs Camp in Aberdaron, Wales.
Ingathering is mainly a door-to-door collection, although church members can and do raise money in other ways, such as sponsored events, 'coffee mornings', car-boot sales, selling home-made bread, cakes or crafts, or collecting money through the year in their home or workplace. Adventist churches in Britain raise approximately £500,000 annually.
For more information on ADRA projects, visit the ADRA-UK web-site.