Who We Are and What We Do

Who We Are and What We Do

David Neal

In the 8 May edition of Messenger, I set a challenge which requires some further explanation. In the next edition due out next Friday, 5 June, I am planning to share the results, and would like to invite readers of BUC News to contribute. This is your chance for your idea, your voice to be heard!

The challenge is this:

How come a Christian organisation set up in late-nineteenth-century England does so well in communicating its mission today? Every high street in the land has a shop bearing its unfashionable name, and yet ‘The Salvation Army’ has brand recognition second to none. But notice how they have connected the old with the new. Knowing that UK high-street shoppers have little understanding of traditional religious terms, they have added three ordinary words to describe who they are and what they are about – ‘Belief in action’ – without any further explanation required. That’s the Salvation Army to its core.‘If only…’ – if only Seventh-day Adventists could describe who we are and what we do in three ordinary words! If only we could explain our mission and purpose in terms the UK and Ireland shopper can understand, connect and identify with.

For quite a while now, I have been searching for those three ordinary words, but remain unsatisfied with my many attempts. Perhaps it is impossible to adequately describe who we are and what we do in so few words. That is why I’ve also included the Oxfam picture. With their name and logo, the shopfront banner also contains five punchy two-word descriptors of their work and values. I like it! It is clear-cut, to the point and helpful to me in working out if Oxfam has beliefs and values I share and would like to support.

So, here is the challenge for readers of BUC News. Can you find three to five everyday words (maximum 5), which describe our mission, purpose and values with precision – words which uniquely describe to the core who Adventists are and what they do? I am not so sure this is as easy as it looks; and if this is not possible, what about finding five punchy two-word descriptors?

To those who have already responded, thank you. For sure, I will be publishing your response in next week’s Messenger

And if you have not joined this conversation yet, hopefully you will have some time over Sabbath and the weekend. You will find the conversation at the Facebook Messenger Extra page. If you do not use Facebook, please send your words or phrases to, not later than next Tuesday evening (2 June).

Why this challenge? Because mission matters!

David Neal, Editor, Messenger