Is there Hope for the Local Adventist Church?

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In her article, "Welcome to the Church of Failure"  Maritza Brunt shared some heavy words:

Without innovation, we will never grow. And if we don’t grow, we are at risk of becoming a Church that is exactly like a museum—full of inanimate objects that are perfectly preserved, but lacking life.
— Maritza Brunt

Her words are strong, yes, but not critical. Rather, she is pointing out in bold language what a lot of us know to be true. With the heart of a leader she directs us to identify and embrace something about us that is broken and desperately needs healing. 

When it comes to the process of optimizing the local Adventist church there are a few steps that need to precede that process. First, we need to come to terms with our reality. Second, we need to see change not as a rejection of our historical narrative, but as an addition to the legacy already established by the passing generations. But before these are even embraced, we need to ask: Is there hope for the local Adventist church?

The question is invaluable. If you don't think there is hope you will either settle comfortably into your pew, or you will walk away from the church altogether. But if you believe there is hope, then the process of identifying and healing our brokenness comes to life.

Last week, I decided to see what others think about the future of the Adventist local church. Is there hope for it to become a relevant and authentic movement? Or is the optimization of the Adventist local church a pipe dream not worth investing in?

Rather than make my own assumptions, I took to social media and posted a poll on Twitter and Facebook as well as a post on Instagram. I wanted to know, what do others think? Is there a negative vibe out there? Perhaps an indifferent one? Or are people generally optimistic about the future of our church? Here are the results:

Is there Hope for the Local Adventist Church?

Social Media Poll: 58 total Votes. 54 Yes. 4 No.

The sense of optimism that came back was overwhelming. Now of course, this is only a reflection of the people following my social media accounts. But I'm inclined to believe that this is the prevailing sentiment among us. Not one person wrote back with the suggestion that the church was fine and didn't need to be optimized. And of those who said yes, each of them spoke of our brokeness but also of the hope that we have in Jesus to become a relevant, authentic community that impacts the world around it. 

Of the 4 who said no, none offered any explanation.

So I'd like to go back to Maritza's quote. It's a painful reality, yes. And its not comfortable to read. But to me, it demonstrates love. Love for a church that she believes in. A church all of us believe in. A future all of us are hopeful of. That future is not in the hands of presidents and administrators (love you guys!). Rather, it is in the hands of the everyday church member. If we depend on the clergy to bring this future into reality, we may never live to see it. But if we, as local church members, take the challenge on we can bring the future we all hope for into the here and now.

So here is my challenge to all those awesome optimistic Adventists out there. Put your faith to work. Don't just sit back and wait for your hope to miraculously materialise before you. Get your hands dirty. Earn some scars. Join the fight. And as we all work and sweat and bleed together a beautiful tomorrow will arrive to welcome us into an era we have yet to see as a church - one marked by the missional passion of the early church.

So, let's do it.

Article quoted:

Pastor MarcosComment