Stay Focused on the Mission

In just a few weeks 2016 will be history. It will be a year to remember for many people because of a number of reasons. However, it is important to remember that with each new moment, each new day, and each new year comes the unknown with its challenges, opportunities, joys, sorrows, and a host of other things.

At the Atlantic Union Conference’s 30th quinquennial session, under the theme “Faithful to the End,” held in June at Machlan Auditorium on the campus of Atlantic Union College, delegates voted a complete change in the administrative leadership team, along with some directors’ positions. These changes also impacted several of the conferences, as well (See the August Gleaner).

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, at its annual council meeting, voted a “Unity in Mission: Procedures in Church Reconciliation” document that outlines “steps of reconciliation with entities that appear to have overlooked or ignored the biblical principles as expressed in the Fundamental Beliefs, voted actions, or working policies of the Church.” The North American Division, at its year-end meeting, voted to authorize its executive committee to appoint a subcommittee to “craft a thoughtful path forward” in response to this document.

The 2016 U.S. election campaign cycle seemed as if it would never come to an end. It was unlike any other that I (and many others) have seen in a lifetime. Now that it’s all over, fear, frustration, anger, and other emotions are impacting many people. As I watched the events unfold, it left me wondering, What now?

In the quietness of the early morning hours as I connected with my Friend before I began my day, He reminded me, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes”—Matthew 6:34, MSG.

It may cause us concern sometimes when we witness change occurring in the world and in our church, but this should motivate us to pray more and to stay focused on our mission of being God’s ambassadors. Regardless of what happens on this earth, Jesus will return in His time to take His children home. His coming may be delayed, but it is sure to be fulfilled.

As we move forward into 2017, I invite you to join me in prayer for the leaders of the church at all levels. Let us pray that Jesus, our Captain, will steer the ship in the direction it needs to go, and that we will not be distracted by anything that will potentially prevent us from advancing God’s work.

Let us pray for the United States and nations around the world as we look for divine intervention as God prepares planet earth for His triumphal return.

Let us be about our Father’s business, and, as individual members of the Adventist Church, help to meet the needs of those around us who not only need to hear the gospel, but need to be fed, clothed, and cared for. I am praying that we will truly be His representatives here on earth and that we will stay focused on the mission.

We must remember that God will help chart our course through the unknown challenges ahead and He has given us the assurance: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”—John 14:1-3, NKJV.

Stay focused on the mission; don’t get distracted. Reach out, especially during this holiday season, and touch someone’s life. Share God’s love with them and the wonderful news of Christ’s soon return.

Ednor A.P. Davison is the communication director for the Atlantic Union Conference and editor for the Atlantic Union Gleaner.