3 Things I Found at Triennial
by Erik Reynolds
[This article is a follow-up to a previous article titled, 3 Things I’m Looking for at Triennial]
Original Post: Identity: What does it mean to be an Advent Christian?
Answer: With the passing of our new Statement of Faith we have given ourselves a much greater sense of identity. Advent Christians are Evangelical followers of Jesus Christ who seek to make Christ’s name known throughout the world with a longing for the imminent return of Christ, finding our only hope in Him.
There are many things that Advent Christian have yet to figure out, such as planting churches, developing leaders, revitalizing churches, and how to organize our denomination structure. However, there is a heart to serve Christ in any way possible and a desire to look for better ways to further the Gospel message.
Original Post: Vision: Where are we going and what is our mission?
Answer: You have to know who you are before you will know where you are going. Prior to this Triennial the feeling I received from others was one of disappointment and pessimism. Much of this pessimism stemmed from a lack of identity and feeling of futility. Thanks to the guidance of our terrific ACGC staff and Executive Council, we have an identity. The vision I found most evident in this convention was found in John 17, That the world may know. This was the theme of the convention and one that resonated with the majority of those who attended.Moving forward the heart of the Advent Christian vision is the proclamation of the Gospel to the world. I personally sensed a great deal of urgency on behalf of others at the convention, an urgency I was grateful to sense. There are billions of people who have yet to come to a saving faith in Christ. With our focus on the imminent return of Jesus, the implications are vast. Our focus on the Gospel and imminent return should drive us in everything we do:
We must plant churches that will proclaim the Gospel because Christ is coming soon! `
We must revitalize churches to reach the next generation with the Gospel because Christ is coming soon!
We must pour into and develop leaders that will exalt Christ’s name because He is coming soon!
How is all of this going to happen? Those answers are still yet to come, but there was a great sense of unity and willingness to work together to discover these answers. More unity than I have experienced at other levels of the denomination. There was ZERO, “My way or the highway!” type of talk and more, “You love Jesus, I love Jesus, let's work together to help more people love Jesus in whatever ways we can!”
Original Post: Conversations: How can we join the work that God is already doing?
Answer: As a member of the Restoration Network, it was great to hear from others who were interested in learning ways in which they could bring such a movement into their geographical areas. One thing we sought out was the planting of seeds to that will grow into national and international relationships. Seeking to exchange ideas and encourage one another as we spur each other on in Gospel ministry.
I met with a church planter who Pastors a church with multiple other guys, each working only quarter time in order to stay out in the community
I met a Pastor who gave up all of his salary from the church in order to give it all to missions. A church of just over twenty that lives out extravagant generosity.
I spoke with multiple generations about the future of church and leadership development.
I had the pleasure of speaking with many of the ACGC staff and Executive Council who have the same concerns as me and I got to hear their perspective.
However, the greatest moment was circling together in prayer with friends both before and after the vote on the Statement of Faith, seeking for God’s will to be done in our midst. A time of prayer and thoughtful contemplation, looking towards God, seeking His will and not our own was much needed. However, it needs to continue at all levels of our denomination and it starts with you.