Seventh-day Adventist Church Adopts New Brand Promise


(Spectrumbot) #1

“We can help you understand the Bible to find freedom, healing and hope in Jesus.” The Adventist Promise sets a clear expectation of what the worldwide public can expect from all Adventist entities and members.

The Adventist Promise aims to deliver a clear message about what the movement stands for, and seeks to leave a lasting impression on people in the 21st century.

It is framed as a brand promise which is used by organizations worldwide to clearly explain what they offer to customers, constituents and members of the general public. This helps position an organization and explain the tangible benefit that it offers to people.

The Promise is deliberately short and shines a spotlight on people’s needs rather than on a long description of the Church, its institutions and history. It positions members of the public as the focus, with the Church serving a mentor role in helping people understand the Scriptures.

“The Bible is the foundation of our understanding of God. It is His Holy Word. It is the written Word that points us to the Living Word, Jesus Christ. If you wish to know God’s will for your life, you must read His Word, understand His Word, and fulfill His Word — all through humble prayer on your part and the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life,” said President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Ted N C Wilson. “Jesus said in John 17:17, ‘Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.’ That’s why it is so important that we individually study and understand the Bible for ourselves as we look forward to Christ’s soon return.”

The Adventist Promise is the product of hundreds of conversations with church leaders and members worldwide. The goal was to communicate what the Adventist Church does in a way that cuts through the crowded, noisy, modern media landscape. Every media channel of the denomination is urged to communicate it as the core brand promise of the Church.

“It is easy to speak up but it has never been harder to be heard,” said Sam Neves, Associate Director of Communication for the General Conference.

Neves stressed the importance of having a clear message that defines the church: “We only have a few seconds to leave a lasting impression of how we can serve them.”

Church members around the world are being called to help deliver on the Adventist Promise by actively helping people understand the Bible. Neves warned that the public will lose trust in the Adventist Church if leaders, institutions and members are perceived as not living up to the statement.

In order to deliver on the Adventist Promise it is important to keep the focus on other people rather than the church, said Neves. “It is about them. Our Promise is not a promise to ourselves, it is a promise to them. We are not the hero.”

Adventists can help their friends and neighbors understand the Bible for themselves by going beyond mere intellectual study of the Bible. This can be achieved by inviting people to join members in their homes and churches, to help them experience a sense of Christian community as they study the Bible.

It is not the role of the Church to bring freedom, healing and hope, said Neves. He maintained that the Adventist Promise is about helping people understand the Bible so that they get to know Jesus for themselves and through Him, find the hope they have been craving.

The Adventist Promise was approved by the General Conference Administrative Committee to become the core message of adventist.org. It was presented to world leaders of the Church at Annual Council this past autumn.

This article originally appeared on the Adventist News Network.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9252

#2

“We can help you understand the Bible to find freedom, healing and hope in Jesus.”

Ok…take any of the 3 and give some examples of how any would explain it.


(Nathan Robinson) #3

We promise Jesus will return on October 22, 1844 . . . or your money back.


(Nathan Robinson) #4

Does any other church have a slogan like this?

I thought the core “message” was “fear God and give him glory for the hour of His judgment has come.”


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #5

“THE BIBLE IS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR UNDERSTANDING OF GOD”

If that is the case,why are TW’s sermons and articles so prolific with EGW quotes, almost more than biblical texts??


(Cherilyn Clough) #6

“We can help you understand the Bible to find freedom, healing and hope in Jesus.” The Adventist Promise sets a clear expectation of what the worldwide public can expect from all Adventist entities and members.”

I’m all for freedom, healing and hope in Jesus! Wait a minute, isn’t this a conflict with the five compliance committees just voted in Annual Council? Will this brand statement do away with them?
If not, it sounds like false advertising. Perhaps they should add a disclaimer in small print at the bottom that reads:

*Freedom unless you are a woman who is called to be a pastor, an LGBTQ youth who wants to stay in the church, a Science teacher who questions origins or anyone who has any disagreement with the current GC or any of at least 28 fundamental beliefs.

*Healing unless you have been molested by your Pathfinder leader or abused by your pastor or otherwise shut out for non-compliant food at potluck, or oops! You thought God was calling you to be a pastor if you are a woman.

*Hope for those who fit into the mold or can be conformed, all others need not apply.

There are also vast throngs who will tell you they have found zero healing in the Adventist church—due to the current mindset of control and conformity. I think we need to up the healing ante or do less abusing or the crowd of witnesses will run past and leave us in the dust.

The good news is there is still freedom, healing and hope in Jesus for all people whatever your gender, color of skin, orientation or struggles with doctrinal beliefs–such grace is administered freely from the throne of God and does not need a specific denomination to dispense it.


#7

This promise is hooey.


(Carlo Schroeder) #8

It would be hard when the church acts no different than the main stream church in Mexico, when formalism is all that counts and titles, an dthe prescribed order of the day. When a sister is used to define all women, while a title defines a men. When pain is regarded as God’s plan to purify the mind, and joy is regarded as sin.
I am sure the book is good, just we need to embrace more of Jesus Christ, and less of pride.


(Ray Smith) #9

Do we sometimes get things out of perspective? As important as it is, John 17:17 has a context. There are things Christ wants the world to know. v21: so that the world may believe that you sent Me. v23: that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as you have loved Me.

What the world needs is to know and experience the love that Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for every soul on planet Earth, regardless. God always takes the initiative. It all depends on what He in love has done, not on what we do.

The brand promise? What can we do? We can help you get to know Jesus Christ who loves you with a passion. He wants to give you freedom, healing and hope. A simple Yes is all He needs.

There’s more. He will lead you into the truth of His love and forgiveness and acceptance as you live and pray and study the Bible together. He will live in your heart every moment of every day by His Holy Spirit. He will pour His love into your heart and His promise is that He will never leave you. He loves you too much for that.

Anything that says “you must read His Word, understand His Word, and fulfill His Word — all through humble prayer on your part” to know God’s will for your life will fail because it depends on human effort.

It’s the leading of the Holy Spirit and the revelation of God’s love through Jesus Christ that is of first importance. What we do grows from there.

Salvation by grace is God’s initiative. It’s His work, not ours.


(Billman) #10

As far as positioning statements go, it is not bad. Succinct, with enough flexibility that people can own it and put it to use in their own unique ways, and gospel centered.

The challenge is for this positioning statement to reflect what the Adventist church is. It would work well with some existing congregations, while other congregations will need to embrace cultural change before they can treat the statement as their own. This may be an intention of those behind the framing of this statement.

As for the Adventist inquisition, seeking to nail Adventists to a non-existent historic standard, the inquisitors will need to consider how their actions can be brought into harmony with this positioning statement. Good luck.


(George Tichy) #11

First word that came to my mind when I read that: Baloney!


(George Tichy) #12

Promise # 1: We will keep the Church united by activating the power of the Kompliance Kommandos!.. :roll_eyes:

Those promises are nothing but cheap baits. The program should have been titled:


#14

I like the promise. In order to keep the promise, we, the church, will have to do more than study the Sabbath School Quarterly. Thematic treatises, featuring cherry picked verses, will not be convincing to people in 2018. The main issue I see when in dialogue with secular people is that they do not trust the Bible. If our tribe is to be tasked to help people understand the Bible, then our group needs to learn about the Bible as a text. 1)How was it made? 2)What to do with contradictions 3)What about the golden rule vs. Old Testament genocide? 4)What about verses that imply accepting a status quo of slavery?

The promise is fine. But, our current church ethos will not be able to deliver. In our congregations, we need more than “milk.” We need solid food. Will church leaders deliver such a curriculum? Or, is it up to a few of us, the rabble-rouser Spectrumites, who are willing to call a spade a spade and do the heavy lifting for a true Bible study?

I understand that we, the church, are not positioning ourselves as “heroes.” But, if we are promising to use the Bible to lead to Jesus, people in the congregations need knowledge about the Bible so that we can help people grapple with inherent difficulties.


#15

I challenge any pastor or SS teacher to do polls to see what % of their congregation/class even look at the SS Quarterly.


(Frank Peacham) #16

This is a good working motto, focusing is on “Freedom, Healing and Hope.” It is a high standard for local congregations to live up to.

Is a our local church a place of Freedom? Freedom opens the possibility of embracing aspects of faith and lifestyle that leadership may not endorse. Will the church be a place of Healing from the many addictions that chain humanity? Mental and emotional healing includes practicing loving-kindness to oneself and others in nonjudgmental confession and forgiveness. Over time, I question, if rigid doctrinal beliefs can be paraded front and center in a Freedom to Heal congregation?


(George Tichy) #17

“The Promise” reminds me of, “Read my lips.” :wink:


#18

Freedom from WHAT? HOW?
Healing of WHAT? HOW?
Hope generated by WHAT? HOW?


#19

Credit must be given to the general idea of the brand.

Many realize that organized Christianity has become impotent & irrelevant.

This branding is an attempt to be relevant & practical.

The problem is that clergy are inept at implementing it with their current teaching approaches.


#20

Not Dinner Cuts…?


(Steve Mga) #21

This is going to require a WHOLE NEW APPROACH to SABBATH SERVICES.
This is HEALING of Body, Mind, Spirit.
Not just Sabbath entertainment.
What they don’t realize is this – This is a REVOLUTION. A Complete change.
A whole NEW Focus.
This is Old and New Testament teaching.
But I don’t believe that Upper and Local Leadership is READY for this or will
want to develop this.

I believe Elmer and George will agree.
the 12-step program, the 10-step program of RU Recovery MInistries.

It will be a SCARY New Pathway.