During the 2020 GC Annual Council, it was reported that two of the largest contributors to Adventist Church growth were divisions in Africa: Southern Africa Indian-Ocean (19.23%) and East-Central Africa (27.49%), whose combined contribution exceeds 46% of global church growth. To add further perspective, the then General Conference Executive Secretary G. T. Ng shared a chart showing the global composition of the Seventh-day Adventist Church based on membership statistics during that time (shown below). Without debating the limitations of the presentation, we celebrate the numerical growth of Adventism in places like Africa. However, we also acknowledge that numbers—be they demographic or financial—are not an indicator of spirituality or faithfulness. In fact, Adventism’s growth in Africa is not homogenous. There are places contending with very little growth, and we also need to factor in high fertility rates as a determinant of church growth on the continent. Just like other regions, the continent is not spared from the high member attrition rates of 4 in every 10 members that are reported by the General Conference. So, what are some of the emerging issues for the future of Adventism in Africa that the church needs to pay attention to? Some of these issues, of course, may apply to Adventism in general.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/12132