Regional summits exemplify a display of unity and determination, leaders said.
Published on: 04-19-2023
In response to the world church “I Will Go” initiative, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in West and East Indonesia recently organized respective Sabbath School summits. Approximately 3,100 Adventist church members from across the country attended, regional leaders reported.
“Both summits exemplified a display of unity and determination,” leaders said. “Delegates gathered with the purpose of igniting their faith and learning how to share God’s message more effectively.”
The Adventist Church in West Indonesia held its Sabbath School summit in Siantar, North Sumatra, from April 5 to 9, while in East Indonesia, the summit took place in Manado, North Sulawesi, from April 12 to 16.
Each summit included a program suited to a diverse audience, leaders said. It featured inspirational sermons and vibrant discussions centered on the theme “I Will Go — Be His Witness.”
Encouraged by the need to share the gospel and the promise of the soon return of Jesus, delegates at both events renewed their commitment to remain faithful and continue spreading God’s word, regardless of the challenges they may experience.
Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) vice president Stephen Salainti delivered the opening night message, emphasizing the need to nurture, disciple, and reclaim every member of the church. He emphasized the importance of each church member taking responsibility for participating in initiatives that benefit the church and finding ways to create a space in which people seeking hope and healing in Jesus can experience it in an Adventist community.
“Our churches should be a safe place for people who are seeking answers to their life’s questions,” Salainti said. “As a church, it is our role to reflect Jesus in our actions, in our relationships, in our character, in our families, so that people will understand and see how life with Jesus can make a difference.”
The gathering allowed members to come together and share their experiences. According to organizers, church members enjoyed seeing and catching up with each other, especially after the distancing resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speakers presented on overcoming the challenges of contemporary evangelizing, how to use technology to spread God’s word, and how to reach out to diverse people groups.
Both events emphasized a wholistic approach to the Sabbath School topic. Some presentations focused on how to make the Adventist Bible study guide (known as the Sabbath School lesson) relevant to Gen Zs and millennials. This group currently accounts for more than 40 percent of Indonesia’s population.
“We grew up with a mindset that the Sabbath School lesson is a resource intended only for Seventh-day Adventists; we are urged that every church ministry should be an opportunity for us to share Jesus, and the same is true for our Sabbath School lessons,” a presenter said.
SSD Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director Segundino Asoy spoke of the power of the Holy Spirit to enable the ministry to achieve new heights through those who dedicated their life faithfully.
“There are people who respond to the Holy Spirit’s call, and it is through faith and submission that church members are empowered to lead ministries that will introduce the gospel to the world,” he said.
Church members, leaders, and administrators who attended the Sabbath School summits gave excellent feedback.
Agus Inaray, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director for the East Indonesia Union Conference, expressed gratitude to everyone who attended the meeting and was blessed by it. “Organizing a large event like this is never easy, but with people who are passionate about the ministry, pulling off such a feat is an opportunity to see God’s providence throughout the program,” he said.
Albertho Tulalesi, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director for the West Indonesia Union Mission, agreed. “To see how the church responded in this region encourages our leaders,” he said.
For 2024, the SSD Sabbath School Department envisions hosting a division-wide event. Thousands of attendees from the division’s 14 countries are expected.