It was an eye-opening experience! All Conference employees received the state of the Conference report during the Ontario Conference’s first-ever virtual workers’ meeting, September 28-29, 2020.
All Ontario Conference churches were grouped in four categories:
Today, we share with you that 46% of our Ontario churches are classified as declining with 63% in the SDACC (Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada), and 58% across the North American Division.
As per the 2020 theme ‘Discipleshift,’ the administration has cast a vision for Ontario that will result in a shift from declining churches to growing and multiplying ones. It was agreed, by God’s grace, that 2020-2025 will be years of growth and multiplication in our Conference.
The president shared his vision on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, with the Strategic Planning Committee, comprising of Conference administrators and directors. Breakout groups focussed on their discussion on declining churches, considering contributing factors and workable solutions. Pastors and lay leaders will soon be engaged in the process in an effort to maximize the health of our churches to God’s glory.
Our church must focus on its mission. It cannot continue with its present church culture.
With Covid-19 causing the suspension of many of the churches’ regular programmes, this is also an ideal time for pastors and church members to start considering the following:
- Pray and fast on behalf of leadership at all levels to be subject to God’s leading.
- Discuss the contributing factors resulting in declining churches.
- Engage all your thoughts and perspectives.
- Discuss possible solutions to bring about positive change as we work in one accord.
“We need pastors and members to return to a primitive godliness,” said Ontario Conference president, Mansfield Edwards, “each person must seek to be filled with the Spirit of God and focus on the mission that God has given to us. The love of God in us will compel us to strategically work for the salvation of those in our communities.” He made it clear that “we cannot and must not be satisfied to stay where we are.”