The Big Five Plus- GC 2020
by Pastor Vic Van Schaik, Indiana Conference Ministerial Secretary
In less than three years the Indiana Conference will have the unique opportunity to host the 61st General Conference session in 2020. More than eighty thousand members from around the world will gather in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to hear reports from various divisions, and will vote on items that will affect the world church. This will be an exciting time for our Indiana members; many will be able to attend the General Conference session, perhaps for the first time, as it will be held right in our own neighborhood.
As we approach 2020, the Indiana Conference is laying out plans for evangelism and training leading up to the GC session. Our vision is that just before the session occurs, every church in our conference will hold evangelistic meetings in their own churches presented by a pastor, elder, evangelist, or another member of the church. The meetings will all take place around the same time, allowing us to take advantage of lower costs as well as the synergy that comes when we are working together in unity. In April of that same year, we will host a Pathway to Health weekend in Indianapolis. Free medical, dental, and vision care will be provided to thousands who are in need. In addition, over the next three years there will be training offered in different regions of the conference to equip members for personal and public evangelism.
In the last few months we have been in discussions with It Is Written (IIW) TV ministry to conduct two major series in Indianapolis in 2020 -- one in Spanish and one in English. For the past year we have been airing the IIW program on Saturday nights throughout Indiana on TV channel 40.1. We believe that as people regularly watch the IIW program, they will become familiar with Pastor John Bradshaw and our message, making them more apt to come and hear him in person. In addition, Pastor Bradshaw will also be our featured speaker for the 2018 Indiana Camp Meeting.
The last time we hosted a General Conference session was in 1990. The church membership was close to 8 million worldwide. More than 1,700 were joining the church every day. The ratio of Adventist to non-Adventist in the world was 1:795. Almost thirty years later the membership is close to 20 million, and we are seeing over 3,500 members joining daily. The ratio of Adventist to non-Adventist worldwide is 1:375. Clearly, God is on the move in these last days. It makes one wonder what we will see happening in the church by the next GC session. Based on divine counsel we haven’t seen anything yet!
These are just a few of the exciting plans that the Lord is bringing together to help us fulfill one of the Big Five Goals that the pastors were led to pursue after two days of prayer and planning at Timber Ridge Camp. We would like to invite you to fervently pray as we seek God’s will and direction in preparing for 2020. Zechariah 4:6 says, “…Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”