But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”… LK 2:10-11
When I was reading the Christmas story, I was thinking how this must have been an amazing scene; think of the animals and animal feed, the Magi – and their gifts and the shepherds and their folks. I know that the birth of Jesus means so much to so many people, but I am reminded in reading the story that the point of the story is not the date or the season. Instead, the focal point of the story is the Birth, this amazing addition to the human family – God with us.
As we close this year, I am reminded of a different kind of birth. This year we have seen 298 souls born into the kingdom of God by baptism, and 205 souls by Profession of Faith. We have added more than 500 souls to the kingdom of God in the Minnesota Conference. If we are reading the statistical records correctly, this is historic! Our records show that every single Seventh-day Adventist church worshiping group in our conference added at least one or more new members into their group, except 2 churches. That is amazing statistics. I know that studies show the mainline Protestant denominations in the United States are on decline. But as I look at our records I am encouraged to see that Minnesota Conference membership has been on the rise.
My suggestion to the church is to keep our EYES on eternity. This means we will commit to evangelism, engage the youth, promote Adventist education, do service, be faithful stewards and grow spiritually. As the communities around us turn their attention to the birth of Jesus, we have an opportunity to share the good news. We should make plans for continuous engagement with our communities, plan for outreach, and making disciples. Now, the truth is if we are not doing outreach the church will not grow. A challenge to all pastors, church elders, youth leaders and all departmental leaders and members, let’s focus our EYES on Christ’s mission. Have you noticed that at the time of birth there is focused attention on the baby? I am suggesting that during this Christmas season and throughout the year let’s focus outward. Let our plans for evangelism, let our youth, our schools and all our programs, our budgeting, all be focused towards birthing new Christians.
Brian K. Mungandi, Vice President for Administration
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