Adventism, Mission Catalyst, and Church Planting

Posted on May 8, 2011


Awhile back I wrote an article about how the magazine Adventist Today is not really Adventist or at least has a lot of work to do to get back on track.  In the article I talked about how they were promoting an offshoot organization called Mission Catalyst.  Adventist Today published a letter that Ron Gladden had written and in the letter was an invitation to leave the Seventh-day Adventist Church and plant new churches with Mission Catalyst. 


Do not get me wrong, I love the idea of breaking free of the current bureaucracy and politics that slow down mission growth, but after prayerfully considering Mission Catalyst, I have come to the conclusion that we can develop a movement within the movement that allows us to create prevailing churches.

Instead of leaving the Seventh-day Adventist Church that God has set up in these last days, we need to do one of two things (when it comes to healthy churches)…

  1. Prayerfully recreate our established churches into prevailing churches that are visitor-friendly, family-focused, spiritually-balanced, and mission-driven.  If the current leaders in our established churches do not want to obey God’s command to “GO into all the world” and continue to use methodology that is cold and 1800’s formal, then it is time to move on.
  2. Instead of remaining in spiritually dead churches, we need to form church plant teams and create new churches that are visitor-friendly, family-focused, spiritually-balanced, and mission-driven.  These new churches do not need to compromise God’s wonderful truths (including the Ten Commandments and 28 Fundamental Beliefs) while being modern and relevant.  There is nothing wrong with creating an environment that is spiritually safe for believers and unbelievers… a place that proclaims, “Come as you are!”  We need churches that use a nice blend of new and old music, provides a nursery ministry for young parents, has growth and life groups, and is willing to try new things to evangelize the world for Jesus.

Our communities will not be impacted for God if we do not do something now.  Instead of waiting for someone else to be the catalyst to bring change to your church, you need to begin to pray… asking God what He wants you to do to enlarge His eternal kingdom.  If you do not do it, who will?

Well………….  Adventist Today ran the letter that Ron Gladden had written and now we have another Adventist family leaving the church.  This family has decided to plant a new church through Mission Catalyst instead to planting within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Here is what our former members have to say about leaving our Church…

“Seven years ago, God brought my family to Austin, Texas….  We quickly became active leaders in our local (Adventist) church and severed in a variety of capacities….  One Friday, my husband and I had a late night conversation.  I shared with him a sense that God had something else in mind and that, as crazy as it sounded, I thought we would be starting a new church someday.  A few years went by, and the nagging sense would not resolve.  Then, my mother-in-law sent me an article – an interview of Ron Gladden in Adventist Today.” – Mission Catalyst News, April 2011

This family of five is no longer a part of our worldwide Adventist family.  They are putting together a Mission Catalyst team to plant a new church in Texas instead to working within God’s end time Church.  

Something to think about:  How would this situation be different if we had equipped this family with the tools needed to plant a new Seventh-day Adventist Church in Texas? 

The time has come for us to stop messing around and get serious about God and His mission to seek and to save the whole world.  Instead of playing politics over districts and playing church, we need to do whatever it takes to reach the lost for Christ (as long as we do not compromise God’s truths). 

Every church should be using newer music and different kinds of instruments (minus the drum set… it only creates divisions).  Every church should be more visitor-friendly and make sure visitors are truly welcomed and befriended (get some young and happy faces at the front doors of our churches as greeters).  Every church should be creating growth/small groups for fellowship and Bible study.  Every church should have a “fellowship” meal every single Sabbath.  Every church should be actively engaged in public evangelism. 

We need to do whatever it takes to be JESUS to the world around us.

Let us begin to think outside the traditional box and discover ways for everyone to be active in the harvest.  If someone wants to start a new youth group, children’s ministry, growth group, or church plant… so be… let us do it in the name of Jesus and see His awesome power flow through us like never before.

QUESTION:  What are you going to do to impact the harvest for God this week?

INVITATION:  We are preparing to plant a new Adventist church in Albuquerque, New Mexico… if you have a passion for Jesus and leadership skills to be used in His service, please contact me and let us talk about creating a healthy church that is visitor-friendly, family-focused, spiritually-balanced, and mission-driven.