Our lives can change so quickly. In an instant, our world can be altered either for good or bad. The older we get, the more we have experienced these defining moments. Can you relate? Perhaps like me, you’ve sat by the bedside of a loved one and held their hand as they breathed their last breath. Perhaps you’ve gotten a diagnosis from the doctor and realized that your life will not be the same again. Perhaps you have suffered from persecution, wrongful termination, imprisonment, or mental illness, and you know that life will never be the same again.
This fragility reminds us of our collective need for a Savior, our need for hope beyond this world. And guess what? Every human being has that need. Some simply don’t realize their need. They are your neighbor, hairstylist, dentist, doctor, or maybe even someone who lives under your roof.
As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we have been given a gift. It is the knowledge of God’s love and the hope and wholeness that He offers every human being. It is the knowledge of His soon return that is the ultimate hope for the citizens of planet earth.
Our union is establishing a renewed emphasis on mission and evangelism. Surveys reveal several of the most post-Christian cities in the United States lie in the Atlantic Union territory. This year our theme is “United We Will GO!” Last month we had a union-wide workers meeting. Each of our six conferences sent their workers to receive inspiration and training related to being more effective soul winners. I sensed excitement in many of our attendees as they left inspired to “GO” and make disciples, to “GO” and share the truth, and to “GO” and change a life.
We have awesome leaders, pastors, and teachers in this union. Every day they are making a difference in a life. Every day they are inspiring, discipling, teaching, praying, and baptizing. They have accepted the call of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 (NKJV), “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” But they can’t do it alone, nor should they be allowed to have all the joy that comes from seeing a life transformed. God isn’t calling only the paid “professionals;” He is calling all of us. Our theme is not “The Pastors and Teachers Will GO,” our theme is “United We Will GO.” It won’t be the same unless you join in and share your time, talent, and treasure. We won’t have the same success or joy, and many may miss heaven if you don’t GO with us on this journey of faith and mission. Unity is the key to success in any venture.
Some of you know that I am originally from North Carolina. Former University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams and I share the same hometown. He always told his student athletes, “We don’t play for the name on the back of the jersey; we play for the name on the front of the jersey.” Unity is so important, dear friends. We must GO together on this journey of mission and faith. Won’t you join us? God needs you on His team! United we will GO!