About 40 Adventist world church leaders gathered in Kiev, Ukraine, for three days from February 7 to 9, 2017, to discuss pressing leadership issues, receive Division reports on leadership development programs and attend leadership seminars by designated speakers from the General Conference (GC). The theme was “Visionary and Committed Leadership to Complete the Mission.“
The Global Leadership Summit is held in a different Division each year. The 2017 meeting was held in Kiev, Ukraine, which is in the Euro Asia Division (ESD). Ukraine became independent from USSR in 1991. Almost half of the church members in the ESD live in Ukraine, and Ukraine Adventism is very active in terms of mission. In the past, when Russia went through a difficult period of time because of political issues, the ESD headquarters was located in Ukraine for a while. The total ESD membership is 120,000. However, Satan must be jealous of God’s prosperous work in Ukraine and is causing war in the eastern part of the country.
During opening worship, GC president Ted Wilson addressed the leaders about the simplicity of present truth and the lifestyle of the remnant people in a message entitled “Vision of Identity: God’s Model of Simplicity.” He emphasized the bold presentation of Adventist truths in a simple way. In his message, he compared the woman in Revelation 12 to the woman in Revelation 17. The women represent the two final religious bodies of good and evil. The former woman clothed with the sun denotes the church with truth in the end time. She is clothed in purity and simplicity. On the other hand, the latter woman, clothed with complexity and luxury, is identified as the apostate church. Wilson pointed out that when Jesus taught, everybody was able to understand regardless of their educational background because He presented the truth with simplicity.
Duane McKey, assistant to the president for Total Member Involvement (TMI), stressed the need of TMI by providing the high touch—more personal, human contacts—in the day of high tech. He illustrated TMI as a circle that is complete when each dot is connected. He specifically mentioned the 2018 evangelistic meetings in Japan through the TMI of all churches and church members.
Several presenters from the GC were invited to deal with some hot issues, such as legal matters related to leadership, a leader’s transparency and accountability, and truth and falsity of statistical information. Leaders encounter many kinds of challenges while leading a group of people. That’s why leaders need comprehensive apprehension and approach in leading institutions and church organizations in this much troubled world.
From the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), NSD president Jairyong Lee and assistant to the president Joo Minho attended the summit and reported what the NSD did last year, including the ministries of the Leadership Training Center, CLAP (Communication and Leadership Advancement Program), the 2nd NSD Leadership Summit, and various Advisory meetings of each department.
Prior to the Global Leadership Summit, all Division delegates were invited to ESD headquarters located in Moscow, Russia. They had the wonderful opportunity to see ESD churches and cultures. They also visited the publishing house and seminary in Zaoksky.
Dr. Lee was invited to speak at the Moscow Adventist Central Church on Sabbath, February 4. According to one of the church elders, the church has about 600 to 700 members. Dr. Lee encouraged the church members to be active in doing God’s mission, sharing with them the story of the sacrificial mission spirit of a Pioneer Mission Movement pastor.