You see adults behaving worse than tantrum-throwing children in parliaments around the world. You see it on the news—fist fights, hair-pulling and chair throwing. You hear it—verbal abuse, sarcasm and inappropriate language. “Question Time” is often when such antics occur.
At the recent South Pacific Division year-end meetings we had an open “Question Time” when executive committee members asked questions about work and issues in the Church. This was the most dynamic time of the entire two days of meetings. Most of the time is spent reviewing reports and voting policies. Accountability is vital but it can become somewhat routine. But not Question Time.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is structured as a people’s movement. Executive committee members are the representatives of the people. They hold the leaders accountable and should have the opportunity to raise the issues that concern the people they represent. Thus Question Time.
Involving and retaining young adults in the Church, children’s, youth and teen Sabbath School resources, equality of women in church leadership, church signage and branding were the issues raised. Because the grassroots do not often have the opportunity to talk directly to General Conference personnel many of these items were addressed to Dr G T Ng, secretary, Dr Ella Simmons, vice-president and Tim Aka, associate GC treasurer. There were differences of opinion expressed but the GC leaders were open to hearing from SPD constituents. Motions on equality of women and Sabbath School resources for children to youth were voted to pass onto the GC. And all this occurred without anyone raising their voice or any physical violence!
I’m proud of the SPD executive—we do desire to be a disciple-making movement.