The South Pacific Division (SPD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has established a Survey Commission to review the operations of the Church in Papua New Guinea and assist the Union and local missions towards their goal of conference status.
The Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM) Survey Commission will undertake a careful study of the Mission’s governance, finances, structure and compliance to develop a strategic pathway towards a model that is in line with Church policies while also being relevant to the local culture.
Currently, the Church in PNG replicates the structure of the Adventist Church in the West, but this does not take into account the country’s unique challenges, according to Commission chair Pastor Lionel Smith, general secretary of the SPD.
“It presents difficulties in a country where there are very remote areas without regular transport, and with difficult and unreliable communication and internet,” Pastor Smith said.
“Is there a more appropriate way for the Papua New Guinea Church to operate within our policies but in a different way that is relevant to the local culture?”
The Commission comprises PNGUM president Kepsie Elodo, associate education director Serah Keliwin, Western Highlands Mission president Malachi Yani and several SPD leaders. Feedback will be sought from Union and mission personnel, and local church members.
Pastor Smith said they would be working towards completing the study in time to present a report to the Division Executive Committee meetings in November.