Unity in diversity

Pastor Glenn Townend shares some insight into what the rest of the world Church thinks of the South Pacific Division.

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“I have never been to the South Pacific Division before and I am amazed at the creative and cutting-edge thinking. I have learnt so much. You have so many quality people working for the Church here.” This was the response I received from a General Conference leader recently. Another commented, “The resources for mission that you develop here are of the highest quality and can be used in most places around the world.”

Many marvel at the diversity and yet unity of our Division. Unity in diversity is one of the SPD’s key values. We have Micronesian, Polynesian, Melanesian, Maori, Aboriginal, European and a diversity of recent immigrants—yet we seem to work together well. We respect, try to understand and support each other. We are all focused on developing more and better disciple-makers with Jesus. That’s not to say we don’t have challenges and disagreements, but we get on with Jesus’ mission.

The GC has requested leaders from each division to visit two other divisions over five years. This certainly helps when we are involved in decisions that affect the whole Church—we get a broader perspective.

SPD leadership visited South Africa and Zimbabwe (Southern Africa-Indian Ocean) last year where we saw similar diversity in culture. We will visit China, Korea and Japan (Northern
-Asia Pacific) later this year.

SPD is the most popular destination—we have hosted the Trans European, Inter-European, Northern Asia Pacific, North America, Southern Asia and soon, South American Division.

They keep telling us we are governed well, mission focused, creative, confident, supportive as well as diverse. It is good to know that although we focus on making a difference in our neighbourhood we have a global impact. Let’s keep allowing God to build unity and influence.