Gottfried Oosterwal, D. Lift. and D. Litt. et Phil., is director of the Seventh-day Adventist Institute of World Mission and professor of missions and church
growth at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
AFTER a hundred years of over seas mission the Adventist Church has grown from a small community of about 6,000 believers in 1874 to a worldwide movement of nearly 2.4 million believers to day; from an exclusively America-based group to a universal church, 80 percent of whose members now live outside North America. And, if the present differences in the annual growth rates continue, ten years from now approximately 85 percent of the Adventist world membership will be found in countries outside North America. . .
The church's mission is to participate in God's own mission. Itself the fruit of God's mission of love, the church is God's agency for the salvation of men, an instrument to carry the gospel into all the world and to gather men from every nation into the one household of God, a living image of God, which reflects His fullness and sufficiency through unselfish love, service, and a holy walk of life. . .