Adventism for a New Generation

Speaker: Categories: Apr 09, 1994


[1hr, 10min, 45sec / 50min, 38sec]


Many who will be reading this will have read Steve Daily's book, Adventism for a New Generation, by the time this meeting announcement arrives. That group has already experienced a kind of church culture shock, a painful awareness, that there are a host of challenges facing the church - - the church in which we have chosen to place our membership and in which we choose to invest our energies.

Dr. Daily states this painful awareness rather tersely: “The North American Seventh-day Adventist Church is in trouble! For the last three decades we've been losing close to fifty percent of our youth. It has come increasingly difficult to find young people who want to enter the ministry People under the age of thirty, and in many cases under the age of forty, are notably absent in most of our local congregations. Financial concerns have forced the church administrators to implement policies of retrenchment. And every attempt that is made to breathe new life into the church - - be it Christ centered preaching, worship revival, or other forms of Spirit centered renewal -- is invariably greeted with reactionary criticism and fearful condemnation from various denominational factions. That is the bad news when one looks at the Adventist church today.”

How's that for an introduction to the April 9 meeting? Do you feel Dr. Daily is correct in his analysis of the church?

He does, however, offer a glimmer of hope. “On the positive side the Adventist Church is one of the fastest growing international organizations in the world. In terms of missionary expansion, per capita giving, the development of educational [and] medical institutions, and humanitarian outreach, there is still no other denomination which favorably compares to Adventism. From its humble beginning as a small American sect, the church has spread into more than eighty-five percent of the world's countries with more than ninety percent of its 7.1 million members now outside North America."

"However, like so many other denominations, Adventism is faced with the difficult question of how it is to maintain a unique identity as a community of faith, particularly in North America, without pursuing a course of isolationism or irrelevance. Does the Church have a distinctive message that focuses on the most important and basic human needs of our world? Is this message being effectively communicated in North America or is it in need of significant revision? Can the church [ed] afford to entrust a new generation of Adventist young people with the task of redefining the meaning of Adventism in the 1990s? Can it afford not to?"

Does that have your juices stirring? Do you feel an urge to respond to what Steve is alleging? Could he be even a little bit correct in his analysis of Adventism in the 1990s?


Steve Daily is presently serving his fourteenth year as campus chaplain at La Sierra University. He is the husband of Erlys as well as father of Lindsay, Justin, and Stefanie. An ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister, he studied at Rio Lindo Academy and Pacific Union College before enrolling at La Sierra. After graduating in 1975 he pastored the Lindsay SDA church, earned an M.Div. from Andrews University, and pastored and taught in Bakersfield prior to accepting a call to his alma mater in 1980. He has completed an M.A. in history at Loma Linda University, a D.Min. in Christian social ethics and biblical studies at the Claremont School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in psychology at United States International University. He has worked with Adventist young people for the last eighteen years as a youth pastor, academy Bible teacher and university assistant professor. He enjoys reading, worship, music, basketball, and tennis.

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