Let's Advance, God First
By Doug Bing, Randy Maxwell, Michelle Wachter, and Jerry Russell; Washington Conference administrators
The Collins English Dictionary recently revealed its word of the year for 2022. There were a number of words that were popular or new terms.
Yet the word of the year had Biblical overtones to it. The publisher of the dictionary chose permacrisis as the word of the year. The official definition is “an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events.”
Writer David Shariatmadari stated that “the term embodies the dizzying sense of lurching from one unprecedented event to another as people wonder what new horrors might be around the corner.”
Sound familiar? It should. In Matthew 24:6-7, Jesus, speaking about the end of time, clearly said:
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Jesus was telling us long ago that at the end this world it really is going to be in a permacrisis. That constant turmoil is going to be the way of life before He comes again. A sad way of life no doubt but the way of the present and the future.
Notice, however, what Jesus says: “See that you are not troubled.” Jesus wants us to stay focused on walking with Him and the assurance that He is with us. And Jesus wants us to advance the spread of the gospel. Matthew 24:14 states that the gospel of the kingdom is to go to the entire world.
Yes, we may be in a state of permacrisis as far as the world is concerned. But let’s choose a different word for 2023 as our word of the year, the word Advance.
When God was talking to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 1:6-7, He told them that they had been at their location long enough and that it was time to move on. He was telling them to advance — move into the territory that He had promised them.
Friends, our territory is the entire western Washington region. Almost 5 million people live here, and we must Advance God’s love and message into this territory.
Every church must focus on the mission of winning souls for Christ. Jesus is calling every church to be revitalized and be a light into the community. God is calling us to plant new congregations in this territory. The Holy Spirit is moving and calling us to Advance in faith, prayer, and power. Is it impossible to see 1,000 new souls added to this movement in 2023? Not for God. It’s time to advance!
It is also time to advance with bringing back our beloved Washington Adventist Camp Meeting. You and your family are invited to five worship- and service-filled days, from June 20-24, 2023, with a power-packed “best of” camp meeting experience. We’re looking forward to the “Greater Things” God has in store for us!
As we enter this new year, let us not stay in the same place. Let us ADVANCE with renewed zeal to extend the triumphs of the cross!
Your friends in ministry and mission,
Doug Bing, Randy Maxwell, Michelle Wachter and Jerry Russell
Washington Conference administrators