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Dan Jackson Shares 12* Dreams for the Church as NAD Year End Meetings Begins


SILVER SPRING – The North American Division Year End Meetings began Thursday with a sweeping vision for the Church in North America. The morning's business session began with a video presentation featuring James Nix, the director of the Ellen White Estate. Nix told the story of an instance in which Ellen was going to sign a book deal with a non-Adventist publisher, but when she was about to sign the contract, she saw an angel indicating that she shouldn't sign. So she refused. That proved a blessing for the church, Nix said, because now Adventists don't have to deal with non-Adventist publishers to publish Ellen White's writings. Adventists can publish any of her books any times.

After the video, Elder Dan Jackson, the North American Division president, rose to give the president's report. "I want to share with you dreams for the next five years," he said. Jackson said that he didn't want to amble into the next quinquennium without forethought and planning, and so he laid out twelve dreams for the North American Division.

The theme for these Year End Meetings is The Grand Collaboration, Jackson said, and read a definition of collaboration – Collaboration: To work with someone to produce or create something.

"We need to start dropping our titles and ideas about who we are and what we possess and recognize that we have all been called by God to be ministers," Jackson said. "We are all colleagues in ministry…we must pull together and be united in mission."

President Jackson followed with a rhetorical: "What comprises the expression of Seventh-day Adventism in the North American Division?" Answering his own question, he said, "Collectively, we are the expression of Adventism throughout our territory. We need to start thinking in those terms. We are stronger if we work as a team."

Talking about the various institutions that make up the Adventist work in the North American Division, Jackson said, "If you have the name 'Seventh-day Adventist' in your moniker, you are the church."

He foreshadowed upcoming agenda items saying, "We have to quit thinking through white eyes. And we have to quit thinking through African-American eyes, and hispanic eyes. We can’t think through Asian eyes. Either we are one, or we are a disgrace to the name of Jesus. Not to say there won’t be disagreement. There will always be disagreement. That’s OK." The comments seemed directed at the topic of conference structure, which over the last year has proven a source of tension. We expect to hear more on this throughout these meetings. "When it comes to mission emphasis, we must be one," Jackson said.

Then he launched into his dreams for the church in North America. "I have twelve dreams, one for each of the Apostles," Jackson said to sensible chuckles from the audience.


Every member will understand themselves as a minister called by God. (Referencing 1 Peter 2:4-9)

We have made a mistake in our division, biblically speaking, by not helping people discover their ministry. Maybe the time will come when we will discover and believe that there is no distinction between clergy and laity. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t call pastors and teachers, etc. because he does.

I dream of a NAD that has 7,300 congregations. We currently have 6,277. I want to add 1,000. Transformational Evangelism.

Unite to celebrate expression of our faith: Days of Hope and Compassion, which will be discussed in further detail.

Dreaming of Division where youth and Young Adults feel wanted and valued. They are tired of our endless debating. 


"I dream of NAD where we are fully utilizing all available technologies to maximum extent possible." Big Data (or as it’s now known, plain data) and social media should be used to serve congregations.

Engagement with New Groups. Refugees. Seeking out new communities arriving on the shores of the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and Guam-Micronesia. "There are more former Adventists in our division than current ones," Jackson said, noting the need for more engagement with migrant and emerging communities.

??? Wait, where did number 7 go?

Houses of Prayer Everywhere. It is time for this church to be a movement again." HOPE initiative – Houses Of Prayer Everywhere. An initiative of NAD Prayer Ministries

I dream of 300 successful and thriving female pastors in NAD. More women in ministry. We have increased budget to $650,000 a year for incorporating more women into pastoral ministry. We are coming to a place in North America where 50% of our pastors will be in a position to retire. Maybe not financially, but chronologically, at least. We must have all hands on deck.

Pathways to Health. Partnerships to bless those less fortunate, in partnership with ASI – "They have to be our partner if we want this to succeed." Recently-appointed ASI Secretary/Treasurer Kyle Allen shouted "AMEN." Jackson noted his enthusiasm. "We must have responsible partnerships," Jackson said, calling for a message that is positive in terms of health outreach.

Dream 11
K-16 schools that are thriving. "It hurts my heart that we have closed 271 Adventist Schools in NAD, and this is a trend. Closing a school is not going to give you more more money for your church. We need to revisit theologically teaching about Christian Education. If there ever was doctrine 29, that ought to be it. It is part of the guts of Seventh-day Adventism. To say it is just too expensive is to bail on our roots."

Dream 12
A hospital and health system that is included in Strategic Planning and implementation of mission. "It doesn’t behoove us to shoot at each other. We must link arms and work together. The grand collaboration."

*When secretary Alex Bryant asked for a motion to receive the president's report (motion and second made), one attendee noted that dream number seven seemed to be missing. "Number seven may have been a lack of ability to numerate," Jackson said. "If I ever find it I will share it. There were 11, not 12."

We will fill in details of some of these dreams and proposals as they come up in the agenda during these Year End Meetings.


Photo Credit: Dan Weber / North American Division

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of


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