Think Local, Act Global:
Reversing the Polarities of the Third Millennial Church
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
“Think Local, Act Global: Reversing the Polarities of the 3rd Millennial Church”
- 1 Peter 1:1; 2:9-11
- Lee Beach, The Church in Exile: Living in Hope After Christendom: “. . . there was a time in the history of most Western nations when Christianity held court as the de facto religion of the empire, and the church stood at or near the center of political power. In this cultural setting the church had a significant role to play in the shaping of culture and the determining of the overarching moral structures of society.” (33)
- Beach: “If these trends continue at their current pace, religious ‘nones,’ as they are often called, will outnumber Christians by 2042.” (35)
- Beach: “Christianity has been gradually losing its status as the lingua franca in Western culture for some time and has increasingly tended to become a local language used only by those who are professing Christians, not understood by others. . . . As we enter into the twenty-first century and the dust from the cultural upheaval of the previous century begins to clear, it is apparent that the church no longer functions at or near the center of things any more. . . The church must now function within a framework that precludes any kind of cultural authority.” (34-36)
- Implication #1—we must find new ways to engage and penetrate the culture and world in which we are exiled.
- Daniel vs. Esther
- Implication #2—our modus operandi for doing so must be “engaged nonconformity.
- Beach: “Exilic holiness is fully engaged with culture while not fully conforming to it. Living as a Christian exile in Western culture calls the church to live its life constructively embedded within society while not being enslaved to all of its norms and ideals. Sometimes holiness has a personal cost and demands taking a stand that draws attention to oneself. At other times holiness is not defined by dramatic action but by the day-to-day choices we make.” (183)
- Walter Brueggemann, Cadences of Home: Preaching among Exiles: “The metaphor of Babylonian exile will serve well for my urging. . . . The great problem for exiles is cultural assimilation. The primary threat to those ancient Jews was that members of the community would decide that Jewishness is too demanding, or too dangerous, or too costly, and simply accept Babylonian definitions and modes of reality. And surely Jews in exile worried that their young would see no point in the hassle of being Jewish. . . . We ourselves [as Christians] surely know, moreover, about the next generation that too readily decides that discipleship is not worth it. As Jews disappeared into the woodwork of Babylon, so Christians now, as never before in the West, disappear into the hegemony of secularism.” (41)
- Philip Yancey, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News: “These three statements provide a neat summary of the gospel story. We are loved by God, forgiven by God, and invited to the banquet table. In the midst of a planet marked by brokenness—violence, natural disasters, ruptured relationships—the gospel is truly good news. Like an iPod listener dancing in a subway station full of glum commuters, a Christian hears a different sound, of joy and laughter on the other side of pain and death.” (71)
Pioneer Operating Budget
During the early days of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, church buildings were few. Battle Creek, Michigan, had become the center for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They needed to build a church large enough to house the rapid membership growth, camp meetings, and General Conference sessions.
Elder James White, one of the founders of the church, thought of a plan. He suggested, “If each month, every member would donate one dime, within one year we could raise enough money to build a new church structure.” At that time, the average price of a home was around $2,000.
The members adopted the project. On April 20, 1879, they dedicated the new church, debt-free. The “Dime Tabernacle,” capable of seating 4,000 people became the fourth church structure of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
The fund-raising plan was simple; Give a dime per month. A dime then would be equivalent to $2.25 today. Even though $2.25 is 22 ½ times more than a dime, it still isn’t much money in today’s economy!
Widespread participation brought success. When the members took this as their project, the Lord blessed.
When God’s people come together, like they did with the Dime Tabernacle, God will move hearts to accomplish His will through His children. “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27
—North American Division Stewardship Ministries
Volunteers are needed by the Fellowship Dinner teams to assist with the preparation and service of the fellowship dinners which we hope to be able to resume soon. Teams serve about three times a year, so the time commitment is minimal, but your help is invaluable. Please let us know you if can help by emailing Ben Chilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be assigned to a team that fits your schedule.
Our Pathfinder and Adventurer Clubs are back in session this fall. Join below:
Pathfinders text "PMCEP" to 269-281-2345 or join online.
Pathfinder Staff Members text "EPSTAFF" to 269-281-2345 or join online
Adventurers text "PMCFF" to 269-281-2345 or join online
Fall Grow Groups are here and we are so excited to have more than 50 groups available to join this semester! The session officially begins September 19, so don’t wait!
We have a variety of groups meeting every day of the week. Pioneer is continuing to offer groups both in-person and online, so we think you’ll be able to find one that works for you--whether you’re looking for Bible study, support, art, prayer, discipleship, or activity groups.
If you have any questions, email us at email@example.com.
The Darkness Will Not Overcome is an 8-part series that will inspire, equip, and empower you to live your best life possible. In every presentation you will learn practical ways we can experience healing, hope, and change. Whatever your "darkness" is—an addiction, a mental health struggle, dysfunction, past trauma, broken relationships, or lack of direction—the Darkness Will Not Overcome! Beginning Friday, October 1.
Neighbor to Neighbor (our local Adventist Community Services center) is currently looking for volunteers for their "Helping Hand Team". To respond, please call 269-471-7411 or visit them at 9147 US 31, Berrien Springs, MI.
Pioneer's new Collegiate Sabbath School meets in the Pioneer Commons! This is a place for interactive connections with Collegiates and with God, to study the stories of Jesus and what they mean for us today. Breakfast snacks will be provided.
Weekly on Sabbath, 10:30 AM
Location: Pioneer Commons
Are you the primary caregiver for your spouse or another person? If so we have a resource available for you. Care Giver's Support Group, Thursday evenings starting at 6:30 PM, at Neighbor to Neighbor (West entrance). You're invited to come and recharge your "batteries". For more information call Pastor John Glass at 262-825-3632.
Winners of the 2021 Fischoff Grand Prize and Gold Medal, the Risus Quartet was officially founded in 2020 in South Korea by four young passionate musicians. "Risus" in Latin means "laugh" and was named in the sense of wanting to give joy and laughter to their audiences. After graduating from Seoul National University, the quartet members began their studies in the United States where they broadened their view as musicians.