The Adventist Church in South America has seen significant growth.
“The Adventist Church in South America has a membership of about 2.7 million.Brazil has become the country with the largest number of Seventh-day Adventists in the world, with almost 1.4 million members. There are other populous areas within South America that have experienced tremendous growth; such as Peru, with 525,000 members; Bolivia, with 190,000 members; Chile, with 125,000 members; Argentina, with 115,000 members; and Ecuador, with 75,000 members. Between 1996 and 2005, church membership in South America increased 180 percent—a very good rate when contrasted with the growth rate of the Adventist Church around the world, which in that same period grew 54 percent.”
“Though many factors are involved in this growth, we consider the use of small groups as one of the most effective. In the Adventist Church in South America (SAD), approximately 65,000 small groups exist, and great effort has been made so that small groups become the basis of the church’s missionary outreach.”
“Throughout these years of experience with small groups, we have learned that traditional methods of doctrinal Bible studies and preparation for baptism did not bring the desired effect. Many church members, who had already been instructed in doctrine, considered these studies a simple repetition of what they already knew. Therefore, it was understood that the studies presented in small groups, including doctrinal studies, should have a greater Christ-centered and relational emphasis, more directly related to spiritual, social, and emotional needs.”
What if, when reaching out to the various needs of others, we focus on the person’s total health (Body, Mind and Soul)? Let’s see how health evangelism is reaching peoples’ needs in South America.