Community Development Program to Host Missions Forum in July

The missionary work of yester-year was significant in seeding a global Adventist church, but as times changed, Christians have rightly needed to evolve new strategies for end-time outreach. This topic is paramount for students in Southern’s Global Community Development graduate program. The TEAMS Forum (Transforming and Educating Ambassadors for Missions and Service), being held July 14-17 at Southern, opens the door for others to join this critical conversation.

TEAM ForumNothing accomplished in short-term mission work is simple, but each year churches are getting better and more strategic in their approaches. Southern is eager to support congregations in capacity-building mission work by training future leaders through its graduate degree in Global Community Development, a two-year program consisting of both online and community-based instruction. Administrators are excited that the TEAMS Forum, held on campus in Collegedale, Tennessee, is another avenue for the university to use its resources in service to the world church.

Churches and nonprofits interested in global missions must address certain challenges and opportunities before they outline their strategies for partnering with local communities in transformational and restorative difference-making. Key values need to be identified to ensure the motivation for serving these communities is in line with Christ’s mission while on Earth. Important items for personal reflection—and discussion at the forum in July—include mutual brokenness, serving locally first, using a holistic model, appreciative approaches, strategic partnership, and results orientation.

Some of the topics covered during TEAMS Forum include best practices in engineering and infrastructure, agriculture and food security, enterprise and sustainability, emergency response, human rights and social justice, health and kinesiology, urban ministries, and logistics.

The gathering’s big picture goals are to connect, educate, and equip short-term and ongoing mission team ambassadors for mission and service that impacts individuals, families, and communities through the power of the Gospel Commission. Distilling the event’s aim even further, organizers hope attendees learn to: promote the integration of sustainable community-based development with gospel outreach, network agencies and churches together for collaboration and sharing, and provide interdisciplinary skills training and curriculum resources for transformational mission and service.

Come see what a 21st century missionary looks like! Connect with people from across the North American Division and become equipped to make a greater difference in your local communities and abroad. To register for the conference, visit

Those who have been active in short-term missions work and would like to share their best practices July 14-17 during TEAMS Forum may email a proposal (no more than two pages, please) to: Presenters will have 60 minutes for their topic, followed by additional question-and-answer time. Submissions need to be in by the middle of May. Adventist missions ministries seeking an exhibition table at the event may email for more information, as well.

Sharon Pittman Story by Sharon Pittman Published: Last Edited:

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