Christ-Centered Model in Christian Unity, II
(Guidelines -- 531-95 Nb)
Recommended Strategies for Modeling the Diversity Initiative
- That the following diversity in Christian unity initiatives be implemented in a systematic manner that is Christ-centered and spiritual.
- That the diversity in Christian unity initiatives be sensitive and inclusive of all the diverse groups in the North American Division.
- That the diversity in Christian unity initiatives be the basic premise of all restructuring plans of the Church.
- That the diversity in Christian unity principles be actively supported by the North American Division and its entities.
The first step in moving from model to modeling diversity in Christian unity is the implementation of perspective——grasping the vision, the sense of direction, the new paradigm of where the Church is headed. This entails having an understanding of where society is headed, how our cities are changing, the demographic shifts in the neighborhood, and the membership shifts in the Adventist Church, both in the local and global dimension. The need for restructuring the Church must not be driven by economic or political forces, but by the egalitarian factors of the Gospel.
- The leaders of all entities of the NAD shall develop / revise Vision Statements to address the new paradigm of diversity inclusion as reflected within this policy.
- The leadership and employees / members of all NAD entities develop Values Statements to address what we are becoming and the end / goal behaviors the church needs to model.
- The guiding principle in all vision, values, and mission statements shall be diversity in Christian unity.
As an outgrowth of the Vision, Values, and Mission Statements, the NAD and all its entities shall develop operational policies that make a conscious and deliberate effort to be inclusive. Existing policies shall be reviewed to assure that they are leading the church in the direction of living diversity.
- Leadership shall provide adequate resources (e.g., planned funding strategies) to initiate and maintain the diversity in Christian unity initiative.
- Administrators shall prioritize diversity in Christian unity through organizational emphasis with clear goals and time lines.
- Administrators shall develop guidelines that describe the position of the NAD on diversity in Christian unity and give useful ideas about how to value, manage, and live diversity.
- Leaders shall take a deliberate stand against all racial and sexual jokes, negative story telling, and any insensitive attitudes and actions.
- Leaders shall build time into their regularly scheduled meetings to discuss diversity-related issues and to facilitate small group discussion and dialogue for personal growth, awareness, and feedback on unity in diversity.
- The various church entities shall devise surveys and instruments to measure behavior and attitudes towards diversity in Christian unity.
- Leaders shall intentionally structure a receptive community in the church that respects, values, and empowers all diverse groups with specific emphasis given to those that are under represented.
- The principle of diversity in Christian unity shall be taught as a testing truth doctrine in the public and personal areas of church life and evangelism. (This will necessitate the publication of additional Bible lessons in the various series used by evangelists, as well as the preparation of model sermons).
- Study shall be given to the development of a theology of diversity in Christian unity.
- The NAD Working Policy, including the Constitution and By-laws, shall be reviewed to assure sensitivity to language and diversity issues.
- The various manuals and publications of the church shall be reviewed to assure sensitivity to language and diversity issues.
- The Church Manual shall address misconduct in the areas of diversity and human relations.
- A process shall be put in place for the resolution of issues that arise as a result of the Division’s implementation of diversity in Christian unity initiatives.
All programs of the church shall be sensitive to its mission and shall reflect the heterogeneity of the body, across boundaries of gender, class, race, physical status, and age.
- Leaders shall network synergistically between organizations and churches by sharing ideas and methods to strengthen their diversity in Christian unity programs.
- The NAD shall make training for diversity in Christian unity a priority throughout all its levels with special effort given to providing unique training and materials for laity and leadership.
- The NAD shall make deliberate efforts to assure that in the design of all church projects sensitivity is given to diversity in Christian unity.
- Scholarship and internship programs shall be created that encourage the participation of under-represented constituents.
- All forms of communication shall be gender inclusive and sensitive to diverse groups.
- Innovative projects and diversity and cultural awareness activities shall be launched with churches (e.g., cross-cultural clusters of churches) and organizations for multi-cultural training and growth.
- The Kindergarten through graduate curricular and co-curricular activities shall be developed / revised to implement the diversity in Christian unity initiative.
- The NAD shall celebrate annually Diversity Week with programmatic helps that highlight the resulting spiritual and personal benefits of diversity in Christian unity.
- The Office of Human Relations shall develop training teams and a referral list of available diversity trainers who can provide training resources (e.g., workshops, seminars) for NAD entities.
- Training materials such as exist within the lending library of diversity-related audio-and visual aids in the Office of Human Relations shall be expanded to include language diversities.
Employees and volunteers at all levels of the church must reflect the heterogeneity of the body across gender, class, race and age, in all the various departments and positions.
- Periodic attention shall be given to employment statistics and personnel profiles in order that recruiting and training will include an increase in the employment of persons from under-represented groups.
- Administrators shall establish mentoring programs that function across age, class, culture, gender, race / ethnicity, and physical abilities / qualities to increase the number of under-represented persons in church organizations.
- The church shall broaden its recruitment of diverse speakers, exhibitors, and participants for its various programs.
- NAD leaders shall establish rewards and incentives to supervisory personnel throughout its field that achieve excellence in managing diversity.
- Employing bodies shall give study to workplace issues relevant to the needs of the changing family and shall be encouraged to be flexible and sensitive to needs in this area.
Practices relate to the overall conduct of the church. The church may have the best perspectives, policies, programs, and personnel; but these are only cosmetic until practiced. Practice is action done many times over until living diversity is achieved.
- Leaders shall give study to how the NAD can successfully incorporate diversity initiatives in a systemic manner through coordination and clearly defined communication and decision-making channels.
- The NAD shall give study to how best to coordinate the Office of Human Relations and the diversity initiatives.
- Administrators shall establish a process of diversity modeling for all entities of the NAD.
- A process for evaluating the effective practices of diversity in Christian unity shall be developed in order to ensure the success of the church in implementing its vision, values and mission.