In response to the waning expansion of new churches, the SEEDS Conference was created. Spearheaded by Russell Burrill, the first SEEDS event was held at Andrews University in 1996. The opening line of the conference was a question: “How many of you here are believers?”
Enthusiastically, the 300 in attendance raised their hands. What followed was what is now a well-known quote from Ellen White: “Upon all who believe, God has placed the burden of raising up churches. (Medical Ministry, 315)” The speaker emphasized that it was time for the Adventist Church to become a movement once again.
The direct impact that SEEDS had on North America church planting was felt immediately. The net increase of churches and companies around the NAD now stands at an annual average of nearly 75. Although the momentum has turned in a positive direction, there is still much to be done. To keep pace with population growth, there should be a 3 percent annual increase in the number of churches. Based on this figure, more than 180 churches should be planted in North America every year.
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