Jack Chen, TWC Executive Secretary
On Dec. 6, 2022, the Taiwan Conference (TWC) held its year-end meetings in person for the first time in three years. A total of 55 attendees, including the TWC administrative team, department directors, district leaders and leaders from institutions under TWC, as well as the Northern Asia-Pacific Division leaders, gathered to give thanks to God’s grace on their mission work.
In the meetings, leaders representing their organizations or institutions gave their business reports. The TWC president, Tom Sun, shared areas of focus for 2023: 1) Church transformation program, 2) Church evaluation system, 3) Evaluation system of administrative officers, departmental directors, office staff, local church pastors, and interns. Jack Chen, TWC executive secretary, reported on the statistics of the Taiwan Adventist Church—church member numbers, baptisms, attendance, new comers as well as those no longer attending, pastors, and other indicators. The TWC treasurer, Daniel Shen, presented the report on TWC’s financial status and its business plan for the future.
Department directors shared their reports on the past year, with most projects conducted online due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. But they also supported local churches by providing subsidy to help churches run their mission projects. Even during this difficult period, department directors prepared for expanding their ministries while waiting for the Taiwan government to allow onsite church activities. In mid-August 2022, the Taiwan government lifted restrictions on the use of public spaces, and local churches have gradually resumed face-to-face meetings.
There are ten church districts in Taiwan and each one has its own distinct background and characteristics—three are in the cities and the others are in aboriginal areas. Therefore, it was a meaningful time for attendees to learn how each district reached out to others with the gospel and how they tried to make their churches become centers of influence for the community. Churches in the cities must respond to the rapid pace of change. On the other hand, churches in aboriginal areas are concerned about losing young people who tend to move to the city. Church pastors, district leaders, and TWC will keep trying their best to meet the needs of local communities while sharing the love of God.
During COVID-19, TWC’s traditional ways of ministry were not useful in many cases, but God helped us to find new, and more modern ways to preach the gospel. It is by God’s grace that TWC’s online ministries allowed us to keep sharing Jesus with people and to learn that God can do His work anytime and anywhere.