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South England Possibility Ministries Department
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Protecting Our Ministry’s Identity 

Do you remember the last time you “xeroxed” a copy of a document? What kind of machine did you use? Was it done on a 3M, or a Cannon, or was it copied on a Xerox machine? Do you remember what you put on the cut or sore on your hand? You may have put a “band-aid” on it to protect it. Time has a way of changing the 
best of meanings. Xerox was once a noun, but because of its popularity it became a verb meaning to “photocopy” a document. Band-aid became the term used for any adhesive used to put on a small wound and not a brand name. Of course, if we have a question about the weather, financial markets, or the nearest grocery store, all we must do is “google it.” Now we can “google” searching on Bing, DuckDuckGo, or sixteen other search engines. The “Church Growth Movement” of the 70s and 80s was largely developed by Donald McGavran and Fuller Theological Seminary. It was a technical term with a whole list of specific sociological and religious principles. However, when the Adventist Church uses the term “church growth” today, it is usually used as a term that is synonymous with evangelism. While that may have been true to some extent with the Church Growth Movement, there is much more to the movement than evangelism.

What do all these overused words have in common? They all began with specific meanings, but with time they lost their significance as their name was used for anything that was used to meet a need. This loss, in time, impacted the business or ministry. Adventist Possibility Ministries (APM) changed names from Disability 
Ministries and later from Special Needs Ministries. The name change came not because these names were bad, but because a new way of thinking was and is being introduced. This happened with other ministries as well, such as when “Dorcas” changed to “Adventist Community Services Centers.” Often a name change represents a paradigm shift and such changes often suggest a new way of thinking and responding and doors of opportunity that are opening.


APM is an emerging movement of compassion, faith, and opportunity. While we are 
not a department of the Church, we are an initiative emphasizing principles that have been welcomed by the Church’s ministry departments. The following are a few key principles embodied by APM.  
The principles that Guide Adventist Possibility Ministries

1. All are created in the image of God regardless of any ability a person may 
have or not have.  
2. All life is a sacred gift and must be respected.  
3. Dignity is not an attribute that is to be developed or earned; it is inherent in 
everyone because of the One who created us.  
4. As the Gospel changes everything, so Adventist Possibility Ministries is 
anchored in the belief that change is possible in the worst and best of us.   
5. Every person is valued. 
6. Every person is needed. 
7. Needs must be met but with the desire that every person develop their own 
ministry of serving God by helping others. Being only a recipient or consumer 
is not our end goal for anyone. 
8. All are “broken” in some way because of sin. There is no person more 
deserving than another. 
9. All are recipients of God’s grace even before they acknowledge Him. 
10. What we do in service is done out of gratitude for what God has done and is 
doing for us.  
11. Leadership is about learning what is on God’s agenda and assisting others to 
adopt it as theirs.  
12. Stigmas often create barriers that limit inclusion, feelings of acceptance, and 
opportunities for participation.  


When these principles are in place, the mission of Adventist Possibility Ministries 
can be described in the following way:  

Adventist Possibility Ministries operates with the belief that "All are gifted, needed, and treasured." Some refer to those with whom we work and have a special interest as the "disabled," but that's hardly a fair description. Those who are deaf, blind, physically immobile, have mental health issues, orphans, mourning the loss of a spouse, and caregivers, as well as those who live and work with them, are our focus. 
We advocate for the recognition of dignity and respect of every person. This helps make possible the discovery of unrealized abilities despite stigmas associated with their disability or loss. We believe in their possibilities. We have a distinct ministry, therefore, “we go.”  

[October 20, 2021]  
Larry R Evans, DMin  
Adventist Possibility Ministries    
Assistant to the President General Conference of SDA  

Image by Thiago Barletta
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