The Atlantic Union Conference Executive Committee at its February 16, 2012 meeting approved in principle a proposal for the development of an evangelistic and gospel medical missionary training school. NETS or Northeast Evangelism Training School is envisioned as a non-accredited diploma pastoral and lay training institute conducted on the campus of Atlantic Union College to equip each student to become an effective soul-winning witness for Jesus.
NETS will offer short-term intensives for pastors during each calendar year by the most outstanding soul winners and church growth specialists in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. NETS will offer a six- and nine-month evangelistic medical missionary training course for lay people who desire further instruction on how to win souls in their local churches. Students will be taught how to follow the example of Jesus in meeting the needs of those they minister to, ultimately leading them to a saving knowledge of Christ and His last-day message.
While being provided with the highest quality education in soul winning, students will also have the opportunity to be "mentored" with "hands on" practice under the tutelage of experienced and successful evangelistic instructors.
Ellen G. White wrote many years ago, "We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work. The world is a lazar house filled with victims of both physical and spiritual disease. Everywhere people are perishing for lack of a knowledge of the truths that have been committed to us. The members of the church are in need of an awakening, that they may realize their responsibility to impart these truths" (Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 62).
The cost of operating NETS will be fairly low, since most of the instructors will be contract teachers and/or current church employees. A business plan, including a marketing/enrollment plan is being developed to ascertain financial feasibility.
NETS will be governed by the Atlantic Union Conference in cooperation and consultation with the North American Division and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Eventually, it would have the possibility of expanding into a world-class international city evangelistic training school and lay training medical missionary center.
The evangelistic endeavors conducted by instructors and students throughout the northeast will foster the growth of local Adventist churches. Students flooding into churches in New England, New York, and Bermuda from NETS will breathe new life into congregations. Pastors attending NETS short-term intensives will return to their congregations refreshed with a new vision. With a new workforce of lay people, trained and equipped to witness for their Lord, the church in the Atlantic Union will grow rapidly. Souls will be won for the kingdom of God.
God's prophetic messenger to the remnant gives us this assurance. "There is no change in the messages that God has sent in the past. The work in the cities is the essential work for this time. When the cities are worked as God would have them, the result will be the setting in operation of a mighty movement such as we have not yet witnessed" (Medical Ministry, p. 304). This promise of our Lord will be fulfilled before His return.
Multitudes in the great cities and rural areas of the Atlantic Union territory will be reached with the Three Angels' Messages. The coming of our Lord will be hastened. The opportunity lies before us. The time is now to make a courageous decision to dream God's dreams and do something significant for His cause. As Jesus said 2000 years ago, it is time to launch out into the deep and cast out the NETS!
Donald G. King, president, Atlantic Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Members, Atlantic Union Conference Executive Committee