Rudi Maier, retired seminary professor and former head of ADRA International, has completed a major publishing project–Church and Society: Missiological Challenges for the Church. We discussed this book for the Viewpoints interview series at Adventist Today (interview link, series link).
AToday: There are other books on missions. What makes this book different? What is the significance of this book for Adventists today?
Maier: Many times we describe missions as being overseas. Mission in Africa. Mission in Asia. Missions is something that is taking place wherever there are people, and there are people right here in our neighborhood and in our churches This book is about ministering to these people, to their hurts, but also see their potential. Many of the issues highlighted in this book need to be dealt with professionally, that is, by people who have the professional skills to deal with them properly. But that should not be the end of it. Research has shown that listening to people and showing them that you genuinely care about their situation can be a huge part of the healing process.
Furthermore, mission not only needs to minister to individuals but should have an impact on society as a whole as well. The question of how we as a Church have a responsibility to the wider issues in society is addressed in a number of chapters, such as advocacy, human rights, immigration, and the question of the death penalty.