At the Idaho Conference Winter Pastors' meetings in January, conference administrators surprised pastors with a cake in celebration of the growth of conference membership. The Idaho Conference has officially reached more than 7,000 members.
Pastors and staff sang the doxology, "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow," recognizing that it is not our efforts, but God's blessings that brought us to this milestone. Those not able to attend in person participated in the celebration via Zoom.
Idaho Conference is in the midst of Operation Exponential Growth, an ongoing initiative to grow God's Kingdom within the conference. Even during pandemic challenges, there were 156 baptisms and professions of faith in 2021.
A week after the celebration, pastors began working on a baptism goal for 2022.
The next phase of Operation Exponential Growth will kick off on Apr. 8, 2022, with several series of meetings across the conference. Pastors and conference administration recognize that despite the pandemic and its many challenges, people are looking for something more. They're looking for hope.
Operation Exponential Growth is similar to compound interest — the more you invest, the greater your growth will be. The Idaho Conference isn't concerned with numbers; we want to make sure that every one of God's children in our territory has the opportunity to find Jesus, to find hope and wholeness. The more of us there are that are working on the mission, the more people we can reach for God's Kingdom.
At the end of 1999, the Idaho Conference had 5,853 members. Since January 1, 2000, it has experienced a cumulative 21.17% growth rate, as of Dec. 31, 2021. Spread out over more than 22 years, that works out to be a pretty slow growth rate each year. So, while this year's success is reason to celebrate, it is also an opportunity to recognize opportunities to further grow.
Let's all be part of growing God's Kingdom. Remember our conference mission, why we do what we do: "We are called to make disciples in our communities, sharing the distinctive, Christ-centered, Seventh-day Adventist message of hope and wholeness."