Cayman Islands Conference
Community Services Director
Community Services Statement of Philosophy
The mission of the Adventist Community Service (ACS) is to serve the community in Christ’s name (General Conference Sabbath School, 2008). This means serving the whole person, a concept known as a holistic ministry. The word holistic comes from the Greek word holos, which implies that all the properties of a given system (biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, spiritual, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its component parts alone (Liddell & Scott, 1968). Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave. It also takes into account the root word shalom (peace, well-being, welfare, salute, prosperity, safe, healthy, perfect, whole, full, just), indicating that God wants us to have a complete, safe, peaceful, perfect, whole, full life. In fact, it is the most important covenant that God made with His children—keeping the covenant relationship is our duty and responsibility as Christians, not only to God but to others (Wallis, 2008).
Therefore, the purpose of holistic ministry is not only to proclaim the Good News, the word of salvation, but also to demonstrate the love of God to people who are in need. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, there is evidence of a genuinely holistic approach toward humanity; especially people who were marginalised, disadvantaged, and disenfranchised from society. These included the poor, the sick, the unclean, the prostitutes, and tax collectors—all outcasts as sinful people. Jesus expanded the Kingdom of God to places, people, and cultures that the Jews had never considered God to be interested in and has thus set these examples for many (Matt 9:10, 21:31, Rom 14:14).