Survey Results and Conclusions

Be Informed

Results from the worldwide survey designed and administered by the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR) were presented to the Unity Oversight Committee on March 20, 2018, during a scheduled meeting held at the world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The six-question survey addressed issues relating to compliance with voted actions of the GC Session and the GC Executive Committee.

The report, presented to the committee by the Director of ASTR, David Trim, included data gathered from all division and union presidents. The presidents were requested to answer the six survey questions according to what they believe is the view of the majority of members in their territory, as opposed to their personal opinion.

Survey Results

Trim noted that 100 percent of the surveys, sent out on January 18, 2018, had been received by March 4. He then presented each question and responses, including 1) number and percentages of votes received; 2) number and percentages of Union president votes; 3) percentage of Union membership living in the territories represented by each vote.

QUESTION 1:

“Should the General Conference Unity Oversight Committee appoint a team to listen sensitively, counsel and pray with the presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee?”

Response:

  • “Yes”—139 total votes (92%); 126 union president votes (92%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 90.56%.
  • “No —10 total votes (7%); 9 union president votes (7%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 6.28%.
  • Not answered—2 total (1% ); 2 union presidents; percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 3.16%.

QUESTION 2:

“Should there be further organizational consequences for unions that do not comply with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee?”

Response:

  • “Yes” — 108 total votes (72%); 97 union president votes (71%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 83.93%.
  • “No” — 34 total votes (22%); 31 union president votes (23%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 12.17%.
  • Not answered — 9 total votes (6%); 9 union presidents (6%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 3.9%.

QUESTION 3:

“Should church leaders be asked to sign a document saying that they will follow voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee?”

Response:

  • “Yes” — 72 total votes (47.7%); 65 union president votes (47.4%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 60.6%.
  • “No” — 77 total votes (51%); 70 union president votes (51.1%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 36%.
  • Not answered — 2 total (1.3 %); 2 union presidents (1.5%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 3.4%.

QUESTION 4:

“Should presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee be allowed to speak (i.e. have voice) at meetings of the GC Executive Committee?”

Response:

  • “Yes” — 76 total votes (50.3% ); 67 union president votes (48.9%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 34.3%.
  • “No” — 67 total votes (44.4%); 63 union president votes (46%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 60.9%.
  • Not answered — 8 total (5.3%); 7 union presidents (5.1%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 4.9%.

QUESTION 5:

“Should presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee be allowed to vote in meetings of the GC Executive Committee?”

Response:

  • “Yes” — 56 total votes (37.1%); 50 union president votes (36.5%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 26.8%.
  • “No” — 86 total votes (57%); 79 union president votes (57.7%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 67.9%.
  • Not answered — 9 total (6%); 8 union presidents (5.8%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 5.3%.

QUESTION 6:

“Should presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee be allowed to serve on standing committees or ad hoc subcommittees of the GC Executive Committee?

Response:

  • “Yes” — 40 total votes (26.5%); 36 union president votes (26.3%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 15.5%.
  • “No” — 100 total votes (66.2%); 91 union president (66.4%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 79.1%.
  • Not answered — 11 total (7.3%); 10 union presidents (7.3%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 5.4%.

CONCLUSIONS DRAWN

  • The following conclusions were drawn from the collected data:
  • There is overwhelming support for a GC team to meet with presidents of unions not in compliance, “to listen sensitively, counsel and pray.”
  • There is strong support for some kind of consequences for non-compliance.
  • There is also strong support for not allowing presidents of non-compliant unions to serve on standing or ad hoc committees of the GC Executive Committee.
  • There is pronounced support for not allowing presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee to vote in meetings of the GC Executive Committee.
  • A majority of Church leaders oppose removing “voice” as well as vote from non-compliant union presidents.
  • Most Church leaders also oppose requiring union presidents to sign a document promising to abide by GC Session and Executive Committee actions.

Qualitative Data Gathering Continues

A preliminary report on qualitative data gathering was given by Hensley Moorooven, secretary of the Unity Oversight Committee. Moorooven reported that qualitative data is continuing to be gathered through personal visits and dialogues with division and union leaders worldwide. Qualitative data is also being gathered from GC institutions and the GC Leadership Council, composed of GC of cers and departmental leaders.

So far, 11 such dialogues have taken place, according to Moorooven, with many more scheduled for the near future.

“Of the dialogues that have taken place,” added Ryan, “there appears to be a positive correlation between the quantitative and qualitative data.”

Ryan pointed out, however, that in the end, “data is a guide. It can be empirical, but not necessarily infallible, information. It’s a guide, not an absolute. But we will be informed by the data in crafting what is brought to the Executive Committee during Annual Council 2018.”

On May 14, 2018, the Unity Oversight Committee will meet to draft a proposed outline of the statement that will be brought to the Annual Council. The outline will be a work in progress. “We want to continue to be informed by the qualitative data that we will be receiving from dialogues with the remaining divisions,” said Moorooven.

Originally published in the GC Executive Committee Newsletter, April, 2018, accessible at executivecommittee.adventist.org/newsletter