The Abide Bible: Building a Christ-Centered Community

Adventist teachers and staff are front line ministers and need to be continually resourced and encouraged to daily abide in Christ.

Philosophy and Mission June 10, 2024

Over the past 20 years, Adventist education in Australia has changed dramatically. It has shifted from predominantly serving Adventist clientele to becoming an amazing evangelist arm of the church. In fact, 73% of the current student population comes from the broader, non-Adventist community. This provides Australian educators with a wonderful opportunity to share Jesus. However, it also challenges us to ensure we stay true to our mission and core purpose: to reveal Jesus.

It is critical that we have solid, committed Adventist and Christian teachers at the front line to minister to these students and their families. We must ensure our staff are connected to Christ, for they cannot share what they do not have. Our entire workforce should be fully committed to the call of ministry within the Adventist educational context. 

With this mission in mind, Adventist Schools Australia (ASA) wanted to develop something to encourage, support, and cultivate staff to be passionate for Jesus. Thus, the Abide Bible was born. The goal of ASA was to produce a specifically crafted Bible for every Adventist educator across Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Papua New Guinea. The Abide Bible was developed to encourage staff members to have a deep and personal connection with Jesus and to be dedicated to the purpose, vision, and mission of Adventist education.

The Abide Bible is not just another Bible but rather a key component in the spiritual master plan of every school within this region. It is being used to grow a unified and collective heart among staff so that they can disciple those within their care. 8,000 Abide Bibles were produced and gifted to every staff member across the South Pacific Division. They are quickly becoming an integral part of school life, both individually and corporately.

In John 15, we are commanded as disciples to abide in Christ. Adventist education is dedicated to discipling all within its community. However, we recognise that our staff, first and foremost, must individually abide in Christ—and then collectively unite in shared purpose—in order to build a thriving, Christ-centered community. The development of the Abide Bible for staff members supports and nurtures their personal spirituality while promoting a unified commitment to the purpose of Adventist education.

Adventist teachers and staff are front line ministers and need to be continually resourced and encouraged to daily abide in Christ. A core, strategic pillar within Adventist education is “Adventist Identity—Strengthening our Foundation.” The Abide Bible strengthens the foundation of our schools by fostering deliberate spiritual development within our staff so that they can go on to nurture the next generation of committed Christians.

The Abide Bible includes a large range of additional resources that specifically target personal spiritual growth for educators. The desire is that every school will develop a well-defined “spiritual master plan” and that this master plan will provide the impetus to build “a thriving, Christ-centered learning community.” 

The response to the launch of the Abide Bible has been incredible. Schools have developed special ceremonies with a “Charge” and “Pledge,” whereby staff are taking up the challenge to abide in Jesus. The pledge reads:

I want to grow in my love for Jesus. I take up the challenge to daily abide with Him through prayer and reading His Word. I recognise the incredible opportunity I have through Adventist education to reveal Jesus every day to my colleagues, students, and their families. I place myself in God’s hands, trusting that He will do awesome things through me.

It has been so exciting to see staff members presented with their own Bibles and watch them understand that Adventist education wants to nurture their journey in an authentic, caring, and loving way! To God be the glory for the incredible things He is doing through Adventist education.


Jacques Calais

Jacques has served in Adventist education in Australia for 36 years, working as a teacher, deputy principal and principal. Since April 2018 he has been the Associate National Director for Adventist Schools Australia. He received his Bachelor of Education from Avondale College in 1987 and completed his Master of Education (Administration & Leadership) in 2004. He is married to Carolyn and has a blended family of 4 adult children.

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