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SAM In Sweden
SAM consists of about 184 congregations with a total of about 13 000 members. Most of the congregations are located within the county of Jönköping.
SAMs goal is to establish new congregations in areas where there are few or no churches in existence. Pioneer work is going on in the suburbs of Stockholm and Gothenburg.
In order to become a member of a congregation a person must profess a personal faith in Jesus Christ and be baptized either as a child or as an adult. Services are open to all. The services do not follow a pre-set order and one does not need to be specially trained to carry out tasks in the service. Often meetings are followed by fellowship over a cup of coffee.
Together with three other denominations SAM publishes a daily magazine called »Dagen«. SAM:s own magazine is called »Aktuellt från Alliansmissionen« and has five editions a year.
SAM runs it’s own Theological Seminary, Korteboskolan, with a four year training for pastors and missionaries, a three year pastoral care and councelling course, and one year Bible course. SAM also runs a Folk Highschool with a diversified program for adults.
The Swedish Alliance Mission Youth (SAU)
The SAU is an independent organization with its own leadership and Annual Conference. It has around 12 000 members. The aim of SAU is to help the congregations in their children and youth work e.g. Sunday School, Scout, Teenage groups, children and youth choirs. The SAU employees produce materials, arrange courses, camps, conferences etc. It has its own youth magazine, »Ung Tro« (Young Faith).
The work of SAU is very important for SAM as many young people become members in SAM.
SAM in other countries
SAM is involved in mission work in about 15 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia, and has 21 missionaries. In many countries the SAM missionaries work in cooperation with other mission organizations.
Independent churches have been founded in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The work is focused on six different areas:
Bible translation and literacy
One third of the SAM missionaries are involved in translation of the Bible to seven different people groups.
Evangelism and church planting
The foundation for the whole mission work.
Bible teaching and leadership
training Through theological education by extension, and Bible colleges.
Social development work
Including capacity building and organizational development.
Health and medical care
Prevention of and support to those suffering from hiv/aids.
Training of pre-school teachers and support to school hostels.
1853 A revival movement swept over Sweden and people gathered in homes to study the Bible.
A group of Christians around the town Jönköping formed Jönköping Tract Society in 1853. It was formed in order to spread the Christian message through tracts and small publications.
1861 The number of groups increased and in 1861 the need for a permanent organization became clear and Jönköpings Mission Society was formed. The homes were soon found to be too small to meet in and a lot of small chapels were built.
1892 In the 1890’s the Swedish-American evangelist Fredrik Franson visited Sweden and encouraged the Christians to get involved in world missions. A lot of young people responded and as a result a youth organization was formed in 1892.
1900 A committee was formed to enable the sending of missionaries to other countries. Missionaries were sent to China, India and South Africa. Up to 1950 SAM worked solely in these countries and from 1920 to 1950 SAM maintained a presence of about 25 missionaries in each country.
1919 In 1919 the Jönköping Mission Society, the youth organization and the mission committee merged into a single denomination under the name of The Swedish Alliance Mission. The same year a Theological Seminary was founded at Kortebo, the Kortebo School.