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Laboring for the Harvest on Public University Campuses - As you observe the public campuses near your church, or in your community, do you see a plentiful harvest?

Millennial Matrix Project: Discoveries at Chandler Seventh-day Adventist Church - Musing upon our ministerial mishaps can often make for some late, long, prayer-filled sleepless nights, as one inquires of God what more they could have been done to connect people with Jesus.

Attracting and Engaging Millennials - In recent years, the majority of research conducted has been focused on why young people are leaving the church. However in this study The North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists asked researchers to find out why young adults are attending church and what keeps them engaged in the church community.

Young Adult Life - Recently the NAD voted to allocate funds specifically towards young adults and this led to the development of six initiatives that would make up Young Adult Life.

5 Reasons Membership Matters - The local churches in the first century were places where Christians gathered for worship, fellowship, and evangelism. They were filled with men and women, boys and girls who belonged. Membership mattered to them.

Fundraising and the Forgotten Word - The most effective and ethical approach to fundraising, recognizes that donor relationships, are in fact, close, and deeply significant partnerships, built on trust.

Preaching to the World: When Everything You Say is Heard by Everyone Instantly - We live in an instant world. Everything happens in nanoseconds and is instantly available around the world through social media, email and texting.

Engaging Adventist Millennials: A church that embraces relationships - Fortune 500 companies to media firms to major faith communities are asking this question with interest: “What does it take to engage with the Millennial generation?”

Young Adult Life Initiative - Launching of NAD Initiative for Young Adults

If the 50’s Came Back We'd Be Ready - Pastor Nelson Fernandez Jr. writes, “If the 1950s were to come back, many churches would be ready to receive the culture and people of the day.”

100 Days of Prayer - March 25 through July 11, 2015, you are encouraged to pray with millions of others for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to be fully experienced by our church members during the General Conference Session, July 2-11, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.

Membership Matters - What do you say to people who seldom, if ever, come to church? What is the value of belonging to a local church family?

Small Groups Boost Church Membership What’s the Science Behind Their Success? - Some call them growth groups. Others dub them lead groups, life groups or home churches. Names and evangelism approaches vary, but the end goals are the same—small groups, as they are most commonly known, multiply church membership.

Four Things You Need to Know About Church IT Security - Information Technology (IT) Security for Churches? What is it all about? While dealing with unlocked doors, open windows, vandalism and other such costly issues, many churches don’t give much thought to the security of their technology.

Tech Resources that (Are Supposed to) Help the Church - Lately I have been compiling a list of resources that can help pastors and church administrators to be more efficient. Here are a few of the resources you may find helpful in your ministry.

Scheduling Posts - One of the biggest challenges that social media managers face is time. accomplish on a daily basis. To save yourself time during the week, sit down to create a content calendar of what to post throughout the week. Then in one sitting, write and schedule those posts to publish on their own.

A Review Eugene Peterson’s Book Under the Unpredictable Plant – An Exploration in Vocational Holiness - Some books I have read have a sort of timelessness about them. This is one of those books for me. It is also one of those books for which the Introduction (which I usually skim) is required reading.

Countering Cynicism: Stay the Course, Finish the Course - How do you work for the church and not become cynical? How can I stay positive and stay in the ministry when there is so much duplicity?

Adventist Maverick - This book has been written by 19 Adventist scholars, most of them Knight’s former students, each writing a chapter. Few of us will ever read everything Dr. Knight has written, but you’ll find here a significant overview of the man, his lifework, and what he wrote.

Provo Adventist Community Center - Ten years ago, the Provo, Utah Seventh-day Adventist Church decided that our "double classroom" wasn't enough for all of the activities taking place on our campus. So began the fundraising, planning, building and eventual completion of our community center – all attached to our existing building which was erected in 1962.

How to Thrive in a Long-Term Pastorate - Dwight Nelson continues to pastor (and thrive) in a university campus church. I sat down with him for part two of the series on pastoral longevity. Here are five principles I gleaned from him:

Capital Campaigns from a Conference Perspective - Many churches are looking to do capital campaigns. Not just for new buildings, but sometimes to do major upgrades or renovations in their older churches, or building additions to their churches. Trying to figure out what to do and when to do it are always the big questions.

Present and Praying - In this new year of 2015, I challenge you to engage in your walk with God with new passion, purpose and prayer. Pray not just for yourself and your trials, but pray for a revival of true godliness in the church and in the world.

Pastoring for the Long Haul - From my interview with Andy McDonald, I gained some insight into long term ministry. Here are seven principles you may find helpful:

We Have Contact! - Wouldn’t it be amazing if any individual in the territory of the North American Division could easily contact our church for spiritual care? I’m not just talking about the World Wide Web here, but about actually speaking with a committed Christian witness?

After the Rain - Steig, our head deacon, made a quick trip to the church with a shop vac and drill. As he walked through the church he noted the damage – fallen ceiling tiles, puddles in the light fixtures, wet carpets, soaked walls, deformations under the wall paper, mud and grime trickling down the walls...

It Is Time to Take Church Media Risks Seriously - For the large church with a media team, social media outreach, a video team that streams services online or through their local cable network, media risk is an important topic. For the small church that meets in a home with just a few members, media risk is ALSO an important topic.

Pray One Million - What would happen if every Seventh-day Adventist in North America would spend just a few minutes each day – or maybe just one minute each day – praying for one specific person…a neighbor, a colleague, someone special that God lays on your heart?

Serving the World's Cities: An Andrews University Response - The significance and challenge of the city for the Christian church is the question of how to go about sharing the Gospel there. Or one might say how to live as a disciple of Jesus in its midst.

5 Tips for Fixing Your Church’s Web Design - Every church has a web site, but many need a few fixes to make a larger impact. I want to share 5 tips to fix your church’s web site design.

3 Common Sense Keys to Church Growth - Despite the pushback that evangelism gets these days for being a “ numbers game,” there is no dispute that Christ calls us to be both faithful and fruitful. But the pursuit of the next best thing in the church growth area can be amusing.

Creating a Logical Sequence of Topics in a Short Series Part 2 - In this article, we wish to make a suggestion on sequencing based on a different assumption. That assumption is that the people that are attending have not had any previous exposure to the Adventist message.

Revelation Round Table - The Anchorage Northside Seventh-day Adventist Church decided to do a unique series of prophecy seminars aimed at not only biblical truth but spiritual friendship as well. The seminars were held in the fellowship hall with the round tables that seated approximately eight people.

Taking the Mystery Out of Guest Visits - The clock in my car reads 9:30 as I drive into the church parking lot. There are plenty of spaces, so I park with the other vehicles clustered in slots closest to the only visible entrance. I’ve never visited a Seventh-day Adventist church, so I’m not sure what to expect.

Stories We Tell: Remember Who You Are - He was an unusual boy. The teacher was sure she had never seen anyone like him. If the other students were acting up in the class or out at recess, it was certain that he was not one of them. In all that he did, he was different.

Renting Your Church - Here are some tips that you should consider in renting out your church or school property:

Preventing and Detecting Fraud at Your Church - Every day, church leaders entrust individuals with cash, checks and other assets. While the majority of these individuals are honest, under the right circumstances even the most loyal individual might steal. So what can church congregations do to prevent theft, or detect it quickly after it happens?

Making the Risk Management Difference - Accidents happen every week in Adventist Churches and Schools. From 2009 to 2013 the NAD had 6,170 property, general liability and auto claims. The total cost of those claims for that period was $116,317,411. These claims represent a significant amount of funds, lost time, and interruption of ministry for the Church.

The 4 P's of Child Abuse Prevention - The Seventh-day Adventist Church has the privilege of ministering to thousands of children every day. With this privilege comes the legal duty to protect these children from the potential harm caused by child abuse.

Four Things You Need to Know About Church IT Security - While dealing with unlocked doors, open windows, vandalism and other such costly issues, many churches don’t give much thought to the security of their technology. What this document is intended to do is to illustrate why IT Security should be at the top of the list.

Taking Church Media Risks Seriously - For the large church with a media team, social media outreach, a video team that streams services online or through their local cable network, media risk is an important topic. For the small church that meets in a home with just a few members, media risk is ALSO an important topic.

Shepherd of the Flock – Managing Risk in Ministry - Paul’s counsel to the Ephesian elders is clear as a pastor you are called to be a shepherd of your congregation. Whether you are a senior pastor with many years of experience or just starting out with your first church this is a responsibility which cannot be delegated away to others.

Creating a Logical Sequence of Topics in a Short Series Part 1 - The purpose of this article is to suggest a logical sequence for a 12 message series of meetings.

Preparing a Couple for Lifelong Marriage: It’s Complicated - A recent wedding I performed might provide insight in how to navigate the sometimes-muddy waters of wedding dynamics.

Boost Your Ministry by Working With Your Spouse - When I started my ministry, questions about my wife’s partnership in my ministry would have created a source of embarrassment for me. Her ministry, as far as I was concerned, was to take care of our two daughters in their Sabbath School classes, and to play the piano.

6 Ways to Guard Your Marriage in Ministry - Sexual sin is not morally worse than other sins, but because it has such a powerful effect on the whole person, it is more devastating. Sex is dangerous when it is misused; it can destroy us, body and soul. Here are a few tips to guard your marriage in ministry.

Preparing a Couple for Lifelong Marriage - A recent wedding I performed might provide insight in how to navigate the sometimes-muddy waters of wedding dynamics.

Is The Fundraising Plan Your Pastoral Function? - A church with a mission faces challenges and projects where the financial factor is the key. All of us without exception need resources. Even if it is not our major skills and specialty, these are some steps to consider:

Christmas Evangelism Ideas - The flurry of Christmas activities can leave a lot of people feeling snowed under and eager to dig out. Deep in their hearts they are looking for the Reason for the Season. That is why Christmas is the best time of the year to share Jesus with our friends and communities.

Blue Christmas - At some point in our lives we all suffer loss. Suffering seems out of place at this joyful time of year, yet many in our congregations and communities deal with this reality every year.

Stories We Tell: You’re Invited - Sometimes things really are too good to be true. This is probably what Robert Kirkpatrick thought when he received an invitation to a fundraising dinner with President George W. Bush. Imagine his surprise when he opened the invitation inviting him to the $2,500-a-plate banquet in D.C..

New NAD Ministerial Associate joins to focus on Evangelism - Pastor Jose Herminio Cortes, Jr. joins the North American Division team as an associate director for the NAD Ministerial Department. He joins the NAD ministerial team to focus on transformational evangelism, discipleship, and outreach in the NAD.

Vetting the Ministries - Despite the direct access that people have to your members, there are ways in which you can screen affiliated or non-affiliated groups to determine whether or not you will endorse, or even permit, their communications and materials within your church facility.

Books on Emotional Healing - I want to introduce you to four books on emotional healing for those whose past experiences have left them emotionally scarred, whose present is blurred, and whose future is intimidating.

Funerals: A Significant Threshold The Honorable Gift - As a pastor, perhaps one of the most sacred moments I find for ministry is the opportunity to be a part of a funeral for a bereaved family. I describe this as a "threshold" for a number of reasons.

Talbot to Speak at Pastors Experience - Elizabeth Talbot is known for her brilliant exegetical preaching and for illustrating the metaphors of scripture with 3D visual object lessons (as well as her occasional ‘woo hoo!’). Talbot is one of dozens of confirmed speakers for the convention who will bring their best to the pastors of the NAD.

More Things To Stop Saying - This is part two of our series on things we should stop saying from the pulpit. I hope that this list of things that need to get modified, erased, or deleted brings a smile to your face, happiness to your week, and joy to your heart. Any similarity with the church you attend is simply coincidental.

Strategic Friendship Evangelism - In our past, we’ve seen others try to manipulate people into becoming Christians and we don’t want to do the same. So, let me share with you simple, yet effective ways I‘ve learned to naturally lead people to Jesus.

The Printed Prophets - In his book The Printed Prophets, Lemuel Olan Jimenez, makes the strong case for literature evangelism in all in its forms as a vital means of disseminating God’s last-day message to planet earth.

Stories We Tell: Listen to the Son - Getting a plumber on short notice is both difficult and expensive. Not having anyone in the church that is a plumber, it seemed like something I needed to tackle. Unfortunately, I have a bad attitude toward plumbing based on past attempts that resulted in calling a plumber to fix the mess I made.

The Stresses of Being a Pastor: The Struggle of Pastoral Families in the Adventist Church - It is not uncommon for pastors to become burned-out after several years of pastoring and some leave the ministry altogether. The NAD-sponsored research on the causes of stress on pastors and their families is an effort to combat these trends.

The Seventh-day Adventist Retirement Plan is Changing - I have great news to share on an upcoming change with Adventist Retirement. Adventist Retirement has selected Great-West Financial® as the new provider of administration, recordkeeping, communication and education services for Adventist Retirement. Our new contract begins on January 1, 2015.

$120,000 to be Given Away at CALLED Convention - Twenty-Five congregations from the North American Division will receive evangelism funds at the NAD CALLED Experience in Austin Texas, June 28-July 1, 2014.

Please Count! - Whether it is self-preservation or ego that makes us do it, most pastors/members I know fudge slightly on the high side when it comes to their church attendance numbers.

Pirates in the Pulpit - Dear Ask a Seasoned Pastor: Most of the time I re-preach the sermons of other great preachers. I find most of the congregation is being fed by these outstanding sermons. However they think that the sermons I preach should be my own creation. What do you think?

Stop Saying That - I understand that what I’m about to say is highly subjective, but it is still something that needs to be said. Whether anything changes or not is irrelevant. I love my church, even when it is less than perfect. But would you please stop saying these things?

Did I Lose You? - Pastors and elders are responsible for the people in their parish including the 70% of our youth and young adults who end up leaving. Did I lose you with that opening line? If not – keep reading.

NAD Pastors’ Family Convention/General Conference Session Attendance - Here’s why we are encouraging pastors to attend the NAD Pastors’ Family Convention with their choice of funds.

Taming E-Mail - A while ago I decided that it was time to re-think the way I handle e-mail. My inbox was pretty big and it was annoying to scroll through it. The good news is that there are ways to deal with e-mail overload.

Stories We Tell: Love Must Be Demonstrated - A couple was sitting on the porch swing. It was quiet. No one was saying anything. The man felt this was just the right time, so he took a deep breath, stretched, put his arm around her, and said, “Can I kiss you?”

Reviving Communion - There is a perennial problem in most churches regarding communion: most of our church members avoid it if they can help it.

Reversing the Trend - “Pastor, what can I do to help you in the church?” This is music to the pastor’s ears when they hear leaders and members asking them how they can be of help. Unfortunately, pastors usually respond by giving them a task or two but fail to see the real opportunity.

The Haystacks Church - “What does it mean to be Adventist, to be part of the Adventist Church?” Andy Nash has taken on these questions in an ongoing quest to better understand how to take a relevant position both for himself and to also address the needs of an emerging future generation of young Adventists.

Stories We Tell: The Alcove Swing - The Alcove Swing, located in Yosemite National Park on El Capitan, is a popular and easy-to-reach attraction for rock climbers and thrill seekers. It’s a single rope attached to the top of an alcove with a rock climbing anchor.

Ellen White: Supporting, Seldom Seen - Our professor wisely brought our “heads in the clouds” class back down to earth when he said, “When you preach, use the Greek like a good pair of underwear — Supporting, but not seen.”

Making Ellen White Teen-Friendly - “I asked my Bible class how they felt about Ellen White, and all I heard were groans and arghhhhhs!”

Stories We Tell: Terrorists in Churches - Latest news reports are that five terrorist cell groups have been operating in many of our churches. They have been identified as: Bin Sleepin, Bin Arguin, Bin Fightin, Bin Complainin, and Bin Missin.

Passing on the Mantle - "they looked at the demographic data revealing that 450 Adventist clergy in the NAD are already eligible for retirement..."

Getting Off to a Great Start - Ever wonder why some college/seminary students, or young pastors successfully navigate the transition into full-time ministry and others don’t? Ever ask yourself, why do some churches or conferences seem to have a knack for producing great, young pastors, and others don't?

Fundraising Doesn’t Cause People To Stop Giving Their Tithe and Offerings - Are you reluctant to begin a major fundraising project because you are afraid that tithe and offerings will be reduced? Pastors and church leaders all too often express such fear. Is it a realistic fear?

Stories We Tell: Rascally Raccoons - A lady visiting the zoo peered into the raccoon exhibit. When the zoo keeper came by and saw her enjoying herself, he shared with her this interesting fact – Raccoons go through a glandular change at the age of about 24 months. After that, they will often attack their owners.

Effective Preaching: Preparing Notes - The mind has a way of forgetting things when you need them and recalling things at just the wrong moments, like forgetting your sermon flow and remembering that you’re scared of public speaking just when you step up to the pulpit. There is hope.

Giving Our Best for God’s Children - Question – Why is our Church now requiring its children and youth ministries volunteers to undergo criminal background screening and training in child abuse awareness and prevention? I’ve volunteered and worked with children for over twenty years and now my character is being questioned?

The Most Important Investment a Pastor Can Make - This isn’t a PR piece for the Hampton Minister’s Conference. It’s a reflection on an important investment that every leader needs to make. You must invest in you!

Stories We Tell: God Wins - God is so omnipotent, so far above us in wisdom and power that no matter what we choose to do from day to day, He is still able to accomplish His purposes and will.

Effective Preaching: Choosing Illustrations - Illustrations are pictures in books that show what the book tells. They add force to its message. In a sermon, they serve the same goal but the medium has changed. Instead of ink and paper, you have words and the listener’s mind.

3 Things Every Congregation Wants to Know About Its Pastor - Every congregation, whether it is large or small, or whether it has multiple pastors or shares their pastor with another congregation or two, wants to know three very basic things about its pastor. Three questions define best what a congregation wants to know about its pastor.

Preaching a Christ-Centered Message for a World in Crisis - Best known for his passion for connecting people and nurturing their growth in Christ, Russell Burrill’s new book, Adventist Evangelistic Preaching is a powerful resource written for anyone who wants to learn how to effectively reach people with the message of Christ’s soon return.

7 Areas to Focus On in Your First Year of a New Pastorate - I remember my nervousness when I found out that I would be going straight from seminary into my first church district! If I could go back in time and do it all over again, these are the areas that I would focus on.

Effective Preaching: Drafting an Outline - Structures are everywhere, though you rarely notice them. Each sentence you speak is a structure. The biblical text has a structure. The trick is to notice these structures so you can apply what you already knew, but didn’t know you knew, to sermon crafting.

RECHARGE at Southern Adventist University - I presented this summer at RECHARGE and spent time extensively with the director Barry Tryon. I left with a great appreciation for what goes on there for pastoral families. Here’s a brief summary of RECHARGE by Charles Cammack.

Ministry with Millennials: Feedback to Move Forward - In this most recent survey of the Adventist Millennials Research, conducted by the Barna Group, we’ve taken a careful look at why our young adults disengage from the church life, and discussions with next generations themselves have offered us insight as to solutions.

Child Dedication - I had never experienced a parent extending their arms to give me their child to hold in front of a congregation, and my knowledge from book reading couldn’t fully prepare me for this real life, real ministry experience.

Stay in My Lane - On June 22, 2014, Pastor Joel Almeida, Youth Pastor at Community Praise Center, interviewed Charles Tapp, Senior Pastor at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist church. This following is an excerpt from that interview.

Ministry with Millennials: The Power of Relationships - Peer relationships have been assumed to be the gold standard of the youth ministries. But what keeps them in the church after youth group? In this most recent study of Adventist Millennials, conducted by the Barna Group, there were some fascinating findings.

The 11:00 Hour: Is Society Changing What We Hear on Sabbath Mornings? - I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone remark, “I just don’t seem to get anything out of church.” Implied in that statement is the sense that the worship service is a spectator event, at which members of the congregation critique the worship participants and pass judgment on the experience as if it were a concert, play, or motion picture.

Ministry with Millennials: Can You Hear Me Now? - Often we intuitively look at program attendance, church activity, and/or behaviors of our young people to give us a sense of what their trajectory of church involvement will be later in life. In this most recent study of Adventist Millennials, conducted by the Barna Group, there were some fascinating findings.

Radical Restructuring for Church Ministries - There were no plans for specific ministry growth. Every two years the nominating committee might (or might not) re-elect a current church officer-holder so nobody really cared much about their “here today, gone tomorrow!” church positions.

Anointing the Sick - When I was a child, the anointing service appeared to be something mysterious that happened behind closed doors. After 28 years of pastoral ministry I have learned that the anointing service is something mysterious that happens to open doors—doors of surrender, reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing.

And I Shall Dwell - The blessing and establishment of a Christian home is an awesome, sacred and solemn responsibility.

Funerals: A Significant Threshold - As a pastor, perhaps one of the most sacred moments I find for ministry is the opportunity to be a part of a funeral for a bereaved family. I describe this as a "threshold" for a number of reasons.

Effective Preaching: Study the Text - “You can’t just read the Bible and do what it says.” His words are a bit shocking but he has a point. Dr. Donn Leatherman, an Old Testament professor, is a master at word craft. He knows just how to frame an idea to make it notable. What he means is that we always interpret Scripture. It is true.

Why Our Churches, Schools and Hospitals Need to be on Social Media - Any church that doesn’t have a Facebook page may not be doing relevant ministry,” says Noah Washington, senior pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s Bladensburg, MD church. Washington and his media team update their Facebook and Twitter accounts with pictures from the church service and videos of their praise team and groups.

Preaching: Getting Started - Local elders and other lay leaders often have to preach a sermon or even preach quite often in some congregations. This series of five units on preaching brings together the experience of pastors who have taught lay leaders to preach and seeks to provide a simple and complete presentation that is written with the amateur in mind.

How to Pastor Your Conference President - There are some basic approaches to providing pastoral care to your conference leadership team – especially the president.

Ministry with Millennials: What’s Bad About Church - Being excluded, underestimated, stifled, and feeling as if the church is superficial and simplistic in what it has to offer can have a detrimental impact on one’s life.

NAD Pastors believe that they are proficient in Core Competencies. - In a May 2014 NAD Ministerial survey of pastors, 89% taking the survey rated their pastoral competencies as either proficient, highly proficient, or expert. Only 11% rated their competencies as either beginner or inadequate. This survey is part of a much larger survey conducted by NAD Ministerial and the NAD Office of Assessment as part of the Pathways to Effective Ministry Initiative.

A Church Pastor’s Dream List - Twenty-five years ago I served as pastor of a large metropolitan church. At first glance, this church was a magnificent edifice with a large one-of-a-kind pipe organ; a three-tier sanctuary; and two 30-foot-high motifs, imported from Italy, depicting the three angels of Revelation and the Second Advent.

The Pastor and Fundraising: A Pastor’s Perspective - Fundraising in the church setting could be either one of the most exciting and unifying activities, or one of the most stressful and divisive events in the life of the church. What can one do to make it a positive experience and at the same time to reach the goal of fundraising?

SMOC: Single Moms Oil Change Ministry - No one ever said that being a single mom was easy. In fact, if the truth were to be known, single moms have to be experts in almost every aspect of life! However, their most prolific and proficient skill is juggling! Because the reality is that being a single mom means you are performing a dizzying, non-stop, 24-hour-a-day juggling act.

Ministry with Millennials: What’s Good About Church - In a recent study of Adventist Millennials, we took a look at our young adults and compared them to over 27,000 of their peers as studied by the Barna Group.

Living in a Man’s World - When given a selection of books to review for Best Practices, I immediately chose this book because I know the author well. Not only has she been my pastor, she has been a colleague on numerous Women’s Ministries committees over a 7 – 9 year period.

Ministry with Millennials: Young Adult Perceptions - Regardless of your age, one’s perception plays a significant role in shaping your sentiments, valuing, and behavior. Young adults [those post high-school through pre-parenthood] have many opinions, and when asked, “What is your perception of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?” there was no lack of responsiveness.

Coaching Young Adults’ Calling - As a youth and young adult pastor, the recent findings of the Barna Group concerning Seventh-day Adventist Church Millennials rang true in my suburban America setting. Often the solution has been to include young adults within the system of the church officers.

Grace Outlet - God loves to do the unexpected! Five years ago He surprised me in a new way. In my devotions I’d been asking God to show me if there was something He’d especially like for me to do as a personal project for Him. Of course He answered me, but I wasn’t ready for what He had to say.

Millennial Ministry - "How do I start a young adult ministry?" I'm glad for the question, but want to warn you, that my reply to this frequently asked question will not be some simple recipe or sure fire program. In brief, here's what I would share if you are looking to start or sharpen your young adult ministry:

A NEW LOOK AT BIBLICAL PREACHING - We knew the preacher. We knew his track record. We were early in our seats to assure ourselves choice space to witness his usual success in gospel discourse. For sure, light from God’s lamp would truly shine once again.

Research Continues on the Core Competencies of Pastors

FUNdraising for Churches - Raising money to raise up churches is an important leadership skill for pastors. Like most pastors, my formal training in fund raising is limited, and yet through the years I have learned five important strategies for financing a capital campaign.

Improving Your Leadership - After twenty five years of equipping ministry I have come to the conclusion that “Leadership” can be summed up in one word, influence. John Maxwell puts it this way, “The true measure of leadership is influence…nothing more, nothing less."

A Visit to Loma Linda University Church - Dr. Randy Roberts pastors the largest Seventh-day Adventist church in the North American Division and his preaching is viewed worldwide over satellite and streaming. Pastor Pablo Ariza sat down with Randy to find out what it takes to create relevant, well-crafted sermons week after week.

What is Seventh-day Adventist Preaching? - This article will propose and unpack a working definition of Seventh-day Adventist preaching that I have used in my homiletics classes over the last decade. My desire is to stimulate thought on what Seventh-day Adventist preaching is and should be, and to influence its practice.

The Forgotten Generation - When was the last time you preached a sermon for the older adults in your congregation? In conversations with pastors, I’ve found that few consider the needs of their senior listeners when preparing sermons. On Sabbath morning the older generation is often the forgotten generation.

The Big Four - In his most recent book, "The Big Four: Secrets to a Thriving Church Family", Joseph Kidder’s passion for effective pastoral practice shines through. Here he outlines the big four essentials for thriving churches in the 21st century:

You’re Preaching? Good. Here is What I Need - Hi my name is Janet Doe, from your church in Anytown. I have had an interesting week, challenged on many fronts. It seems like my life is a like a rollercoaster. Now I’m here in church. It’s your turn to preach. These are the things that I need as you speak today:

A Privilege to Serve - Many years ago my family and I lived in a neighborhood where 99% of the people belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We loved our Mormon neighbors and they loved us.

Best Practices for Event Planning - Meetings are what we do! Having worked in the event management industry for over 19 years, I’ve noticed the same trend in other religious markets.

Generation Change: Why Our Youth Leave - Like no generation before, our young people have access to limitless information. They live in a world where social media is redesigning the way people interact. They live in a world filled with innumerable ideas, belief systems, and ways of life.

Generation Change: Designing the Future - While biblical principles will always guide our approaches, we must find new ways to apply those principles in ways that will help our youth discover and cement their Christian convictions, and to stay connected to the church.

How to Work for the Church and Still Be Saved - If you think working for the church means that you automatically have greater access to God, or that it gives you some kind of inside advantage, then you are in for a rude awakening. In reality, if you work for the church you are probably more vulnerable to the attacks of the devil, and are subject to a host of temptations that the average person doesn't have.

A Spouse’s Perspective on Pastoring - Pastors, their spouses and churches need to work together to figure out how men and women can enjoy full time ministry without totally abandoning or alienating their families. Here are some ideas for pastoral families on how to balance their ministries and their lives.

Stories We Tell: Going Together - Two days before our departure, I discovered that my wife’s passport had expired. I frantically called anyone and everyone I thought could help, but it was no use. No one could turn Esther’s passport around in two days. A deep sense of despair settled into my spirit as I realized that I would have to make this trip alone.

Application: The Often Forgotten Part of the Sermon - Sermon application is vital to sermon preparation and delivery. Your deep study of the Biblical passage (critical for a sermon), reading of other material (vital), praying for the sermon (a must), and outlining the message (if you don’t do it the sermon will come across like a tossed salad), will have little value if the application is missing.

7 Points for Pastoral Interviews - While every conference has their own process, most pastoral placement protocols provide for an interview between the pastor candidate and the search committee. Here are seven things I think will help you to interview well

Strategies for a Successful Interview - We recently asked 5 pastors to share important strategies when interviewing and considering a call to pastor a new church — Here’s what they shared with us:

Giving to Religion – A Changing Landscape - Collectively, religious organizations are perhaps the most significant and important social institution in America. While this might seem like a bold statement, statistics abound on the important of religion to the American way of life

Schaller and the Small Church - Schaller’s work in studying and identifying trends and realities in churches of all sizes is quite well known. Since the territory I now serve has many more small churches than large ones, it seemed worthwhile for me to revisit Schaller’s thinking on small churches.

5 Web Tools Your Church Needs - Churches are now doing online marketing, digital evangelism and discipleship, and connecting regularly with people through emails, social media, and your blog.

Wise Words: Resurrection Voices - Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen. —Mother Teresa

Happy Sabbath: Routine or Heartfelt? - In recent months I have asked a number of my Adventist friends, “What do you mean when you greet people with Happy Sabbath? Is it a meaningful attempt to raise the spirit of the Sabbath, or is it a mere habit?”

Blogging Basics for Pastors - One of the greatest tools in building an online platform, as well as finding a place for the sermon leftovers that didn’t make the final cut, is a blog. While many people are familiar with blogs, and even have one, the truth is, many start but never finish.

Close to Paradise - On September 13, 2013, Pastor C.J. Cousins, recent seminary graduate, visited Will James, Senior Pastor of the Paradise Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Adventists in the City: Moving to the City to Raise Up Churches - The Adventist denomination has struggled with questions about how best to live out its mission in urban areas throughout the twentieth century. Much of that discussion centered on Ellen White’s counsel on the topic. For her the issue was not Should the cities be worked? It was How.

Stories We Tell: Invisible Weights - Early every morning I go to a college sponsored Boot Camp. As we go through the different exercises there is one young man who does three reps to every rep I struggle through.

Small Groups Fair Offers Something for Everyone - Whether you enjoy running, biking, tennis, photography, or just enjoy eating out regularly, you could find a group to match your interest at the Small Groups Fair.

Stories We Tell: Lessons from a Mouse - Off to the side of the road I noticed a small white mouse lying on its side. Thinking that a hawk might swoop down and eat it, I scooped up the mouse with a piece of paper and took it home.

C.D.: the Man Behind the Message - In the book C.D.: the Man Behind the Message, Harold L. Lee and Benjamin Baker tell the remarkable story of Charles Brooks – evangelist, ministry mentor, and race relations trail blazer extraordinaire.

7 Strategies for Church School Evangelism - Our teachers are on the frontlines of Adventist education evangelism, and we pastors are important partners in the venture. Let me share with you a seven-fold church school evangelism strategy that really works...

Upcoming InMinistry Courses - There's still time to apply for the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry and join the classes that are being offered all around the NAD in March. Click here to learn more.

Stories We Tell: The Last Puzzle Piece - Christianity has been compared to a 500 piece puzzle, with Seventh-day Adventists being only one piece of that puzzle. Just one piece. One of 500. Nothing special, nothing unique.

Evangelism in the Small Church - Many of our churches are small with less than 75 in attendance. That poses some real challenges and opportunities. If you belong to a small church, here are 10 questions to keep in mind as you faithfully reach out to evangelize the community that surrounds you.

You Can’t Lead Through Appeasement - On August 15, 2013, Pastor Geoffrey Crowley, a seminary student, visited with Senior Pastor MyRon Edmunds and Associate Pastor John Coaxim at the Glenville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cleveland Ohio. This is a partial transcript of that interview.

Wise Words: Evangelism - The purpose of the church is not just to fraternize with the righteous, but to call lost sinners to repentance. That is the ministry of the church.

Caring for Military Families - It is hard enough to give up our own ideas and trust in God in the easy times. It is even harder to give up our own ideas and trust God in the tough times, especially for military families who must live with separation and fear for the safety of their loved ones in times of war.

New Parenting Resource - Help! I'm a Parent: Christian Parenting in the Real World is a new parenting resource released by the North American Division to help parents carry on this eternally important task.

Stories We Tell: Make Me Like Joe - Joe was a drunk who was miraculously converted at a rescue mission. Prior to his conversion, Joe had a reputation for being a miserable, dirty wino from the ghetto for whom there was no hope. Following his conversion to a new life with God, everything changed.

Caring for Military Members - How can pastors support their members who serve in the military? Here are seven suggestions:

3 Tools for Your Religious Liberty Campaign - As we approach our annual Religious Liberty Sabbath – that’s January 25, 2014 ­– We thought it would be helpful provide some tools for highlighting and protecting religious freedom in your local church and community.

Understanding Your Community - One of the first steps in transformational evangelism is to understand your community. This six part seminar curriculum will provide your church with the tools they need to determine what the needs are in your community.

Transformational Evangelism - The NAD Ministerial Department and I have been charged with the development of this Transformational Evangelism block. The one thing that I can say for sure at this point is that we have taken on a huge task – one that is much bigger than any of us imagined.

Connecting with Business Owners on the Island of Yap - Maitland DePinto of Home for Humanity in the NAD came through a while ago and shared a tool with me that has really helped me connect with local businesses.

Community Engagement - I have been looking for ways to connect with the business professionals in Vancouver since I moved here a few months ago. Vancouver is known for being one of the most secular cities in the world. In fact, 7 out of 10 residents claim to have no religious affiliation.

Blurring the Lines Between Church and Community - “We (Adventists) have a field of dreams approach. ‘Build it they will come,’ but we have to be in the community to be aware of what the needs are,”

Reaping the Rewards of Partnership - This common-sense Biblical truth has been proven time and again in individual lives, but what happens when it’s not two individuals, but two or three or even eight congregations coming together to serve God and their community?

Adventists in the City - The Adventist denomination has struggled with questions about how best to live out its mission in urban areas throughout the twentieth century. Much of that discussion centered on Ellen White’s counsel on the topic.

Stories We Tell: Life-Saving Hope - In the chaotic days following the Second World War, an immigrant family living in New York began to write letters to their surviving relatives back in Hungary. After what seemed like an eternity, they received a reply from Uncle Lazlo who lived just outside Budapest.

Reading: Gas in the Tank - The first step in this journey is to remember that we read not only for entertainment, but for future application. Therefore we need to encode our reading – we need to intelligently digest and internalize what we read. This requires us to tag, then cliff what we read.

Last Rites for a Dying Church - Some experts estimate that one in four American churches — around 100,000 — fit the description of a “dying church.” But what exactly is a dying church?

Stories We Tell: When a Pest is Your Best Friend - In life and ministry we face many potential “pests.” Possibly a difficult church member, a major church conflict, feeling spread too thin over a large district…you name it. We don’t often consider that the very problem can be a catalyst for growth and change.

Book Review: Leading With a Limp - Leading With a Limp will speak to you as few other books if your leadership journey has not been the soaring success you imagined it would be. It has important things to say to those who have put themselves out for their congregations, only to be criticized for it.

Reading: Fuel for the Road - I have discovered reading is a critical part of a pastor’s life, health, and growth. I believe a pastor who does not read is like a driver who wants to journey across the country without stopping for gasoline. You can’t get very far on empty.

The Gift Card - I received this gift card to Olive Garden as a birthday gift from a good friend. I didn’t do anything to earn or deserve this gift; my friend gave it to me out of the goodness of his heart and because he is a really generous and thoughtful person.

Senior Pastor or Lead Pastor? - I have been at my current church for 14 years now. When I came I took the title of “Senior Pastor.” Now my card and our bulletins list me as “Lead Pastor.” What’s the difference? Why did I change?

Young Adult Life Presentation - Early November, as part of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (NAD) year-end meetings, a group of young adults offered a compelling presentation on the issue of young adult retention.

10 Points for Paperless Preaching - Let me share with you 10 points for paperless preaching that have worked well for me for the past four years:

12 Ways to Take Care of Yourself During and After a Crisis - Taking care of yourself during a crisis often takes a backseat while you are dealing with the crisis situation. A crisis brings extra stress to your body and it is important to keep up your emotional, physical and spiritual health.

How do you comfortably integrate guests into the communion celebrations of the church? - Pastor Ann Roda-Hernandez tells how her church redesigned their communion service to be fresh and meaningful, to make sense, and to enable people to fall in love with communion all over again

The Least Exciting Fundraising Campaign—2 - Without a doubt, fundraising professionals will readily acknowledge that debt reduction is the most difficult money to raise. After all, who can get excited about giving to a campaign that focuses on money going (or gone) “down the rathole?!”

The Ulfberht Sword - The Vikings have always been known as fierce warriors. Through the years they successfully raided and colonized coastal and river communities using a secret weapon whose technology was a thousand years ahead of its time: The Ulfberht Sword.

Free Legal Aid Fair - If your local church is interested in hosting a free legal aid fair, it’s not that difficult to do. Talk with legal professionals who attend your church or those in the community and let them know that your church is available to host the event.

Funeral Do’s and Don’ts - Here are a few Do's and Don'ts when preparing for and conducting a funeral service.

Funeral Evangelism - I knew that this funeral is a sacred trust. It is a time to celebrate a person’s good qualities, to learn lessons for those living and an incredible opportunity to share Bible truth and the hope of a resurrection and reunion at the second coming of Jesus. Don’t waste the opportunity!

The Least Exciting Fundraising Campaign - A debt can be debilitating, demoralizing, enervating and polarizing. But it’s a reality in the life of many congregations today. On the other hand, turning a debt around and finding ways to be rid of it can also be a way to boost the activity and morale of a church family.

Does One Size Really Fit All? - Does a “One Size Fits All” organizational structure work within the diversity of congregations across the North American Division? Gary McIntosh suggests that not every pastor who will successfully lead a small church can successfully lead a large church.

Innovate or Die - Today the Adventist Church needs members and pastors who are willing to “think different” about ministry; people who are not afraid to think outside of the box or color outside of the lines--not just for the sake of being different, but for the sake of finding new ways to connect people with Jesus.

When to buy, when to renovate, or when to look the other way? - Except for small church groups, congregations need a place for worship and other programs. Once you make a decision that your church or school facility is needed or if you have facility that currently does not meet your needs, what do you do?

Risk Management—More than just insurance? - Accidents will happen no matter how well we plan. How we react when they occur makes all the difference. The key to risk management in ministry is to anticipate problems before they occur.

School Board: Money, People and Policy - I love my School Board. It is filled with decent, godly, hard-working people who give their time (and money!) so that my church can enjoy the blessings of an Adventist school. But sometimes, I need to work a little harder at loving my School Board, especially when it deals with three things: money, people, and policy.

Volunteers: Attract them. Grow them. Keep them. - One of the toughest jobs any pastor or leader can have is to recruit and keep volunteers. I want to share with you some practical advice, taken from years of learning the hard way, good literature and leadership experts.

QR Codes in the Bulletin - “We’d give more but we just don’t carry cash.” The words of my millennial generation parishioners struck a chord with me…mostly because I don’t carry cash either. However the offering plate need not be affected by our society’s lack of cold hard currency.

The Diamond - One day a little diamond in the rough was admiring a Big Diamond that was beautiful, magnificent, and flawless. The little diamond said, "I want to be like that Big Diamond." So the Master Jeweler put the little diamond on his grinding wheel and began to cut on him.

Ask a Seasoned Pastor - Q: I've been asked to officiate at a wedding -- she's a Seventh-day Adventist, he's an inactive Catholic. What do I tell them?

Talking with Teens - Teenagers are in a unique position in their identity formation and spiritual development. They are no longer attached to their parents in the way they were as children and it’s important to recognize and acknowledge this independence by visiting them in their own world – at school.

Pastor and Teacher Collaboration - There is a need for the pastor to be an active participant in the process of connecting the church to the school. Pastors must have a relationship with the kids first before they can have a spiritual impact on them. This relationship is developed through a pastor’s active involvement at the school.

Simple Church At Home - Simple Church is now a global network of house churches that are planted by committed missionaries who are willing to leave their comfort zone to reach people who, most likely, will not walk into conventional church buildings.

10 Things Pastors Wish Their Congregations Would Do - Every pastor has a dream congregation. This is a list of 10 qualities I would love to see in my dream congregation.

Living A Balanced Life - By Saying No? - Clergy thrive on being can-do people. We love to say yes, even to our own demise. We act as if saying no is a sin. Saying no, however is a valuable word to help us live balanced lives in a world of so many demands, dilemmas, and disruptions.

Does Your Church Have Curb Appeal? - How brightly does your church shine in the community? Can your neighbors "put a face" with our church name? Take this quiz to find out.

Freely Received, Freely Given

Open to a change in Pastoral Assignment? - Perhaps you’re even open to transferring to another conference? NAD Ministerial has created a password protected website where conference ministerial directors can go to find pastors who might be open to the possibility of discussing a change in pastoral setting.

Seven Wise Things Pastors Should Do to Financially Succeed - If you are drowning financially, then you may want to reexamine the seven strategies in this article to help you and yours get through this recession and come out the other side healthier in body, soul and wallet.

A Nest Egg Is Not Just for the Birds - What this article sets out to accomplish is to share accounts of men and women in ministry who have successfully managed their finances and feel confident that the funds they have saved are sufficient to meet their present and future needs.

Plan Your Retirement Now - Today‘s employee has a complex task in planning for retirement. While there are tools and advisors aplenty, the decisions on how to prepare are the responsibility of the retiree.

Lording it Over—It shall not be so among you - This reflection on Christian leadership behavior will launch from a statement by Jesus recorded in Matthew 20:25-28 that references the contrastive difference between secular and Christian leadership behavior.

Living in the Hyphen - On February 8, 2013, Pastor Juanfer Monsalve, second generation church planter in Chattanooga visited Pastor Andres Flores, second gen church planter in Wicker Park, Chicago. This is a partial transcript of that interview.

The Silent Exodus and Signs of Hope - A brief introduction to the question of this sacred relationship between 1st Gen and 2nd Gen Seventh-day Adventists. While both anecdotal and statistical evidence may suggest the validity of this silent exodus of 2nd Gen’s from immigrant churches, there are signs of hope.

Financial Makeover - For many, including members in your churches, family finances can be a source of difficulty, pain, and strife. I believe God knew finances would be a challenge for us, so He included scores of biblical references on how we should manage our financial resources.

Financial Infidelity - Here are six ways for pastoral couples to avoid financial infidelity, and they should be developed in the following order. Remember, your ultimate success depends upon how well you implement these principles. Excellence is achieved by constant focus and effort.

Called - is the Name selected for NAD Ministerial Convention - The NAD ministerial Department of the North American Division has selected a name for the 2015 NAD wide ministerial convention to be held in Texas June 29-July 2, 2015. The name selected is “Called.” The values for the convention are to inspire, value, connect, and equip pastors in the NAD.

Taking over Your Local Theater - While local movie theaters may not be the first place you think of for doing evangelism several NAD pastors have recently taken over their town’s theater to teach grace. Read More...

Esther Knott Transition - Esther Knott, part time NAD Ministerial associate and associate pastor of the Pioneer Memorial SDA Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan has accepted the invitation to serve full time as NAD Ministerial associate director and the new InMinistry Center director.

Shawn Boonstra Transition - Shawn Boonstra, NAD Ministerial associate and veteran of Seventh-day Adventist media outreach and evangelism, has accepted a call to be the new speaker/director of one of radio’s longest-running religious programs, The Voice of Prophecy.

Potomac Spanish Youth Plant First English-Speaking Church - It’s a Sabbath morning and the small chapel at 5203 Manchester Drive in Temple Hills, Md., is packed. This is the inaugural meeting of the Arise church, the first Hispanic American church in the Potomac Conference and people have come from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., to see what it is all about.
During a prayer that morning, Pastor Gamaliel Feliciano makes the church’s purpose clear. “The church is not a building or a name. It’s us,” he prays. “We want to dedicate this project to You, Lord, because we cannot do this alone.”
Although officially pastored by José D. Esposito, Potomac’s Hispanic Ministries director, from the beginning the conference’s young Latinos have taken significant leadership roles in the project. And, for many of the leaders and attendees, a church like Arise has been an answer to prayer.

Six Building Block Videos - At the 2012 Year End Meetings the North American Division voted six building blocks that would be a priority. Read a paragraph and watch an introductory video about each of the six building blocks.

Natural Church Development Report for the Adventist Church - When the Natural Church Development survey was first introduced in 1998, I became one of the first five pastors to utilize the tool in my local congregation in North Dallas. Since that time, hundreds of Adventist churches have taken the survey! Those churches that have followed up with implementation, based on the results, have experienced growth in: tithe, offerings, membership, and baptisms (verified by research conducted for DMin dissertation by Rodney Mills). There have been a number of compelling reasons as to why I have heartily embraced Natural Church Development as an evaluation tool for the local church:

Stewardship Contest Winners Announced - Twelve individuals from throughout North America won the Stewardship Sermon Contest. The contest was open to active or retired ministers and graduate ministerial students. Some 100 sermons were submitted. Judges selected the 12 winning sermons without knowing the names of the contestants.

The Power of Mentorship--Pastor Krystalynn Martin - “It feels weird to count my baptisms; it’s just not who I am. There are countless people who are a part of this kid’s journey-I just get to be the one to ‘pull the grain’,” she says. Pastor Krystalynn Martin, pastor of a boarding school church believes that her true calling is to mentor students to become followers of Christ. Throughout the past ten years, her students have fed the homeless, preached in the streets, and freed slaves around the year. Her challenge to her students? "BE the change in the world today."

And Time is No More! - Walt Williams, Associate Director of NAD Ministerial, shares some sage thoughts about the chronilogically gifted.

International Bible Conference - 3rd International Bible Conference Convenes in Jerusalem. For more information go to the complete story.

NAD Ministerial Fellowships With New Jersey Pastors - On February 21 and 22, Ivan Williams, Dave Gemmell, and Shawn Boonstra attended the New Jersey Conference Pastor’s meeting at Tranquil Valley Retreat Center. Click to read entire article.

New Fundraising Resource for Adventist Congregations - New resource released for congregations contemplating capital campaign such as building a church, school, or community service center. Click to read more.

Implications of aging ministers could challenge future staffing - A recent review of pastoral demographics in the United States reveals that nearly 50 percent of Seventh-day Adventist ministers will reach retirement age within 10 years, a discovery that is prompting ministry officials to examine potential scenarios to address the coming dilemma.

Best Practices to Go Weekly - Starting in May the new lineup is as follows: First Week: Best Practices for Ministerial Directors—Editor: Ivan Williams. Second Week Best Practices for Adventist Ministry—Editor: Loren Seibold. Third Week: Best Practices for Adventist Evangelism—Editor: Shawn Boonstra. Fourth Week: Best Practices for Adventist Ministry—Editor: Loren Seibold. Fifth Week: Best Practices for Adventist Worship—Editor: Nick Zork.

Wanted—Your Best Sermon - Ministers and graduate ministerial students in North America are invited to submit their best stewardship sermons. Up to ten outstanding sermons will be selected and awarded $1,000.00 each.

"Radical Reboot" The Mid America Union Pastors' Convention 2011 - A Conference on Hermeneutics, E. G. White and Evangelism On May 2-4, 2011 pastors throughout the Mid-America Union remained in Lincoln after the Constituency Session for “Radical Reboot,” a much-anticipated ministry convention.