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NAD Ministerial Articles

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?”

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.

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.

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.

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?

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."

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.

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.

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.