It is a special responsibility and privilege to preach from an Adventist pulpit, even if it is in a newly planted church.
Here is wise counsel from the Church Manual “Under no circumstances should a minister, elder, or other church officer invite strangers or any unauthorized persons to conduct services in our churches. Individuals who have been removed from the ministry, or who have been dismissed from church fellowship in other places, or designing persons who have no authority from the church, should not be permitted with plausible words to gain admittance to our pulpits. Great care should be exercised to prevent this. Each one worthy of the confidence of our churches will be able to identify himself or herself by producing proper credentials. There may be times when it is proper for our congregations to be addressed by government officials or by civic leaders. All others should be excluded from the pulpit unless permission be granted from the conference/ mission/field office. It is the duty of every elder, minister, and conference/mission/field president to see that this rule is carried out. (See pp. 147, 150, 215-217.)” 2005 edition, pages 77-78.
Anyone who preaches from an Adventist pulpit, whether Sabbath morning speaker or guest evangelist, should qualify in one or more of these ways-
- He/she is a member of the local congregation, and is known by the church body.
- He/she is able to show a current credential from a Seventh-day Adventist Church organization.
- He/she has a recent (within the past year) letter of recommendation from his/her home church.
We see evidence of this kind of accountability in the early church (2 John, 3 John) and in the early credentialing process of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Following this counsel will save us from many problems in the future.