Category Archives: Advent Movements

Advent Movements – Lang

Rob Lang has accepted the invitation of the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) executive committee to become NPUC director of youth ministry. He comes to this position from a similar role at the Georgia-Cumberland Conference based in Calhoun, Ga. Lang’s wife, Velvet, will become a part-time assistant director, carrying forward long experience with assisting her husband in youth ministry. Both plan to assume their duties with the NPUC as soon as they can effectively wrap up existing responsibilities with their current roles in Georgia. Read More

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Why Not Try This? – What Keeps Millennials In Church

Source: NAD Ministerial

If you feel like the church in North America falls short when it comes to engaging teenagers and young adults, you’re not the only one.

The Fuller Youth Institute, a research institute in California that equips leaders in the church with best practices, conducted research to uncover what the biggest challenges facing the church in this area are. Continue Reading…

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Advent Movements – Labrador

On April 16 the Upper Columbia Conference nominating and executive committees extended an invitation to Minervino “Minner” Labrador Jr. to serve as the new conference president. Labrador has accepted the call and will begin in June. Currently, he serves as the Southwestern Union Conference vice president of ministries and director of ministerial stewardship and men’s ministries. Read More…

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Advent Movements – McClendon

Bill McClendon has agreed to become the next vice president of administration for the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC). McClendon returns to the Northwest after serving in the Washington Conference from 2010–2014. McClendon’s new role at the union will provide support to local Northwest conferences and churches in mission leadership and member growth, in addition to areas of church structure, process and policy. Read More…

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From Leader to Leader – Emulating the Consummate Disciple, Part 1

by César De León Ph.D LMFT, Ministerial Director for the North Pacific Union Conference

I returned last week from our NAD’s E-Huddle (the annual session focused on Evangelism in North America). As is customary, attendees were invited to articulate their thoughts and reactions to the multiple speakers invited to share what was working for them. Attendees traditionally sit at round-tables to share their reactions and any other meaningful dialogue pertaining to evangelism.

One of the several comments shared that stuck in my head was, “The reality is that we need more evangelism money to reach our culture.” At the time, I remember nodding in full agreement. Reaching middle, upper-middle class individuals has indeed proven to be, well . . . pricey.

What Would Happen IF . . .

As I shared some of the highlights of this year’s event with my wife upon my return, we began our own round table discussion and we wondered out loud, “What would happen IF. . . ”

  1. What would happen IF every church invested monies to train their members on how to better imitate Christ’s methods of reaching broken people for His Father’s Kingdom?
  2. What would happen IF members learned how to approach their neighbors with kindness?
  3. What would happen if members learned how to be more compassionate with the hurting in their workplaces?
  4. What would happen IF members learned how they could become more empathetically engaged with those in their own circles of influence, who suffer under the banner of the enemy because they truly don’t know a better way?”

Jesus’ evangelism budget was ZERO dollars, yet the majority of those He came into personal contact with were transformed into contagious disciples. The budget for His 12 disciples was zilch. . . nada.

“Never was there such an evangelist as Christ. He was the Majesty of heaven, but He humbled Himself to take our nature, that He might meet men where they were. To all people, rich and poor, free and bond, Christ, the Messenger of the covenant, brought the tidings of salvation.” (MH, 22).

Yet, Jesus and His disciples birthed the primitive Christian church movement, that while sadly divided today, still remains a force to be reckoned with.

Doing the Father’s Will

Jesus—the consummate disciple—realized from his childhood training years, that His primary mission in life was to do His Father’s will. He understood that all other life and culture priorities would necessarily have to fall beneath his primary mission which was to align himself to those activities His Heavenly Father’s was already involved in, while intentionally reflecting the Father’s love infused character.

After healing the man at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus responded to the infuriated Jewish leaders, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (John 5:17). Then again in verse 19, Jesus clarified further, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner…” Later in the verse of chapter 5, Jesus reiterates, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

“In all things He brought His wishes into strict obedience to His mission. He glorified His life by making everything in it subordinate to the will of His Father.

He was always patient and cheerful, and the afflicted hailed Him as a messenger of life and peace. He saw the needs of men and women, children and youth, and to all He gave the invitation, “Come unto Me.” (MH, 19, italics applied)

Jesus had a way with people. His approach was winsome. His heart intentions were felt by those He approached. Christ’s friendliness with nothing like the “Amway friendliness” many of us have encountered, that initially appears to be an offer genuine friendship, until you announce you aren’t interested in buying into their product line.

“He taught in a way that made them feel the completeness of His identification with their interests and happiness. His instruction was so direct, His illustrations were so appropriate, His words so sympathetic and cheerful, that His hearers were charmed. The simplicity and earnestness with which He addressed the needy, hallowed every word” (MH, 24, italics applied).

The time Jesus spent in His Father’s presence during the early morning hours before sunrise and often during full nights of prayerfully seeking His Father’s directives, was non-negotiable. He understood that broken people desperately needed to encounter the transformational presence of Father’s Grace, Love, Compassion and Mercy.

“Gracious, tenderhearted, pitiful, He went about lifting up the bowed-down and comforting the sorrowful. Wherever He went, He carried blessing” MH,24.

I wonder. . . What would happen if we went about our lives. . . open and attuned to our Father’s workings as we intentionally followed Jesus’ example of “lifting up the bowed-down and comforting the sorrowful”?   What would happen if every Adventist disciple became so attuned to the Father’s heart as they daily sought communion in His presence, seeking His directives, that each one became a contagious disciple who carried a blessing everywhere they went?

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Resources – Grace-Filled Internet Radio

Jesus 101 has just launched its new 24/7 internet radio station! Jesus 101’s “Grace-Filled Internet Radio” station is commercial free, has ACM (adult contemporary music), and teaching programs featuring Jesus 101’s Speaker/Director, Elizabeth Talbot, Ph.D. The station is available for streaming at any hour, every day, and is completely free. Visit; or download the Jesus 101 mobile app (on Apple and Android devices) to tune in today!

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Advent Movements – Dulan

Byron Dulan has accepted the invitation of the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) executive committee to become vice president for regional affairs. Dulan has served the Washington Conference in several capacities, and is currently the conference’s director of Adventist Community Services, disaster response and personal ministries. He will begin his new role with the NPUC in January 2018. Continue Reading…

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Resources – Bible Study Lessons

Go—Make Disciples! Pacific Press Offers a Wide Selection of Bible Lessons

There is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to Bible lessons. Bible study lessons are as unique as those who are studying them, and those giving the studies. Pacific Press offers many options for Bible lessons to meet different individual styles and needs. (Pacific Press and the Adventist Book Centers have the largest selection of Bible lessons and ancillary materials available!) Here is a handy list of Bible study guides available at your Adventist Book Center and online at Continue reading

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Advent Movements – Huey, North American Division

Steve Huey has stepped in as North Pacific Union Conference Native Ministries Director, replacing Monte Church, long-time director since 1987, who is stepping aside in favor of retirement. Huey, who has most recently served as pastor of the All Nations Center in Wapato, WA, has been training for the role under Church for more than a year. Church will continue to help out and assist Huey as time allows. During a welcoming reception at the NPUC office, Church (pictured left) presented Huey with a ceremonial Native canoe paddle.

We’ve moved! The North American Division Headquarters has moved to a new location. Our new address is 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046. The NAD offices are open regular business hours, Monday through Thursday, at this new address.

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From Leader to Leader – Self-Deception Part V

by César De León Ph.D LMFT, Ministerial Director for the North Pacific Union Conference

This is the last in our series of thoughts on self-deception. It is evident that Paul was concerned with this human propensity when he wrote to the Corinthian church. “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written; “He catches the wise in the craftiness” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile” I Cor. 3:18. The Corinthian church was confused, they were self-deceived in believing that their allegiance should be placed on a man. Paul warns them “do not deceive yourselves”. He reminds them their allegiance should not be rendered to any man, for men are just instruments, one plants, the other waters, but “God is the one that makes it grow” (1 Cor. 3:6).

Distorting reality is neither difficult or rare. Truth be told, we post-fall humans are highly susceptible to self-deception. We can become all wise in our own estimation and can begin to reason out anything, especially when we believe we have logical arguments in our favor. Lucifer, even while knowing he was a created being, fell under the spell of self-deception and became convinced he could be like God, sit at His throne and govern the universe more efficiently than God could. Lucifer’s case study teaches us that once the process of self-deception is activated, one cannot imagine how far it can carry you. A distorted reality is a distorted reality. There are no degrees of distortion. Once truth has been altered, it ceases to be truth. A lie is an abstraction; it can be convenient and can feed our ego. Case in point, the Laodicean church, who’s reality has been so completely distorted that they are utterly unable to perceive their true condition: “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing” Rev. 3:17.   The True Witness responds by giving them a reality check: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot” (v.15), because if you were either extreme, you wouldn’t be sitting comfortably in a state of pitiful self-deception. Being lukewarm feeds your ego. You can believe you are complete and need no Savior. “But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” Rev. 3:17.

Sister White writes about self-deception in the ministerial life:

“There is much in the conduct of ministers that they can improve. Many see and feel their lack, yet they seem to be ignorant of the influence they exert. They are conscious of their actions as they perform them, but suffer them to pass from their memory, and therefore do not reform. {GW 275.1}

Let ministers make the actions of each day a subject of careful thought and deliberate review, with the object of becoming better acquainted with their own habits of life. By a close scrutiny of every circumstance of the daily life, they would know better their own motives and the principles which govern them. This daily review of our acts, to see whether conscience approves or condemns, is necessary for all who wish to reach perfection of Christian character. Many acts which pass for good works, even deeds of benevolence, will, when closely investigated, be found to be prompted by wrong motives. Many receive applause for virtues which they do not possess. The Searcher of hearts weighs the motives, and often deeds highly applauded by men are recorded by Him as springing from selfishness and base hypocrisy. Every act of our lives, whether excellent and praiseworthy, or deserving of censure, is judged by the Searcher of hearts according to the motives which prompted it. Many neglect to look at themselves in the mirror which reveals the defects in the character; therefore deformity and sin exist, and are apparent to others, if not understood by those who are in fault. The hateful sin of selfishness exists to a great degree, even in some who profess to be devoted to the work of God. If they would compare their character with His requirements, especially with the great standard, God’s holy law, they would ascertain, if earnest, honest searchers, that they are fearfully wanting. But some are not willing to look far enough or deep enough to see the depravity of their own hearts. They are wanting in very many respects, yet they remain in willing ignorance of their guilt. Continue reading

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