Reflections from Beyond the Pulpit – A Moment with Senior

by Stan Hudson who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference

As a security officer at Andrews (they thought we seminary students were more mature than other college students—HA!), it sometimes fell to us to use the patrol car and give rides to various special guest speakers for the campus.

On one occasion I was to give a ride to H.M.S. Richards Sr. so he could give a chapel talk to the seminarians.  The standing concern was that perhaps “this would be his last year.”  Those concerns continued year after year after ….

Anyway, I thought since I had this great man of God riding with me and all to myself, what powerful question could I ask?  What sort of wisdom could this starry-eyed young preacher receive to inspire him for a life in pastoral ministry??

So I nervously asked, “Elder, what will it take to finish the work?”  And without a single moment of hesitation he exclaimed “Lock up all the pastors!!”

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Soul Winning – My Bucket List

Given 18 months to live, Bob Stuart decided to bring one person to church every month. Imagine how quickly the Adventist Church would grow if each of the church’s 20 million members brought in just one person a year. Read More

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Momentum – Cycle of Evangelism

by Dave Crockett, Pastor of the Lewiston Seventh-day Adventist Church

With the arrival of our new Bible Worker, we started 6 month cycles of evangelism, starting in June and December of each year. We offered a Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program for members and the community and our Bible Worker began laymen training with Soul Winning Classes. We followed up on interests from Amazing Facts, It Is Written, and Voice of Prophecy, developing Bible studies. We offered a Setter Health, Better Life Seminar, which focused on natural remedies and heart healthy cooking. This was offered to the community, and we had a wonderful response.

We followed this with the Future of Freedom Seminar, focusing on the statement that Jesus made, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free!” We used various prophecies from Daniel and Revelation to highlight truths that will set us free from the deceptions of satan. The format was a 45 minute lecture and then moving into discussion groups lead by our local elders. We started with 15 or so non-members, of these, 11 attended all the way through.

We are now in the middle of our 1 year plan:

  • We have a Prayer Ministry, with a director who functions year round. They sponsor prayer type of events throughout. The latest focus was Prayer walking, where those involved would place a door hanger on each door, with a note letting them know that their house was prayed for.
  • We presented the “Contagious Adventist” seminar in October/November of 2016 as a training event for our church family.
  • Our Bible worker lead out in a School of Evangelism, which was a training event for our lay members, This was done in December of 2016 and will be again in August of 2017.
  • In January of 2017, the Depression Recovery Seminar was offered to our community. At our fair booth about one third of those who filled out a Community Survey indicated that they would attend.
  • In March of 2017, we sponsored a Cooking Seminar, again about one third of respondents from the fair showed an interest.
  • Then from March 31—April30, we ran a locally presented Evangelistic Reaping series. Follow-up included ongoing Bible Studies and Oasis groups (these are lay led in-home groups, patterned after Lee Venden’s suggestion at the conclusion of his “All About Jesus” seminar)
  • September 1-3, we are sponsoring a Marriage Enrichment weekend for the community.
  • Then September 6—October 11 Parenting Classes, both a Marriage Enrichment and Parenting Classes were asked for by the community.
  • Then October 20— November 19 we will conduct a locally presented evangelistic Reaping series. Follow-up will include ongoing Bible Studies and Oasis groups (these are lay led in-home groups, patterned after Lee Venden’s suggestion at the conclusion of his “All About Jesus” seminar)
  • In December the Lewiston Church will again be producing our Christmas Cantata.
  • For the rest of December, we are going on vacation!!!

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Changed Lives – Future of Freedom

by Dave Crockett, Pastor of the Lewiston Seventh-day Adventist Church

Audrey was our first baptism, followed by 5 more and others planned for the future. Audrey’s journey to her baptism was a long one! She has been a member of many different churches here in our valley, but not finding what she really needed along the way. As a caregiver, a couple of years ago she began to take care of the mother of one of our church members. This meant that she had regular interactions with the woman’s family who are active here in the Lewiston Church.

The woman she was taking care of passed away, and her job ended. However she had seen something in the lady’s family that was different and she wanted to know more. One thing led to another, and she ended up in our church one Sabbath. Of course our church welcomed her (they’re very good at that!) and she came again the next week and the next, until it became a regular habit. Bible studies ensued, she came to the meetings and came under the conviction she needed to be re-baptized. We are praising the Lord for her decision and there’s more to come!

We are following up with a class on Sabbath mornings lead by our Bible Worker/Outreach Coordinator, Slavik. He is a tireless worker who loves Jesus and people! He did all the visiting along with his other duties during the series. Our plan to once again have a six month cycle of outreach is starting in September, and we look forward to more stories like Audrey’s!

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Lifelong Learning – Free Online Course on Empowering Young Adult Ministry

The Next Steps course is for the purpose of understanding the findings from the Adventist Millennial Study conducted by the Barna Group, and empowering a research-informed, relevant approach to young adult ministry. The Next Steps course does not assume any prior knowledge in young adult ministry, welcoming any and all participants willing to learn, grow, and implement mentorship with next generations. By the end of the course you will be able to apply the research findings from the Adventist Millennial Study to young adult ministry in various contexts. Read More

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Resources – Discovering Jesus in the Bible

Discovering Jesus in the Bible is a new coloring book by Jesus 101. It’s designed to help children understand the connection between the Old Testament stories and the New Testament. To get this coloring book for FREE, download the Jesus 101 mobile app, click on “Book Offers” and enter the offer code “#4KIDS”. You can also request the coloring book by visiting and choosing “Contact Us.” Code is valid until March 15, 2017.

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Health & Temperance – Are Vegetarian Diets Adequate?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has published its newest position statement on vegetarian diets. It states well-planned vegetarian diets are “appropriate, and they satisfy the nutrient needs and promote normal growth at all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy and lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood and for athletes.” Read More

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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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Why Not Try This? – 3 Words Every Leader Hates

Source: NAD Ministerial

There are three words every successful leader is destined to hear.

They represent the nameless, faceless opposition that can distract, depress or demoralize you if you’re not careful. And those three words are:

“People are saying.”

These words follow successful leaders because they are generally the result of movement and change. They are like a sniper’s bullet. Difficult to trace, but impossible to ignore.

To be clear, not all change is good change. That is something I address in my blog The First Thing Every Leader Should Do. The answer is nothing. Do nothing but listen and learn.  But after you’ve listened and learned it’s time to move. And when you move there will always be those who are reluctant to move with you or the program.

Unfortunately, few detractors these days seem interested in attaching their names to criticism, especially in the church. So they find ways to make their concerns known to a third party. The infamous “unnamed source.”

Recently I was Continue Reading…

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Useful Tip – Who’s Your Leader?

by Stan Hudson who has served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years

When you are being interviewed for becoming the pastor of a church by a large group (like an enhanced church board), pose this kind of question to them:  “What would this church do if a crisis should arose, say, like what if an elder was suspected of having an affair with another leader?”  Then watch where the eyes go.  Eventually they will be looking at the local leader in that church (which may or may NOT be the head elder, a useful thing to know!).

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