The pandemic is affecting us in so many different ways and there are many things to be aware of and continue learning about. Here are several articles you may have missed.
Category Archives: Resources
If you are considering reopening your church soon, don’t miss “4 Steps to Reopening Churches,” a free webinar presented tomorrow by Adventist Risk Management, Inc. and the North American Division.
Thursday, May 28, at 4:00 pm Eastern Time
Each webinar is limited to 500 attendees. Register today at http://adventistrisk.org/webinars-videos.
Sign up in the next 4 days and receive this $800 program for free!
If you have ever wanted to take a college level Bible course that is presented in everyday language or just want to deepen your study in the Bible, this is for you!
Far from being a collection of random stories, the Bible is one big story of God’s faithful love for fallen humanity. ARISE Online is an interactive video course that lets you study your way through Scripture with a narrative lens. So whether you’re learning from home or with a small group from your church, you’ll discover that every character, doctrine, and theological tenet has its place in the story. And—maybe best of all—you’ll find your own place in the story.
This is a limited time offer. You must sign up at www.ariseforfree.com by April 26.
Should your church text message members? Many pastors, church leaders, and ministers face the same problem: how to quickly communicate important information to your entire congregation. The emergence of numerous digital, mobile, and online communication channels has created a wide variety of digital options and tools that you can use to get your messages out and cut through the clutter of daily life. MORE
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) OR Text “HOME” to 741741
- National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices
- Crisis Connections School Resources
- Recklessly Alive (website and blog by a once suicidal Christian millennial; great short videos to show at schools & churches for suicide awareness & hope)
- Cru (Christian website full of testimonies and suicide prevention resources)
- Suicide Prevention Workshops: at Western Seminary, email email@example.com
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center (another rich suicide prevention resource specifically for faith communities wanting to do something!)
- Just Between Us
- The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Faith, Hope, Life Campaign recognizes the broad range of faiths interested in praying for individuals who may be struggling with suicide or whose lives have been touched by suicide. Click here to download free resources to help your community participate in this event.
- The National Benevolent Association organizes peer groups for leaders that provide an opportunity to cultivate support and encouragement, mutual dialogue, spiritual renewal, and peer-to-peer learning. The NBA also offers a “Mental Health Initiative and Affinity Group,” which supports the prioritization of mental health and wellness in the life of the church, establishing the necessary awareness and understanding required to counter stigma, and change the landscape of conversation regarding mental illness and disorders within the church.
- The Center for Courage and Renewal provides programs that give those in ministry roles the opportunity to reflect and reconnect with their calling within an honest and non-judging community.
- The Soul Care Institute facilitates a two-year journey of a group of peers. Over the course of two years, students will ‘come away from the front lines’ of their ministries, work, and family life in order to engage in retreats that are designed to re-fill their souls for ministry.
- Gateway to Hope: A comprehensive, interactive training for empowering, educating and equipping clergy and peers with the tools to respond to those in distress and help build a community-based response to the mental health crisis our country faces.
- Celebrate Recovery offers 12-step healing group programs specifically for members of the clergy
The AdventistGiving App is a game changer for the local church. It provides easy access for member giving that is even more secure than the tithe envelop! Read more
by Pastor Dave Livermore, President of the Gulf States Conference
You’re up late, your kids have been in bed since 8:00 PM, an hour ago your wife said good night to you and went upstairs to go to sleep. You’ve been reading your Bible searching for a text to speak to you. Nothing really jumps out at this time. Your mind wanders. You fight it by turning on the TV, by now its quite late nothing really interests you. You turn on your computer, and you know exactly what interests you at this time of night. Your Bible is still sitting right next to you, but something else is driving you. You go online, your breathing is quickening, you listen carefully to make sure you don’t hear anyone from your family stirring. You type into Google: XXX or Porn. Millions of hits come up, you fall hard, you go deep into your private addiction. Your Bible, is still sitting next to you.
One survey says that fifty percent of us pastors visited a porn site in the last month. We wonder why the Gospel is impotent, our preaching boring, our spiritual life anemic. We have allowed the evil one to get his hands on us and it’s a slow spiritual suicide. There is hope though, into the darkness comes a website that speaks boldly against this cancer. If you got the problem, get help. Because sooner than later, this will cost you your ministry and maybe your marriage. www.purefreedom.com
by Pastor Aaron Payne, Chaplain at Columbia Adventist Academy
After sitting down and talking for a while about the youth’s problem I will bring our conversation around to overcoming the addiction. Usually if a young person has come to talk to me it is because they truly want to break free from this habit. I will ask them to do 4 things.
1. Recognize what times and situation they are tempted the most and avoid those times and places. Ex. Don’t stay up late on the internet.
2. When they are tempted have a Bible verse to quote and claim in the face of the temptation. A few verses I have suggested are Is.41:10,13, or Phil. 4:13. I teach them how to claim a promise since many are unfamiliar with doing this.
3. Find an accountability partner. Of course this person needs to be a person who has a strong walk with Jesus, is trustworthy, and does not share the same problem.
4. Ask them to commit to reading a book called “Every Young Man’s Battle” by Stephen Arterburn, assuming I am dealing with a young man. There is also a book out there for young ladies, “Every Young Woman’s Battle“.
Only after they have taken these steps will I be willing to anoint them, asking for healing and victory. I find that if I anoint them first they may not follow through with the first four steps.
Finally I will communicate to the parents (with permission from the young person) and ask them to change their internet server to integrity online, which is a pre-filtered server. There should also be multiple planned follow ups.
by Marella Rudebaugh, Administrative Assistant in Ministerial, Creation Ministries, Native Ministries, and Evangelism for the North Pacific Union Conference
My husband, Mark, was seven years old when he was molested, but not by the type of person the world has come to expect. Not by a priest or a coach or a father or an uncle….by his seven year old friend. Mark’s friend came to his house for a sleep over and they camped alone in a tent in his back yard. It was then that his friend suggested experimenting. That one experience led to several more with the same boy over the months which led to a lifelong sexual addiction.
When Mark reached the age of 13, he discovered pornography in a magazine at a friend’s house and realized that a sexual experience between a man and a woman (he hadn’t been taught what sex really was) looked much more appealing and his addiction to pornography and self pleasuring began.
Fast forward 12 years and he meets me, his future wife, who had a part in leading him, once again, to Christ. We were married and then he was rebaptized a few years later, all the while hiding his addiction from me. He wanted to lead a life for Christ, but didn’t know how to break the cycle. He didn’t know where to turn for help. The church body doesn’t really talk about this type of problem and there’s so much disgust and shaming involved that makes it very difficult to even broach the subject with anyone. When his problem was finally discovered, he was very remorseful and ashamed. He saw the hurt it caused in me and I began to feel as if I wasn’t good enough to keep his attention.
Over the next 10 years, the cycles became pretty consistent. Mark would make an effort to change, then I would find some reason to doubt (perhaps an image on his phone or a behavior) and the same conversation would ensue; deeply hurt, I would cry and ask him why he couldn’t just stop. He would apologize and promise to do better. On and on this went.
Then something changed. We both became fed up with the cycle and I found an inexpensive internet filter ($55 per year or $44 with coupon discount code QUST20) and put it on every device we had, with me being the only one with the passwords. This helped for a while. He suddenly lost access to pornography. Problem solved! Well, no. He still had problems with his fantasy world of imagination and self pleasuring. I started looking up resources (sadly there did not seem to be much out there if you were on a limited budget) and discovered the Recovered Man and Pornfree Radio. This website became a tremendous help to both of us. We both started listening to the podcasts by Matt Dobschuetz which allowed me to better understand what he was going through and why he couldn’t just stop. It also gave Mark practical tips on how to make changes. It helped him to know that he wasn’t the only one struggling with sinful behavior, I had a problem with being critical. We began to check in with each other every Friday to discuss the struggles each of us had the previous week.
It wasn’t until Mark opened up and became very honest with me that God really started changing him. He started reading his Bible everyday and praying that God would allow him to focus his attention and energy on me, rather than his fantasy world.
By me making the effort to understand what he was going through and him being very honest with his struggles, we began to feel closer to each other than we ever felt possible. The weekly talks have drawn us together. My attempts to understand made him want to be better, want to do more things for me, which led me to want to better meet his needs. Time with me became much more meaningful than his fantasy, which made him not want to enter that world anymore.
Mark is still tempted, but the pull is not as strong as it once was and the moment he feels that temptation, he calls me. He’s experienced sobriety from his sexual addiction for about a year now and although that doesn’t seem like very long, after 36 years of extremely harmful sexual habits, we’re both praising God for the progress God has made in him.
by Pastor Matthew Gamble who served for 18 years as an Adventist Pastor
Satan has a great way of sneaking this stuff into our lives at an early age to get us hooked in hopes to warp our sense of intimacy, love, and sex. For me pornography/lust came in at the age of 7. With the material now so easily accessible on the internet truly Satan is going to succeed in getting more people trapped in his world wide web. Or is he?
In helping people with this addiction, I have found several resources to be invaluable. I will list them below:
1. XXX Church is a Christian based ministry that is seeking to help people with addiction to pornography. They provide free software that can be downloaded onto your computer that will provide accountability for you while you surf the internet. If any questionable sights are viewed, the addresses will be sent to your accountability partners.
2. Prodigals International offers training and materials to help local churches establish effective ministries to sexual addicts and their spouses. The director is a good friend of mine and has recently linked up with researchers from Loma Linda University as well as the General Conference to see how these materials can be applied in Adventist churches nationwide.
3. Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover.
Above all else I encourage people to recognize that we are more than conquerors through Christ. As we accept His gift of victory on a daily basis and learn to trust Him over self, we WILL have the victory.