Volume 15 Issue 12

Ideas, Inspiration & Opportunities for Adventist Church Leaders in the Northwest & Beyond.

Jesus STILL Breaks Through the Darkness

by César De León PhD LMFT, Ministerial Director for the North Pacific Union Conference

In a few days most of us will be celebrating a somewhat “modified version” of our traditional Christmas holiday in what has been predicted will be a dark winter.  This COVID pandemic has in many ways turned out the lights of our previously normal lives. Everything has changed. Nothing seems to be the same.

While many may be resenting the recommendations to restrain from traditional holiday travel to gather with loved ones, others are experiencing deep grief as they face their first Christmas holiday with an empty chair or empty bank accounts as tangible reminders of what they have lost this past year  Still others may be experiencing some guilt-laced relief as they look forward to a much less stressful option to the obligatory and strained gatherings with folk who share little more than some DNA. Any of these groups may still be considered within the class of “lucky ones” who at least are not lying in an overcrowded and understaffed hospital unit, struggling to not die.

Much like today, human hearts were experiencing the darkness of debilitating grief, relentless despair, and ruthless hopelessness which had all but eclipsed the promise of a Messiah babe whose LIGHT would burst into the dark recesses of our gloomy planet one starry night in Bethlehem. The prophetic voice eloquently describes this long-awaited moment: Continue Reading...

What to Do About Virtual Church - A Two-Part Conversation

In these conversations, pastors, tech experts, and worship leaders from around the North American Division discuss the challenges and opportunities of virtual worship ministry.

You can watch part 1 here.
You can watch part 2 here.

Vaccine's A-Comin’

by Dr. Stan Hudson, Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference

I am SO tired of 2020. Please, Lord, send us that vaccine. Having to wear masks, not touching anyone or practically anything, we all long for the day to get past this. And the vaccine for COVID is finally here. Since I’m an old guy, maybe I’m closer to the front of the line? But it won’t really matter until millions of people get the vaccine. Then, and only then, will things get back to normal.

Some time ago a far worse pandemic hit God’s creation, spreading like crazy and causing unbearable suffering wherever it went. And it started…in heaven! I speak of that deadly disease of sin. “Sin” is a very religious term, but I have often defined it as “that which causes harm.” Self-centeredness devastates on contact. Would that masks would help!

What was needed was a vaccine. And just what IS a vaccine? According to Wikipedia: “a vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease.” How does it work? “A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as a threat and destroy it.” Continue Reading...

Reaching People Where They Are

by Hugo Villalobos, Pastor of the Hermiston Spanish Adventist Church

This year, we held our evangelistic meetings online and it was a huge success. We had people join us from different cities and countries. Through technology, we had the opportunity to share the gospel in places we least imagined. Lives were transformed and as a result two young adults gave their lives to Jesus.

At first, we didn't know what the turnout would be. We had never done a series online, but we trusted God with the results. Every night there was an appeal and an invitation for people to accept Jesus. We trained our church members to share with their friends and we prayed each morning for God to move in a powerful way. 

On baptism day, we went to the nearest river, the Columbia, because one person had requested to be baptized like Jesus in the river. There were several families watching from the shore and listening to the ceremony. When the first baptism was over I asked if there was anyone else in the audience who would like to be baptized in the river. To our surprise, Paola, who had been attending our church for a while now, raised her hand and also got baptized that day. There was a loud cheer and applause as a sign of celebration. I know that heaven was also rejoicing.

Through this experience, we learned that we need to reach people where they are (online) and that we should not be afraid to ask people if they would like to get baptized too.

These Meetings Were for Me!

by Delilah McGhee

Rachael and Cole, two young people who have made the decision to find out more about what God’s plan is for their lives, faithfully attended the “Understand Prophecy” meetings at the Hayden Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church. When they weren’t able to attend, they made it a point to watch it online. They didn’t want to miss a single sermon!

Both Rachael and Cole have very eventful past lives, having started down a path of drug use in their early teens. Rachael made the decision to become clean and sober 12 months ago, and had been diligently praying for Cole to do the same. Cole was a bit more resistant to committing to a change, but Rachael never gave up on him, and she prayed for the Lord to reach him somehow.

As the Lord would have it, Cole ended up in jail the same week the prophecy meetings had begun. While in jail, Cole made the decision to turn his life around. He realized he no longer wanted to live the life that he had been living. Upon his release a few days later, he kept that promise. Rachael encouraged him to attend the meetings that were being presented by Pastor David Morgan, and he did! He committed to attending the prophecy meetings every night, and was moved to tears on more than one occasion, recognizing how lost he had been all these years.

Cole states, “I believe these meetings were for me. Every time I hear Pastor Morgan speaking, it’s almost as if he is talking directly to me. I’ve learned so much these past few weeks. Coming from a place where I’ve had little to no biblical knowledge and understanding, I felt like a sponge, just soaking in everything that was being taught. I appreciated how everything that was taught was straight from the Bible and it was so clear and easy to understand.”

Rachael, who has been consistently studying the Bible for the past few months, also greatly enjoyed the meetings. She states, “I felt the prophecy meetings were amazing. They were so in depth and I learned so much. It clarified so much for me. I had no idea all of this information was in the Bible. I feel like the world needs to hear this!”

We are so grateful that God has chosen our church family to have the privilege to minister to these two beautiful souls, and look forward to seeing what God has in store for them.

Resources to Support Your Calling

Eight Unexpected Consequences of the Post-Quarantine Church with Thom Rhainer

  • The revival of simple church
  • Major staff realignment
  • Attractional outreach will diminish
  • The growth of the micro-church
  • A new unchurched to reach
  • Ministry training will change drastically
  • Pastors will move to second and third chair roles
  • Acceleration of denominational decline

The Tithe Conundrum: What Percent of Adventists Return Tithe

How to Turn Off Work Thoughts During Your Free Time

How I Recovered from Burnout: 12 Keys to Get Back

Five Ways Churches will have Changed a Year from Now

A Model for Public Evangelism:
How family camp turned in to an evangelistic retreat that led to deeper commitments to Christ and openness to the Adventist Church.

Why You Shouldn't Quit Ministry Now, Even Though You Feel Like It

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Northwest Adventist Leaders is published by NPUC Ministerial. Opinions expressed belong to the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NPUC Ministerial.
Copyright © 2020 North Pacific Union Conference, All rights reserved.

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