7 Areas Every Adventist Educator Should Evaluate

Seventh-day Adventists operate one of the largest Protestant school systems in the world. Why is so much time, money and creativity invested in this?

Here’s a quick quiz.

What is the most important purpose of Adventist schools?

a. To employ Adventist teachers.

b. To save our children.

c. To save the world.

How you answer will dictate what kind of school you operate, what teachers you seek to employ, what curriculum you emphasize, what type of extra-curricular activities you highlight, what kind of field trips you take and a host of other decisions.

Recently I spent an enjoyable couple of hours with Adventist School Board Chairs in Texas on zoom talking about focusing on the most important things. We went in depth on these seven action steps.

  1. Evaluate Yourself!
  2. Know Your Mission!
  3. Love Your Network!
  4. Build Your Team!
  5. Enjoy Your Meetings!
  6. Check Your Resources!
  7. Celebrate Your Successes!

If you are involved with Adventist Education I hope you find this seminar (below) challenging and rewarding. Here’s the PowerPoint outline and the manual and rules of order referred to in the discussion.

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Adventist World Radio to Support Texas Churches in Multiple 2020-2021 Evangelistic Endeavors

What a time to be alive! As uncertainty and upheaval continue to ravage our planet, God has opened so many new opportunities to reach the world with His end-time messages.

Adventist World Radio has plans to reach the 100 largest metro areas in the world over the next five years, and what better places to start than Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston?

For some time now, Adventist World Radio—in coordination with the Southwestern Union—has been prayerfully and strategically planning to pilot a brand-new program in Texas starting this year and continuing through 2021—specifically targeting the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston metro areas.

The plan is fourfold:

• To encourage churches and church members to share the online Unlocking Bible Prophecies 2.0 series, which will take place October 3-17 on awr.org/bible as well as on AWR’s Unlocking Bible Prophecies YouTube page. Not only will this series include additional content, but it will also be translated into 26 languages. Given that Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, this will be perfect for reaching people in their mother tongues.

When the first version of this series ran in June 2020, it quickly received more than 2 million views, and many of its videos are now in the top five listed on Google and YouTube when people search for terms like “Second Coming” and “Bible Prophecy.”

As these undiluted prophetic messages are preached around the world, people are invited to connect with AWR, at which point they receive information about the Adventist church closest to them. In June, this resulted in tens of thousands of comments like:

“I wish to be baptized into the Adventist Church. Is there anything that can be done to expedite this?”

• Beginning next year, AWR will broadcast English and Spanish programming on different radio stations in order to reach the masses in Texas. These radio programs will share the distinctive Three Angels’ Messages across Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. The goal is to prepare them for Jesus’ soon coming through baptism and discipleship and connect them with their local Seventh-day Adventist Church.

• AWR will also support the Texas-based, lay-led evangelistic efforts that will take place this winter as well as in April 2021 as people try to reach their communities for Christ.

• Then from Sept. 24 – Oct. 9, 2021, AWR will work with the Texas Conference and the Southwest Region Conference to hold 400-500 evangelistic campaigns conducted by pastors, laypeople and guest speakers. This will be one of the largest evangelistic thrusts ever embarked upon in Texas!

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Group Leaders Who Thrive and Multiply

There’s no doubt that the Bible gives us counsel on the need for groups. So why is it so hard to get them going or keep them going in a local congregation?

Recently I presented an interactive training on zoom and Facebook titled “Group Leaders Who Thrive and Multiply.” The training answers these questions…

  • What the Bible says about groups
  • Foundational Principles of groups
  • How and why to start groups for every reason under the sun!
  • Why leaders are the key to the success of groups
  • How to use the 4 connections to start groups quickly
  • How to “appoint” leaders of existing groups to give them balance and greater soul winning potential

This training is a brief introduction to the manual Group Leaders Who Thrive and Multiply.

If you’d like to hear the same material from a slightly different angle you can listen here or here.

Posted in Bible Study, Church Planting, Ministry Models, Outreach, Pastoring, Small Groups, Tried & True Methods First, Why Not Try This...? | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Evangelism Summit Opens Opportunities

On Monday, July 27, 2020 pastors from throughout the Texas and Southwest Region Conferences of the Seventh-day Adventist Church participated in an online Evangelism Summit hosted by the Texas and Southwest Regional Conferences, the Southwestern Union and Adventist World Radio. The fast-moving 60 minutes outlined opportunities for the next 18 months with special focus on this fall, including small groups, online reaping opportunities and potential baptism dates. Check with your pastor for more information.

Here are some of the highlights from the meeting.

  1. Digital Missionaries. All of our members, especially young people, can be digital missionaries using social media for God. Encourage sign ups at https://connect.adventist.org/adventistdigital.  
  2. Four Things to Remember. Baptism Dates. Group Leaders. Reaping Opportunities. Harvest Cycles.
    1. Baptism Dates. If a church hasn’t had a baptism in the past three months they are encouraged to see if they can have one August 29, then every month or two after that. Plan for baptisms even if you don’t know where they are coming from. Jesus said the harvest is great so we must approach ministry with that God-given expectation and go in search of those who are searching.
    2. Group Leaders. These are the new heroes in our churches. Each church needs to identify them and empower them. They will help minister to the church family and win new souls. We expect LOTS of interests from reaping meetings this fall (see below) and need to have as many group leaders as possible ready to follow up immediately and invite interests into existing online groups. Through a special cooperative arrangement we hope to provide a zoom account to every group leader that can be used for ministry through September of 2021. Pastors are the ones to sign up their group leaders.
    3. Reaping Opportunities. We encourage all our groups to be involved with at least one reaping opportunity this fall.
      1. Cami Oetman, Unlocking Bible PropheciesOctober 4-17, 2020 (in 10 languages!).
      2. Max Harvest Options
      3. Spanish
        1. August 22 to 29 Virtual Reaping Crusade. Professor Ismael Castillo. Every day 7:30pm
        2. September 18-20 Virtual Reaping Weekend. Every day 7:30pm
        3. October 16-24 Virtual Caravan for Youth’s Small Groups. NAD Roger Hernandez
        4. October 16-18 Virtual Reaping Weekend. Every day 7:30pm
        5. November 22-29 Virtual Reaping Crusade. Every day 7:30pm
    4. Harvest Cycles. Looking longer range here are some general plans.
      1. Fall 2020. Groups and reaping event as indicated above.
      2. Spring 2021. Groups and Lay preaching online or in person using new ASI materials. Reaping – April 10-24, 2021.
      3. Fall 2021. Groups and in person preaching everywhere with special assistance for 100 meetings in DFW area and 100 more in Houston area. Reaping – September 24 – October 9, 2021.

These are challenging and exciting times. And the world needs to know more than ever that Jesus loves them and He’s coming soon. The Adventist message – the Three Angels’ Message of Revelation 14:6-12 – will go to every nation, tribe, language and people group before Jesus comes. And everyone who has heard and embraced it is invited to pass it on! Soon Jesus will return!

Posted in Harvest Cycles, Outreach, Pastoring, Preaching, Second Coming, Small Groups, Soul Winning, Why Not Try This...?, Youth Ministry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to Start a Movement of Soul Winning & Church Planting

What will it take to see a movement of soul winning and church planting across a conference? Here are some simple clues from a presentation at the 2019 eHuddle in San Diego, California.

https://www.adventistlearningcommunity.com/resources/14464

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My Three Great Grandpas and Ellen White

Reject, Revere, Or Respect?

By Dan Serns

How do you relate to the gift of prophecy? Jesus promised that His final church would have this gift[1] but that the devil would also provide false prophets.[2] The Bible tell us not to despise prophecy but on the other hand it tells us to test it with the Bible tests[3] and to hold on to what is good.[4] Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen White (1827-1915) was given the gift of prophecy.[5] There is danger in rejecting the gift and there is also danger in idolizing the one who received the gift rather than worshipping the One who gave the gift.

How do you relate to Ellen White’s life, ministry and writings? Three of my great grandfathers knew her personally and each one related to her in a different way.

Rejected her – Dr. Frank B. Moran[6]

Frank B. Moran was born in Iowa in 1866. While studying medicine at the University of Michigan he received treatments at Battle Creek Sanitarium and accepted the Adventist message. At the Sanitarium, he also met Adelaide Adams. Earlier in her life, a traveling Seventh-day Adventist evangelist had come to their Iowa town in 1882, hired her at age 15 to be his pianist and by the end of the meetings, she had accepted the Adventist message. A decade later her interest in the Adventist Health Message took her to Battle Creek, Michigan where she and Frank B. Moran met and were married in 1894.[7]

The young couple were soon in demand among Adventist church leaders looking for talented medical leaders. Elder W. C. White, Ellen White’s son, wrote Dr. Moran in March of 1897, “There is an excellent opening [for Adventist medical work] in several of the [Australian] Colonies… Queensland… Sydney… The main question is, Has the Lord called you to go to some of these needy mission fields, and are you ready to respond to his call?”[8]

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Looking for Mission-Minded Volunteers for Dark Areas

I found this chart very interesting. Adventists as a percentage of the population for every county in the US. Gray means we have no presence and dark green means we have almost no presence. We still have a big mission in Texas! This Google Map is another way of seeing the need throughout the United States.

If you live in an area of the Texas Conference where there is limited or no Adventist presence we would love to help you and another family or two start a mission group. Contact Robin Lopez in our Church Planting Ministry here.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Matthew 24:14

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Connect…

June 16, 2020 was a wonderful day for our Adventist mission in Texas!

Through a Presidential Evangelism Think Tank we were able to identify top priorities for this fall (and beyond) and a theme for the public.

Top Priorities/Takeaways…

* Theme for public: Connect…
* Small Groups in Every Church
* Baptismal Class in Every School
* The new heroes in Texas Conference will be soul winning small group leaders and soul winning baptismal class leaders!

These items are nothing unusual. But what is unusual is the unified consensus that this is where we need to put our best energies across our field. There is still room for lots of input on implementation. (Send it to evangelism@txsda.org).

Next Steps…
*   Executive Committee – Thu June 25
*   Survey all Pastors and Teachers
*   All Teachers – Teachers Convention – Aug 2-6
*   All Pastors – Zoom Meeting – Tue Aug 11
*   Church Boards by Pastors; School Boards by Teachers/Admin in Aug
*   All Church Members – Sab Aug 29; Fill Baptistry Sabbath

We can never strategize our way into heaven so let’s be in prayer as this is unpacked and developed across our conference and beyond.

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Why Not Try This? … Give GLOW tracts to others

Every day God gives each of us Divine Appointments, people who are open to know more about Him and His ways. But most of us miss most of these opportunities. How can we be more proactive in finding who God is already working with?

I believe one of the simplest and best ways to form the habit of giving out GLOW tracts to others. Watch this recent interview on Revival for Mission on Hope TV to see how to do it, why to do it and what can happen when we do it!

https://www.hopetv.org/nc/shows/embed/ml/-/sharing-our-faith-with-others/

Posted in Changed Lives, Health & Temperance, Outreach, Soul Winning, Tried & True Methods First, Why Not Try This...? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Avoid Having a Babylonian Mind in an Adventist Body

The prophecies in the Book of Daniel show us that we are living in the time of the end. The stories in the Book of Daniel show us how to live in the time of the end.

Young people played a key role in the Book of Daniel and young people today will play a key role in God’s Final Movement on earth. The same strategy that Satan inspired Nebuchadnezzar to use back then has been adapted for today. Don’t be fooled by his devices. Stand tall for Jesus! Make decisions you will be proud of for eternity! Jesus will give you power and good friends to help you!

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