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John Grys, ministerial secretary of Illinois Conference, has accepted the invitation to become associate director in the North American Division Ministerial Department. Dr. Grys will oversee the professional development of the pastors in the NAD. This new position will help complete the picture of a “development architecture for pastors,” a longstanding dream of Elder Dan Jackson, president of the NAD. John begins his new responsibilities at NAD Ministerial on April 3, 2016.
Grys puts it like this “At the core of this responsibility I will be expected to champion, develop, strengthen, streamline and promote the lifelong professional development of pastors throughout the North American Division. This will be partly accomplished by working with our academic institutions where pastors are trained, as well with conference ministerial directors. Another large piece of this responsibility will be to work with the Adventist Learning Community (ALC) to create online resources that will develop pastors within the framework of the Core 7 Qualities.”
“John Grys is perfectly suited for this position,” says Ivan Williams, director of NAD Ministerial. “He has a keen interest in professional development. He has served as a pastor for many years in some pretty challenging and diverse settings. His Doctor of Ministry degree project included training local congregational leaders in transformational leadership. In addition to his duties as ministerial director of Illinois conference he has taught pastoral development courses for various degrees for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. John was particularly helpful to NAD Ministerial at the CALLED convention where he coordinated all of the seminars.”
John is married to Cristina Matos-Grys, who serves as a full-time chaplain for Amita Adventist Medical Center, Bolingbrook. They are parents of two sons, Jason and Kristofer, who attend Walla Walla University.
Dr. Grys will work closely with the Adventist Learning Community, which helps conference ministerial secretaries, and pastors keep track of their continuing education credits. In addition John will help identify needs and resources and build content for the vast and growing online continuing education courses for pastors on the Adventist Learning Community.
Adam Fenner, director of ALC says “This full-time position will complete the Adventist Learning Community’s professional support for employees of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which include Education (Pegi Flynt), Ministry Departments and Lay People (Sharon Aka). By strategically building professional development pathways through collaboration with all pastoral stakeholders in the NAD, the Core Qualities can be strengthened from the undergraduate experience through retirement and beyond.”
ALC is a new web-based initiative of the NAD with the goal of utilizing online distance education technology for all kinds of ministerial and educational training and resourcing. Because of technology, time and space no longer mean what they used to. The world is smaller; ideas can travel around the world at the push of a button.
“In a world where most people have access to the Internet, our Church is moving toward unleashing the ministerial potential of as many people as possible,” says Dr. Fenner.
With this goal in mind, the ALC aims to provide people the information, training, and resources they need to further their ministry wherever they are.
John’s hope and prayer is that everyone who is involved in the work of the gospel to prepare a people for His coming, are people who are experiencing the growth of God in their lives, in ways that give glory and honor to Him. “Whatever I can do to make that happen from a professional level by leveraging our whole educational process to prepare our pastors in the division, I want to be a part of that, and I look forward to it.”