Archived NewsPoints and Friday Faxes
Friday FAX, 2006
FRIDAY FAX, Special Edition
November 3, 2006
A News and Information Service for Leaders in North America
2-page PDF Version
FROM THE EDITOR — You can read more about the 2006 Year-end Meeting at the Adventist Review web site, (www.adventistreview.org) and in the January edition of Adventist World, NAD News section.
2006 YEAR-END MEETING, “TELL THE WORLD”
EMPHASIS ON EVANGELISM — “Mostly, we’re going to concentrate on our mission. Jesus talked about it, ‘Go, make disciples,’” said our President Don Schneider in his introductory message. “I hope we’ll be thinking about how to keep on the target, how to keep focused, how we can keep our organization telling people about Jesus.” Schneider, now recovering from surgery to restore his eyesight, prerecorded videos in order to welcome attenders and set the tone for the meetings. View each video and link to updates about Elder Schneider’s health at www.nadadventist.org/article.php?id=128. In his absence, NAD Executive Secretary Roscoe Howard presided over the meetings.
POWERFUL DEVOTIONS — Each day for worship or vespers, presenters gave inspiring messages of how their church or ministry has increased through various forms of evangelism, and improved their finances as well. Bill McClendon, pastor of South Tulsa Fellowship, told about how his congregation, in five years, grew from 15 adults to 500 people attending each Sabbath, and are now planting two more churches, one of them Spanish.
Pastor Fredrick Russell shared how his church has changed their focus to prayer, and increased prayer meeting attendance from 13 to 200-plus in four years. Each member is requested to get involved in two church ministries – one in-house and one outreach, resulting in an increase from 25 to 70 church ministries.
Herb Larson, an Adventist businessman from Canada, gave the Friday evening devotional and talked about sharing God in the workplace. The key to spiritual power, he believes, is “to spend an hour a day with the Bible.” He challenged committee members to step out of their comfort zone and witness to others.
J. Alfred Johnson, Adult Ministries Director for the division, led out in the Sabbath School service. It included NAD ministry leaders from the Church Resource Center with a video showing interviews done by college students with people on the street, Children’s Ministries leaders with a puppet presentation, Youth Ministries leaders with a DVD presentation, all relating to outreach ministries in which they have been involved.
Elder Walter Pearson, Jr., director/speaker for Breath of Life, shared his testimony about how God has blessed him in his recovery from the stroke he had in February.
Elder Ron Clouzet, dean of the School of Theology, Southern Adventist University, and newly-appointed Ministerial Secretary of NAD, presented the message for the church service.
Dr. Rod and Donna Willey related how they share their faith in their very busy dental practice and have led more than 100 people to baptism. Together they pastor the church that they started. They told of 10 “stones” that keep people from witnessing.
SECRETARY’S REPORT — Roscoe Howard, Secretary of NAD, reported that church membership in North America has reached 1,030,361, which means that one out of every 322 North Americans is a Seventh-day Adventist. The challenge to our membership numbers is retention. While more than 37,000 people became members, 27,000 have either died, been dropped from membership, or are missing, making our net increase in membership 9,829 in 2005. More than half of our membership are under the age of 35, and 62% of our members are female. Some of the challenges to our church, according to Howard, are congregationalism, biblical literacy, structural reform, and remembering our diverse membership when making policies.
A more complete report, including new church plants and ethnic statistics is available online at the Adventist Review web site. Elder Howard’s PowerPoint presentation is posted at www.nadadventist.org/article.php?id=128. The Statistical Report distributed at Year-end Meeting will be posted at www.nadadventist.org/sec.
TREASURER’S REPORT — Juan Prestol, NAD Treasurer, reported that tithes and offerings reached record highs during 2005, with a 9.5% increase in tithe. Part of the reason was attributed to the fact that it was collected from 53 rather than the usual 52 Sabbaths. Without the extra Sabbath, the increase would have been about 7.5%. Mission offerings have experienced a significant turnaround since 2004, with a 4.1% increase in 2005, and currently an 8.2% increase as of September 30. The NAD provided 57% of the total world tithe and mission offerings in 2005.
He listed several technology innovations by the division during the past year that are expected to enhance the accounting program, donations, and tuition payments. He showed a DVD called, “Gifts of Heaven — Friends of God,” (available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese) which is intended for showing to local congregations and is available from the General Conference Stewardship Department.
The Secretariat and Treasury reports are available for viewing at www.nadadventist.org/article.php?id=128.
HIGHER EDUCATION — A panel discussion was led by Union College President David Smith and included presidents from 10 of the 14 NAD colleges. The focus of the discussion was about various aspects of Christian education, including student outreach, standards, tuition, and commitment, and the difference Adventist education makes in the future of the church.
COMMUNICATION — Fred Kinsey, Assistant to the President for Communication, announced the realization of the project to provide a free web site to every church, as presented at the 2005 Year-end Meeting. Since then, the free sites have been enhanced, and additional features are available for small fees. Free sites are also available for all conferences, as well as Adventist schools. Online electronic giving capabilities through individual church sites is being tested and is expected to be offered for all NAD churches that are interested, with some possible legal delays for the project in Canada. A method is being developed to allow parents to pay school tuition online.
ADVENTIST VOLUNTEER MINISTRIES — Jose Rojas presented the “HisHands” initiative, which calls on local churches to sponsor a missionary within North America for at least a year, and to receive a missionary such as a HisHands “missionary pastor” (task force worker) so that more church members will have the opportunity to be missionaries in the field. Contact: www.HeSaidGo.net for more information.
Rojas also presented a policy revision to strengthen insurance protection for Adventist volunteers in the division and worldwide, stating that the average of short-term missionaries from NAD has gone from 4,000 in 1995 to more than 40,000 in 2005.
New guidelines were adopted for the Alliance for Youth Tutoring and Mentoring Initiative. The initiative works closely with Adventist Community Services to link tutors and mentors to children who are in need of support through a mentoring relationship, seeking to teach them proficient reading skills, to demonstrate to them Christ’s example, and to create more openness in them and their families to accept the Gospel. Studies show that a child who reads well by the end of the third grade is more likely to make positive choices, avoiding a life of crime, and is more likely to attend college. Comprehensive leadership training will be offered through Adventist Community Services and the Office of Volunteer Ministries. CEUs are offered in partnership with Griggs University for people who go through 14.5 hrs training.
Contact: Sandra.Brown@nad.adventist.org or 800-331-2767, Option 2, to arrange for training in your union or conference.
OTHER ACTIONS — Nominating Committee — Ron Clouzet, dean of the School of Theology at Southern Adventist University, was appointed Ministerial Secretary, succeeding Russell Burrill, who is retiring June 30.
The 2007 and 2008 Calendars of Offerings and Special Days were presented and accepted. They will be posted at the North American Division web site at www.nadadventist.org.
The revised list of Authorized Meetings for the division for 2006-2008 were approved. Conference and union leaders and pastors may access the list at www.nadcal.com upon receipt of a user name and password from NAD Secretariat office.
Criteria for Defining Supporting Ministries was adopted. Definition criteria addresses church membership, theological positions, support and cooperation, legal affiliation, tithes and offerings, and services in other divisions. Organizations that comply with the criteria may apply to the division secretary for listing as a supporting ministry after they have fulfilled certain requirements, and the list will be reconfirmed every 5 years.
Camp wage scale guidelines were adopted.
A 5% increase per subscription to the Adventist Review was approved.
The 2007 Year-end Meeting will be held November 1-6, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Contact: www.adventistreview.org for more details about Year-end Meeting.