Adventist Pastors Join Colleagues at
Global Preaching Congress in UK
ho helps pastor the pastors? For 130 Seventh-day Adventists in attendance, the answer came at two April events: the annual Ministry
magazine Professional Growth Seminar (PGS), which this year was held in conjunction with the International Congress on Preaching (ICOP), an event held every five years and which is sponsored by Preaching
magazine, a publication of Salem Communications, a major American Christian media concern.
Thousands of other Adventist pastors, and their colleagues from other denominations, were able to view the PGS event via satellite, cable television and Internet broadcasts.
The theme of both the Ministry PGS and ICOP events was, “FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS: Preaching Truth in an Age of Idolatry.”
|AUSTRALIAN SPEAKER: Gordon Moyes, recently retired as senior pastor of the Wesley Mission, aaddresses the PGS audience. [Photo: Preaching Magazine International Conference on Preaching].
The two events combined seminars and workshops on preaching with presentations by some of the top pulpit expositors in the world today. The PGS featured Rear Admiral Barry C. Black, U.S. Navy (retired), currently chaplain of the United States Senate; Dr. Gordon Moyes, a retired Australian pastor who until recently led the Wesley Mission, a inner city Sydney humanitarian ministry with 4,200 paid staff; Adventist pastor Randy Roberts, senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church; and Dr. Robert Smith, Jr., professor of Christian preaching at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.
Other featured ICOP speakers included Anglican bishop N.T. Wright, one of the most popular Christian authors of recent years; Dr. David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego and speaker for the national broadcast “Turning Point;” Calvin Miller, professor of preaching at Beeson and a best-selling author; and Alister McGrath, Oxford University professor and prolific author in the area of theology and science, as well as J. Alfred Smith, retired senior pastor of Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California, and John A. Huffman, Jr., pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California, and board chairman of Christianity Today International, Inc., in Carol Stream, Illinois.
There were approximately 420 attendees at the ICOP in Cambridge with Adventist pastors, theology students from Newbold College and lay preachers as part of the larger congregation. The Ministry
magazine Professional Growth Seminar was broadcast globally via the Hope Channel, the Internet, and will be available on DVD. The Ministerial Association will continue to make the PGS broadcast available ‘on demand’ at their website, www.ministerialassociation.com
“I am delighted with the response of those who attended the program in Cambridge and those who participated in the [seminar] as part of the international audience,” said Adventist pastor Anthony Kent, associate director of the world church’s ministerial department and coordinator of the PGS event. “Those who spoke in the program were exceptionally approving of the Ministry PGS broadcast concept,” he added.
According to Moyes, the Adventist media team was “the most professional Christian organization I have ever worked with, and is streets ahead of all of the other big names. No fuss – just cool professionalism.”
|MAKING A POINT: Robert Smith, Jr., professor of Christian preaching at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, shares with the PGS audience of preachers in Cambridge, England, and via satellite and the Internet, around the world. [Photo: Preaching Magazine International Congress on Preaching]
Kent also said “it is extremely rewarding to be able to offer, to [our] pastoral colleagues and clergy of all denominations, such a valuable resource for their ministry.”
The ICOP, which has co-hosted the PGS event once before, was designed to “be a time of inspiration, ideas and encouragement for those who have been called to preach God's Word,” said Dr. Michael Duduit, ICOP director and Preaching magazine editor. “In a postmodern age when men and women give their allegiance and worship to all manner of false gods – from ancient paganism to contemporary consumerism – there has never been a time when biblical preaching was more vital.”
In a telephone interview after the event, Duduit praised the Ministerial Association’s PGS event as a way to extend the message of ICOP this year. Having a satellite broadcast originate from Cambridge, he said, took what would be a “normal evening for 500 pastors now has [the] opportunity to reach 15,000. This multiplies the reach of our event and gradually increases its impact.”
He added that his organization has “had a long term and very positive relationship with out colleagues at the Ministerial Association. I have enjoyed those relationships greatly through the years, people like [Ministry editor] Nick Satelmajer, [world church ministerial secretary] Jim Cress and now Anthony Kent. I’ve just found them to be such gracious and dedicated Christian servants.”
One attendee, Adventist Review associate editor Roy Adams, himself a past PGS presenter, said the ICOP sessions were “very inspiring,” particularly “the caliber of the presentations” by speakers such as Wright and McGrath.
“You felt humbled that it could be done with such care and competence,” he said. “I found it profoundly good to attend,” Adams said.
While the ICOP takes place every five years, the Ministry PGS is an annual event. The 2008 conference is scheduled for April 22 and will be broadcast from what Walla Walla University in the state of Washington.
— AR Staff, with reporting from the Ministerial Association