PREACH Seminar Marks Decade of Service
Ogilvie, Massey, Davidson and Turner Address World via Satellite
 
BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor, reporting from Walla Walla, Washington
 
t is not enough to be religious; people need to be saved. This is why we preach," declared Dr. James Earl Massey, retired senior minister of the Metropolitan Church of God in Detroit, to a global audience of some 15,000 pastors during an April 22 satellite broadcast sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church's Ministerial Association.
 
GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
PREACHING WITH PASSION: Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, former Chaplain of the United States Senate, emphasizes the need for passionate preaching of Jesus in his remarks April 22 at the Ministerial Association PREACH Seminar at Walla Walla University in the state of Washington. [Photos: Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review]
The event, which is the tenth annual PREACH Seminar, originated at the University Church on the campus of Adventist-owned Walla Walla University. The Ministry magazine PREACH Professional Growth Seminar was broadcast globally via the Hope Channel, the Internet, and will be available on DVD. The Ministerial Association will make the PREACH seminar available ‘on demand’ at their website, www.ministerialassociation.com.
 
The goal of the satellite series is to bring fresh perspectives on preaching to pastors of Adventist congregations and those of other denominations. Since the 1970s, the church's Ministry magazine has distributed tens of thousands of copies every other month to non-Adventist pastors; the satellite series is a compliment to this outreach.
 
“One of the most gratifying components of this role is being able to showcase preachers who are world-class in content, delivery style and testimony,” said Anthony Kent, associate secretary of the Ministerial Association and coordinator of the PREACH series. The opportunity for inspiring clergy of all denominations to the significance of the pulpit, is one we do not take for granted.
 
Massey, widely acknowledged as a master of preaching, was joined at the event by Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, former chaplain of the United States Senate and longtime pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, California; Dr. Lawrence Turner, professor at Newbold College in Binfield, Bracknell, England; and Dr. JoAnn Davidson, a professor at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
 
Although each speaker presented on their own, common themes were visible in the messages, each of which was followed by a question-and-answer panel made up of pastors and Ministerial Association leaders. Each speaker, drawing on the overall theme of “The Passionate Preacher,” emphasized the need for a personal work within a preacher’s heart as being foundational to effective preaching.

GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
MAKING A POINT: Dr. Pedrito U. Maynard-Reid, spiritual life vice president at Walla Walla University, comments during a panel discussion with (far right) Dr. JoAnn Davidson, professor of Old Testament at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Other panelists, from left, include: Dr. Nikolaus Satelmajer, editor of Ministry magazine; Adventist pastor Holly Blackwelder Carpenter; and Jonas Arrais, associate Ministerial secretary for the Adventist world church.
"If God waited for a perfect preacher, the gospel would never be preached," Davidson said. Drawing lessons from the Old Testament book of Jonah, she noted, "The church needs more than excellence of natural abilities and intellectual brilliance. We need to learn of God’s love for all people, even the most wicked. We need to learn to love the people we preach to."
 
Said Ogilvie, “Passionate preaching comes when we allow Christ to touch the deepest needs in us, so that with fresh grace we can reach out to people. When Christ takes up residence in us, He begins to shape us in His own image.”
 
He added, “In this razzle-dazzle world we are in, preachers are searching for charisma, without having first experienced the charism.”
 
While Davidson drew on Jonah’s experiences, Turner turned to another Old Testament figure, Jeremiah. The prophet’s message wasn’t well accepted, Turner noted – the congregation wanted to tear him limb from limb.
 
“Passionate preaching in easy times can be tolerated, because less is at stake,” Turner said. In difficult times, such as those faced by Jeremiah’s contemporaries, passionate preaching is less welcome, he added.
 
“Ministry is a messy business,” Turner said. It’s “the messy business of living with ourselves, living with God and living with those to whom I minister. The chaotic state of the book of Jeremiah mirrors the chaotic state of Jeremiah’s ministry. It looks a lot like my desk -- messy.”
 
GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
PREACHER’S PREACHER: "It is not enough to be religious; people need to be saved. This is why we preach," declared Dr. James Earl Massey, retired senior minister of the Metropolitan Church of God in Detroit, during the PREACH Seminar on April 22.
Although Turner averred, “there’s a certain irony in asking an Englishman to speak about passionate preaching,” he answered one question with great conviction: “We can’t be a passionate preacher unless we have a passion about the person who is at the center of our preaching. No amount of Greek or Hebrew will do that. Our relationship with God and with Christ should give us the motivation to do all we can to nurture that passion.”
 
Kent said the 2009 PREACH seminar, slated to be held at the campus of Southern Adventist University in Collegedate, Tennessee, will feature another quartet of outstanding preachers. Confirmed speakers include Dr. Fred Craddock, emeritus distinguished professor of preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta; Michael Quicke, C.W. Koller Professor of Preaching and Communication at Northern Seminary, in Lombard, Illinois; Chris Oberg, senior pastor of the Calimesa Seventh-day Adventist Church in California; and Israel Olaore, senior pastor of Babcock University Church, in Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.
 
Additional information about the Ministerial Association and its programs can be found online at www.ministerialassociation.com. The 2007 and 2008 PREACH seminars are also expected to be available for viewing online at that Web site.
  
 
 


 
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