GC President Reiterates Call for
Youth and Women in Leadership

eneral Conference president Jan Paulsen, recently brought his latest televised dialogue with pastors to South America, encouraging local congregations to include women and lay members in leadership.

Paulsen spoke through a translator during two separate episodes with seven pastors from Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in "Pastors: In Conversation." The third and fourth unscripted telecasts were broadcast internationally on the church's Hope Channel at the Adventist Media Center--Brazil.

When asking about challenges specific to the region, most participants spoke to issues that have resonated in other regional pastoral dialogues: intercultural ministry and training lay leadership.

"The church will do well when the spiritually gifted lay people in the local church are activated," Paulsen said. "A church does not do well when it relies entirely on the pastor."

Paulsen also spoke to another universal challenge of prioritizing one's own family. "Your wife, your closest partner, should also receive a sense that your care for her is not diminished by your care for the church, and that [your] children feel they have a high value in your setting aside quality time," Paulsen said.

The task can be a difficult one when some pastors are in charge of more than one church, Paulsen acknowledged. One pastor, Pablo Carbajal from Ecuador, said he pastors 72 different congregations.

Paulsen learned from the group that women make up more than 70 percent of local congregations. He asked how they were leading out in ministry.

Carbajal said women made up nearly 70 out of 80 attendees of a recent leadership workshop. Pastor Nelsen Tapia from Chile said many women are involved in a hospitality ministry, while Pastor David Barzola from Argentina said some women preach and offer counseling. Roughly a quarter of a million people join the Adventist Church in South America each year.

Paulsen has hosted previous conversations with pastors in North America and Europe and will host another episode in Africa in August.
                                                                                                                          --Adventist News Network

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