Ministers Connect in First
Regionwide Virtual Council
Online meeting draws 3,000 pastors; Wilson urges urban mission
BY LIBNA STEVENS
, Inter-America Division
eventh-day Adventist pastors from Inter-America met online with top church leaders recently to discuss ways of motivating church members to pray and study the Bible.
VIRTUAL MEETING: More than 300 pastors from South Mexico participate in Inter-America’s first regionwide virtual ministerial council from Linda Vista Adventist University in Chiapas. They were among nearly 3,000 pastors who met online with division leadership in Miami, Florida, on October 26, 2011. [PHOTO: German Rodriguez/SMU].
This first-ever virtual ministerial council, held October 26, 2011, from Inter-America Division headquarters, was part of the church’s call for regionwide spiritual revival, which has gathered momentum since the beginning of the year.
For two hours, some 3,000 district pastors and chaplains gathered in their respective regional conference or mission offices to hear top church leaders in Miami speak on spiritual revival and reformation, divisionwide initiatives, and new resources. Participants also engaged in a question-and-answer session.
“We are so busy leading churches, visiting members, baptizing souls, that it is good that we come away for a few hours to chat with you, learn what concerns you, and encourage you to continue being effective, super pastors,” said Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America.
Adventist world-church president Ted N. C. Wilson encouraged ministers and leaders via a prerecorded video message to deepen their study of Scripture.
“God’s Word is so crucial to our future as a prophetic people,” Wilson said. “Please don’t ever discount or depreciate the Bible and its message as only symbolic or allegorical. God’s Word and its accounts of history, including miracles, are true and real and demonstrate God’s authority.”
During his 10-minute message, Wilson asked leaders: “Are we willing to climb out of our areas of comfort . . . to let God do what is necessary to prepare each of us for a true revival personally and corporately for a change or reformation through our lives as we become more like Jesus and for the reception of the latter rain?”
MULTILINGUAL CHAT: Staff monitor an online chat room in English, Spanish, and French as pastors submit questions during the virtual meeting, as IAD president Israel Leito looks on [PHOTO: Libna Stevens]
Wilson also reiterated his call for personal and public evangelism to the world’s large urban centers. During the virtual council local pastors heard the church’s appeal for revival and reformation.
Other divisionwide initiatives were announced, including a continuing education program for ministers, member-retention programs, and Vision One Million, a discipleship training program designed to equip 1 million church members to share the gospel in their communities by next year.
Hector Sanchez, ministerial secretary for Inter-America, encouraged pastors to continue pursuing a spiritual revival within themselves in order to effectively minister to their congregations.
“Let’s dedicate two hours a day
to meditating on the Word of God,”
Sanchez said. “In the midst of our many tasks, commit to studying the Bible. We want to invest in you, we love you from the bottom of our hearts, we believe in you, and want to train you further and provide the tools you need to continue with the mission.”
As the program turned to its forum segment, Leito encouraged pastors to minister to their families and focus on spending time with their families.
During the program Leito encouraged ministers to watch out for each other and seek counsel when they are struggling with issues or challenging situations.
“Let’s be pastors to our pastors,” Leito said.