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Best Practices
March 9, 2011
Ellen WhiteOur heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet.
 - Ellen G. White, Help in Daily Living, p. 13
Communications: What's Your Reputation?
Creative Ministry: The Daniel Challenge
Media: Mar de Oliviera, Bringing a small church alive again
Reading for Pastors: Attempts to discredit the resurrection
Quotes: "God did not abolish the fact of evil: He transformed it."
News & ideas: Lonnie Melashenko on worship
Events: IGNITION youth ministry leader training
Communications & Media
What's Your Reputation? Part 3:

Keeping on top of social media, continued  

By Rajkumar Dixit

Retweet the Compliments:  If somebody Tweets that they had a good experience at your church or organization, share it!  After enjoying a fabulous meal at a well-known restaurant in Washington DC, called Founding Farmers,  I tweeted my experience while still in the restaurant.  In response, that restaurant retweeted my comment for their thousands of followers to read.  Once upon a time, companies would post a complimentary letter for their employees and patrons to read on a bulletin board.  With the advent of social media and internet blogging, you have a worldwide Internet audience to share the compliment with.

Google your Organization or Church :  Type in the name of your church or organization.  You may want to use many variations of your name. For example, New Hope Adventist Church, New Hope SDA Church, New Hope Church, New Hope Adventist, New Hope Adventist Maryland, etc. What information is coming up?  Is the information current?  Is it correct?  Are people writing comments and reviews of you?  If so, what are they saying? 

Invite members to write a review:  Ask members of your church or organization to write short review about their experience of your church.  This is critical for first time visitors who are thinking about attending.  Reading someone's personal experience can be a compelling reason to attend. 

Rajkumar Dixit is a pastor, and the author of Branded Faith: Contextualizing the Gospel in a Post-Secular World.  You can read more at

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Creative Ministry

The Daniel Challenge 

by Jared Thurmon, The Beehive, Scottsdale and Atlanta 

Daniel Challenge

Note: After a "Reading for Pastors" segment a few weeks ago about Rick Warren's "Daniel Plan" health initiative at Saddleback, Jared Thurmon from the self-supporting organization The Beehive wrote me about a far-reaching health evangelism program they're putting together. I was intrigued by it, and asked Jared to tell us about it. LGS

The Daniel Challenge was designed as a way to reach the students on secular college campuses with the gospel of health. It consists of 10 presentations on sunshine, exercise, nutrition, service to others, water and more. Since launch last year, we've moved beyond churches to corporations wishing to lower health care costsl.

We were encouraged a few weeks back when Rick Warren launched something called 'The Daniel Plan' along with Dr. Oz and others. It is based on principles that we believe are not in accordance with the Bible but we felt it was confirmation that we were on the right track with what God had given us.

People in a number of locations have expressed interest in the Daniel Challenge and several campuses getting ready to launch a 10-week event in the next month or so. We also are seeing more churches show an interest in hosting the Daniel Challenge, as far away as Johannesburg, South Africa.

We tried to make it easy for schools and churches to take advantage of The Daniel Challenge, with a kit of files for banners, fliers, postcards, PowerPoint presentations and nightly handouts. When someone contacts us we are able to email them the files, or send them to printing companies who are prepared to work with them. This allows us to focus on content creation-nor do we have to charge anyone who wants to hold The Daniel Challenge. 

We're also planning a "Taste 'n See" Tour scheduled to launch in the summer-a tour of the largest cities in the US with RV's equipped to teach simple healthful ways to live better and be healthier. We just recently were donated an RV and we look to get 9 more to launch our Tour.

What's next? A book that goes along with The Daniel Challenge to help people keep track of their daily progress, and soon a cookbook of the best plant-based recipes we have ever seen. These will be available on

We plan to link this to "The Daniel Challenge part 2: The Mysteries of Babylon." This will be a further step into the science of better health as well as journey into the prophetic elements of Daniel.

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Com and Tech in Ministry

Hundreds of followers of Jesus from the Seventh-day Adventist denomination gathered in Atlanta February 7, 8, for 'the One project'. You didn't get a chance to attend? You can still reap the benefits by listening to the messages:

Why the One project? Japhet De Oliveira

Jesus in our Church Tim Gillespie

Jesus in our History Sam Leonor

Jesus in our Theology Alex Bryan

Jesus in our Mission Eddie Hypolite

Jesus in our Experience Terry Swenson

Jesus. All. Dany Hernandez A visit to Marion Ohio 



A Visit to Marion Ohio:  Marion Seventh-day Adventist Church, founded in 1888 has long passed its glory days. Pastor Mar de Oliveira, trying to bring some life back into the church alienates the key leaders and he is left with as few as eight people attending. Listen to Mar as he tells Aaron Purkeypile the story of how the church is beginning to rediscover itself after the church leadership meltdown.  


If you watched the Grand Ave Documentary in the Stained glass series you may be interested in the story behind the making of the documentary. In this interview film maker Brian Bazemore tells how the making of the film changed his life for all eternity.  





If you missed the Oakland Grand Ave documentary you can find all of the episodes on the Stained Glass website. 

Reading for Pastors  
A Sabbath iPhone app - and other smartphone apps for the religious life.

One of my favorite Christian essayists, Tom Kapanka, on patterns of behavior.
Quote: "This does not mean that single events don't matter, they do, but they deserve far more attention when they become patterns. Determining whether or not something is a pattern requires the passage of shared time and space, which is the context for the best kind of learning. Shared time and space and the assumption we will meet again tomorrow is the essence of relationships that matter. Life is not a one-page book."

Seventh-day Adventists in the news:
A Canadian woman challenged and won the right to not join a labor union.

Has the ecumenical movement worked? Not well, according to Hywel R. Jones. Quote: "Such a melting pot has made us more conscious of our ecclesiastical distinctiveness and determined not to blur it." (So what do we do with "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all"?)

Even hurtful speech is protected, says SCOTUS in the Westboro Baptist case. NYT has the best coverage.

A clarification on something I thought we already knew: B16 says in a new book that the Jews in general weren't responsible for the death of Jesus, but only the temple elite.

As we approach the Easter season, S.M. Baugh talks about the many attempts through the centuries to discredit faith in an actual resurrection. Quote: "Both modern hoax theories and these modern "vision" theories arise from an anti-supernaturalist starting point that Jesus could not have risen from the dead. The theorists claim that they are pursuing the issue through 'scientific' historical inquiry, yet they exclude the only plausible conclusion from the start."

Is Christianity the reason for America's success? Apparently some Chinese think so. Quote: "The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don't have any doubt about this." How should we feel should people decide to accept Christianity so they can be as rich as we are?

Michael S. Horton on Quitting Church. Quote: "We are entering an era of zeal without knowledge, fervor without content, faith without an object, and a bland moralism that is always our default setting as sinners."

To the Point
At the all-important pivot of human history, the worst sin ever committed served to show the greatest glory of Christ and obtain the sin-conquering gift of God's grace. God did not just overcome evil at the cross. He made evil serve the overcoming of evil. He made evil commit suicide in doing its worst evil.
- John Piper, Spectacular Sins

God has a strategy to exalt his Son and magnify his grace. That strategy is to choose the foolish, weak, and lowly people of the world as his own. The world esteems the intellect of professionals, the influence of the powerful, and the nobility of the upper classes. It thinks these things matter. But our boast is in Christ Jesus. He alone is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Our standing before God is wholly unrelated to our intellect, social class, or wealth. It is all of his grace. And so there can be no mistake or confusion, God chooses the lowly, the poor, the unrespectable, and the marginalized to populate his kingdom. He does this to shame and nullify human pride. This is great! Those the world esteems are nothing in the kingdom of God. And those the world despises, God exalts. He lifts them up and gives them places of honor. And unless we adopt their despised and lowly status, we can have no part in God's topsy-turvy kingdom (Matthew 18:1-5).
God gives the gift of faith disproportionately to the marginalized.
- Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church

God did not abolish the fact of evil: He transformed it. He did not stop the Crucifixion: He rose from the dead.
- Dorothy Sayers, Letters to a Diminished Church

In Christ are treasures that will require digging to the end of the world.
- Thomas Goodwin

Our God being love, and mercy his delight, he would gladly show how well he could love creatures; he was most glad of the greatest opportunity to show it. Therefore he resolves upon this course, to reconcile enemies, whatever the cost - for the more they should cost him, the gladder should they be. The making of a thousand new friends could not have expressed so much love as the reconciling of one enemy.
 - Thomas Goodwin


We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the name of Jesus that it is 'of him.' If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects that he might learn to feel our pain. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; ... if inheritance of the heavenly kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgment, in his power given him to judge. In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.
- John Calvin

News, Ideas & Reminders  
  • Interesting paper on worship, by Lonnie Melashenko. Click here to download .pdf. Quote: "Through a proper use of liturgy the worship service becomes a microcosm of God's self-revelation and of human response in history. God calls. Humans respond."
Got a tool, resource, site, article, idea or seminar that you like a lot? Share it with us at  
Upcoming NAD Events

Do you have an event you'd like to invite NAD pastors to? Send details to

Ohio Ministry University. March 19-20, 2011. Dr. Leslie Bumgardner "Helping People Get Serious About God." Ray Tetz, "Marketing Your Ministry." Sabbath afternoon workshops on Vacation Bible School, Helping Your Church to Respond to Local Disasters, Reaching High-school Students, and Friendship Evangelism. Call 740-397-4665 x165 for more information.

Andrews University Music & Worship Conference. Mar 24, 2011 - Mar 26, 2011, Andrews University, 100 US 31 Highway, Berrien Springs, MI 49104. The eighth annual Andrews University Music and Worship Conference. If you're interested in exploring worship and worship music in ways that are theologically profound, practical, and inspiring, you will definitely want to join us. Sponsored by the NAD Church Resource Center and Andrews University's Department of Music, Department of Christian Ministry and Center for Youth Evangelism. Phone: 800-968-8428 x4 or 269-471-8352. For more information, email:

Parents, Educators, Supervisors, & Ministry Leaders Invited to Attend IGNITION. Discover key principles for working and ministering with today's young adults at IGNITION Summit, April 4-6, 2011, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX.  Dr. Tim Elmore, president of Growing Leaders, will be among the featured presenters.  To register and for more information, follow

United Youth Congress 2011 - iServe. Apr 6, 2011 - Apr 9, 2011, Orange County Convention Center, 9860 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819. Youth, young adults, youth leaders and parents/chaperones are invited to attend. We will have inspiring worship, training seminars, service projects in the community, an evening at Universal Studios, Saturday night concert, recreation, and much more! This package includes hotel and meals. For those who do not want hotel and meals, click here. For Sabbath Only, click here. Phone: 800-732-7587. For more information, email: 


From Walt Williams, Andrews University InMinistry Center Director, the list of Spring 2011 InMinistry intensive classes for each union - April 3-14


STANDOUT. Apr 15, 2011 - Apr 17, 2011, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. STANDOUT is a spiritual retreat for high school students, hosted on the campus of Andrews University. Throughout two days of spiritual exercises and group activities, we'll challenge you to tap into the amazing power of God so that you will STANDOUT and set your faith in motion! Phone: 269-471-6372. For more information, email:

 Nonprofit Leadership Certification Program - Basic Curriculum: May 15 - 19, 2011 Northeastern Conference in Jamaica, NY. Here is a link for more information:



Best Practices is a Vervent publication of NAD CHURCH RESOURCE CENTER. Editor: Loren Seibold, Ohio Conference. E-mail: Best Practices. You are free to republish pieces from Best Practices in your own newsletter or blog, with attribution to the Best Practices newsletter and the author of the piece.