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Best Practices
November 30, 2011

promise of peacePreparing for the breakthrough/calamity: that's what we spend most of our time doing. The breakthrough speech that will change everything, or the giant insight that opens every door. We fret about the apocalyptic ending, the big crash, the slam climax as well. 


Of course, it almost never happens that way. Products and services succeed one person at a time, as the word slowly spreads. Customers defect one person at a time, as hearts are broken and people are disappointed. Doors open, sure, but not all at once. One at a time.


One at a time is a little anticlimactic and difficult to get in a froth over, but one at a time is how we win and how we lose.

 

 - Seth Godin 


IN THIS ISSUE
Ministry: Letting God Lead
Media: Sources for Short Video Stories
Reading: "If you don't see Merry Christmas in the window, don't go in that store."
Quotes: "A decision without tradeoffs isn't a decision. The art of good decision making is looking forward to and celebrating the tradeoffs, not pretending they don't exist."
News & ideas: NAD Calendar of Special Days
Events: NAD Adventist Ministries Convention
Ministry      
promise of peace"Take Your Eyes Off Yourself and Lead"
Harold Altamirano, Mosaic Adventist Church, Oregon

His arrival to this world was bad timing. He was born during a hostile time. His birth was not welcomed. He went straight into the royal family. He learned the ways of Egypt. He was educated among the best.

But the day came when Moses could not put up with the oppression and took matters in his own hands. It all went downhill for Moses. From royalty to runaway. From the palace to the desert.

But at what seemed to be the lowest point of his life, Moses met the King of Kings. Taking off his sandals showed his dirty feet, but more importantly, that meeting with God revealed Moses' deep heart issues. For when God called him, Moses made excuses.

"Who am I?" Ex. 3:11. Overwhelmed by God's calling, Moses turned his eyes upon himself. He correctly realized that he was incapable of fulfilling the task given to him. God told him, "I am with you." When fear paralyzes you, don't look at yourself. Instead, remember that God is with you.  

"Who are you?" Ex. 3:13. God introduced himself as "I am who I am." God is who we are not. He is hope when it seems that our ministry is failing. He is wisdom when we don't know what to do. He is strong when we are weak. God is all we are not - and God's vision for your ministry will be fulfilled because who He is.

"What if?" Ex. 4:1. Why take the risk? Why go after God's vision if there is no guarantee of success? God replied by asking Moses, "What is that in your hand?" In other words, let me show you that a piece of dead wood is enough for me! God is not dependent upon our abilities. His glory will be revealed in our weaknesses. Go dependent. Go by faith.

"I am not good enough!" Ex. 4:10.  God's vision sounded impossible. God replied, "Now go! I will be with you as you speak." When you stand in front of your church, cast your God-given vision for your church on His authority.

"I'm scared - send someone else" Ex. 4:13. God said, "Better yet, you will go with someone else." God sent Aaron with Moses, a man who had the right gifts to help and encourage him. Ask for the same in your ministry.

"It's only bringing trouble!" Ex. 5:22. God was leading - and the enemy never likes that. God's vision brought trouble to the people. He was leading them out of a painful situation, but also out of their comfort zone and into a life of faith. He told Moses "Now you will see what I can do!" Ex. 6:1. So don't panic if your God-given vision arouses the enemy. Expect it.

"I can't do it" Ex. 6:12. Things got worse before they got better. After meeting with Pharaoh and, it seemed, failing, Moses again went back to looking at himself. This time, God's answer was a command to action: "Lead the people of Israel out of Egypt."

What are your excuses for not leading? God has called you. He will equip you. He will protect you. He will guide you. He will give you success. Just be faithful. Lead the people by being led by God.

Discuss this article with Harold on our Facebook page. Like us on Facebook

Missional Videos

 

3 Great Sources For Short Video Stories on Faith

Are you looking for that perfect testimony of faith to illustrate your sermon, to show illustrations of the Adventist Church around the world, or to play during missions time during Sabbath School? Between these three sites there are hundreds of Adventist stories available for download to play on the big screen. And the best part is that there are no download fees!

 

promise of peace Adventist Mission-Produces a variety of story lengths to fit in with your schedule. The stories from around the world center not on the stories of highly-educated super-Christians performing exceptional feats. They are the stories of everyday people who answer the call to touch the lives of others in the name of Jesus. promise of peace  

             

Spotlight on Mission-features stories that come from the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This is a YouTube link so you may have to use a YouTube downloader such as www.bestvideodownloader.com to save to your hard drive so you can project them to the congregation.  

             

promise of peace  

 

Church Applied Stories of Faith comes from the Pacific Union Conference and tells stories of individual members and churches who are involved in Ministry. Let your congregation see what God is doing in Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. 

 

 
Reading for Pastors 
The Mormons have hired top ad agencies to build up the image of their church. Is this something we should be doing for our church? (Here's a Seventh-day Adventist reflection on "the Mormon Moment".)

Christians on Christmas.
Are these good messages for the church to give - or not? Does the fall of Crystal Cathedral herald a bursting mega-church bubble? Some researchers think so. Quote: "Megachurches have become so big that their economics are unsustainable."

The mark of a dying church? Here's what Tony Morgan says. Quote: "When churches become inward focused and start making decisions about ministry to keep people rather than reach people, they have also started to die."

A particularly good summary of Paul's view on the issues of women in ministry, from Craig Keener. Quote: "Increasingly, secular thinkers attack Christianity as against women and thus irrelevant to the modern world."

How proactive should you be in defense of your beliefs? In Iowa, a Christian baker refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

The new atheism: the vast majority of atheists are white - though there's a new movement among African Americans. Are we prepared to counter the fastest-growing (non)affiliation in the western world?

To the Point

The first and principal duty of a pastor is to feed the flock by diligent preaching of the Word...This feeding is of the essence of the office of a pastor, as unto the exercise of it, so that he who doth not, or can not, or will not, feed the flock is no pastor whatever outward call or work he may have in the church.
 - John Owen
 

 

A decision without tradeoffs isn't a decision. The art of good decision making is looking forward to and celebrating the tradeoffs, not pretending they don't exist.

 - Seth Godin

  

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.

 - David Friedman 


The trouble with America is that there are far too many wide-open spaces surrounded by teeth.
 - Charles Luckman

 I think that I shall never see / a billboard lovely as a tree. / Perhaps, unless the billboards fall, / I'll never see a tree at all.

 - Ogden Nash 

I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them. 
  - E. V. Lucas 
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.
 - Bill Vaughan     
 
Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening. 
  - Barbara Tober 
Most people would rather be certain they're miserable than risk being happy.
 - Robert Anthony
When a thing has been said and well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.
 - Anatole France
News, Ideas & Reminders
Got a tool, resource, site, article, idea or seminar that you like a lot? Share it with us at BestPractices@ameritech.net.  
Upcoming NAD Events
Do you have an event you'd like to invite NAD pastors to? Send details to BestPractices@Ameritech.net.

  

Bible Sabbath. Dec 3, 2011, Division Wide. `

Pastoral Evangelism and Leadership Conference.
Dec 4, 2011 - Dec 6, 2011, Oakwood University Seventh-day Adventist Church, 5500 Adventist Boulevard, Huntsville, AL 35896. "Pentecost II: Walking in the Rain". Come for a confluence of powerful worship, incredible teaching, transformational experiences and ultimately, seeking a "soaking" in the "rain" of Holy Spirit. For more information, email: lindsay@adventsource.org

Lake Region Conference Evangelism Summit.
Jan 7, 2012 - Jan 8, 2012, Detroit Metro Area. Revival and Reformation Bible Institute "The Harvest is Ready." Friday evening 6:30pm: Detroit Conant Gardens SDA Church, 18801 Joseph Campau Street, Detroit, MI 48234. Saturday afternoon 3:00pm: Detroit City Temple SDA Church, 8816 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI 48204. The Summit will energize, educate, equip and empower members in the ministry of Bible Work and Lifestyle Evangelism. Contact Pastor Leon Bryant at 313-715-2957. For more information, email: lbryant@lakeregionsda.org

NAD Day of Prayer. Jan 7, 2012, Division Wide via Hope Channel & Church Channel. Tune My Heart. Plan now for a special, life-changing day of prayer for your church. Options: * Begin on Friday evening, January 6, 2012. * Add the valuable discipline of some form of fasting. For the last 16 years Seventh-day Adventist churches across North America have joined hearts on the first Sabbath of each new year praying for our countries, our communities, our churches, and our own needy hearts. Join with your family across the Division at this crucial time in our history. For more information, email: ruthiej@earthlink.net

Worldwide Day for Prayer and Fasting.
Jan 7, 2012, Worldwide. First Sabbath of each quarter has been designated as days of prayer and fasting for the world church. Families and individuals are encouraged to establish the first day of each month and one day a week as normal or partial fast days. Support information and helps are being developed by the Prayer and Fasting Subcommittee.

NAD Pre-Convention Prayer Summit.
Jan 12, 2012 - Jan 15, 2012, Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, 26750 U. S. Highway 19 North, Innisbrook, FL 34684. "Revolution on Our Knees". Featured Speakers: Dan Jackson, President, North American Division; Josť Rojas; Director, Volunteer Ministries, North American Division; Jonathon Henderson, Pastor, Northern California Conference; Jim Moon, Pastor, Rocky Mountain Conference; Pavel Goia, Pastor, Kentucky-Tennessee Conference. For more information, email: ruthiej@earthlink.net

NAD Adventist Ministries Convention.
Jan 15, 2012 - Jan 18, 2012, Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, 36750 US Highway 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684. The NAD Adventist Ministries Convention (AMC) features keynote speakers, guest musicans, ministry advisories and a menu of training seminars for Seventh-day Adventist Ministry facilitators and leaders throughout North America. It is an opportunity for ministry professionals to re-think, re-evaluate, re-tool, and re-discover. Phone: 301-680-6429. For more information, email: chariolett.johnson@nad.adventist.org

Religious Liberty Week.
Jan 15, 2012 - Jan 21, 2012, North American Division. Religious Liberty offering will be taken January 21, 2011. Resource materials are being mailed to each pastor and religious liberty leader. For more information, email: latha.bithini@nad.adventist.org

NAD Health Summit Orlando 2012.
Jan 27, 2012 - Feb 5, 2012, Orlando Mariott Lake Mary, 1501 International Parkway, Lake Mary, FL 32746. "Equipping Health Leaders to Reach Out." For a list of seminars, click here. Phone: 407-252-6554 (after 5:30pm EST) For more information, email:yasminthen1@yahoo.com

 2012 West Coast Worship Conference, February 2-4, Simi Valley, Adventist Media Center. Will feaure Elizabeth Talbot, Ryan Bolger, Ray Beeson, others.
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.