SONscreen Film Festival 2013
 March 11, 2013
"The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky."
 - Rainer Maria Rilke Like us on Facebook  
Digital magazine from NAD ministerial
Ministry: Can They Do It Without You?
How to Interpret the Bible
Embracing Diversity in Church Fundraising
Reading: People who write down their goals are more likely to reach them.
Quotes: "I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position."
Events & news: Church celebrates 150th anniversary
The launch of NAD Ministerial Department's new digital magazine for Adventist clergy is in the final stages of development according to Dave Gemmell, Associate Director of NAD Ministerial. The magazine is currently being tested on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and interactive pdf platforms. As soon as it passes those hurdles it will be submitted as an app and await approval from app stores. Once the apps are approved readers of Best Practices for Adventist Ministry will be alerted so they can download the app and magazine at no charge. Read More...

Loren's picture 4 by Loren Seibold

"We like our pastor," my friend said. "But there's one thing about him that could grow into a conflict. He won't let us church leaders do anything on our own. He insists on being there whenever we meet about anything, and approving our every action, even though he's spread thin among his several district churches. So everything waits on him."

We pastors talk about empowering the laity, but some of us are uncomfortable letting them proceed on their own. Why do we find it so hard to let go?

Some people are by nature high-control, micro-managers. There are leaders constitutionally unable to let others do anything without their being involved, checking every move, always looking over shoulders. "After all, who knows more about ministry than I do? I've been to school for many years to learn this profession!" I've worked for people like that, and it's tiresome. You feel untrusted, and the constant monitoring and correction makes you wary to try anything without getting permission. It quickly kills innovation.

Or perhaps this pastor once got blamed for what he didn't do, held responsible for something that wasn't his decision. "Pastor, even if you delegated this to others, even if they wanted to do it themselves, you're the leader, so ultimately it's your fault it didn't work!" So if he is going to have to take the blame, at least he won't trust anyone to make decisions without him. If something goes wrong, he can fix it or explain it, which is much harder if he's out of the loop.

Here's another possibility. Some of us feel we're not earning our salary if we're not always in the thick. It's has to do with the nature of the job, I think. Those of us who work with people rarely get the satisfaction of seeing a clear completion of a job, for people are a work in slow progress: you can knock yourself out trying to help or educate or change someone, and see little in the short term. So a conscientious pastor might decide that even if he can't be successful, he'll be faithful. If 90% of success is showing up, he'll always show up, even where he's not needed or wanted, because otherwise, how can he justify his job?

These are pitfalls of leadership, and they revolve around trust. Do you have trouble letting go of authority? Or can you give permission for people to work on their own? What do you think?

Please join the discussion on our Facebook page. Like us on Facebook


By Edwin Garcia

When people ask questions of biblical or theological nature many are looking for a "Thus says the Lord" in order to have the matter settled. "While commendable it is not always possible to provide a clear cut text that solves the issue" according to Ekkehardt Mueller, director of the Biblical Research Institute. The issue of female pastors is good example.
The Bible's ambiguity about the role of women clergy has led many lay people, pastors and scholars to draw their own conclusions about God's intentions, depending on the way readers of the Holy Scripture interpret passages.
But how can two different people read the same verse, and come to opposite conclusions about whether women should be pastors? A number of factors come into play, ranging from the version of the Bible being read, to the cultural context of the situation being described, to one's own personal biases. Read More



Lilya Wagner
Lilya Wagner
Today's nonprofit organizations, including churches, are increasingly embracing diversity as a mission and organizational value.  As the mix of members becomes more culturally diverse, fundraising also expands and taps into the economic growth and power of Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans and other diverse population groups. At the same time, diversity presents a challenge to fundraisers.  Diversity can assume a number of dimensions.  No longer can pastors and their teams function under the assumption of "one size fits all."  Diverse groups have identifiable, valuable and significant philanthropic characteristics and traits. Therefore fundraising appeals must be tailored to prospective donors' customs and sensibilities. 
To not acknowledge and work with diversity is to ignore much potential of income for your Church's fundraising campaigns.  Often those charged with fundraising in a Church setting approach a relationship and solicitation from their own perspective, therefore leaving themselves unprepared for cultural differences that can easily be misinterpreted and misconstrued.  Generalizations about fundraising from minority groups should be approached with caution.  However, generalizations can provide us with some basic information from which we can develop further knowledge that is more specific, accurate and individualized.
Philanthropy in diverse populations often begins with the nuclear family. Although this is usually not considered philanthropy, it does present a groundwork for developing philanthropic habits and practices. Also, in many cultures family reaches beyond the immediate members to extended family which include some relatives as well as those viewed as relatives even though not blood kin.
Religion often plays a significant role. Special occasions, such as birthdays and confirmations, are a platform for giving and volunteering. The religious traditions of all religions promote and teach philanthropic values, although with differing emphases. Those who become Adventist Church members will bring some of these traditions with them, such as the influence of the Catholic church on developing the habit of giving. Read More
Is more time off the answer? Quote: "Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could." Like us on Facebook

Are you an introvert in ministry? Quote: "When I decided that I'd rather quit and die than continue to pretend to be an extrovert, I asked God why he had made me this way. Thankfully, he opened me up to a massive amount of flattering research about introverts." Like us on Facebook

The attention given the papal election, according to this Catholic author, makes too much of church leadership. Quote: "But from the perspective of many of these 'a la carte Catholics' (as the French sociologist Daničle Hervieu-Leger calls them), the people are the church. As they see it, the conclave of the cardinals in Rome is a sideshow." Like us on Facebook

We Adventists don't generally have long-tenure pastorates, but David Manner thinks there are ways to make them work.

Are you stuck? Then you're delaying choices. Quote: "The choice that informs all others is who to be not what to do. First choices enable action. Choosing what do before deciding who to be means you've caved to external pressure."

Laura Everett took the desk out of her office to symbolize moving into the future. What objects hold you back? Quote: "The danger of such redundant history is that we continue to cling to our muskets and fifes, our wires and typewriters. The danger of institutional ministry is the overbearing weight of history and tradition.Like us on Facebook

A shift in sin? Gallup says our sins are now more likely to be "virtual vices". Like us on Facebook

People who write down their goals are 33% more likely to reach them! Like us on Facebook

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
 - Abraham Lincoln

One doesn't have a sense of humor. It has you.
- Larry Gelbart

Never eat more than you can lift.
 - Miss Piggy

I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
 - Mark Twain

We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us.
 - George Eliot
There's a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overlarge concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause.
 - P. J. O'Rourke
There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you.
 - Peter De Vries
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
 - Voltaire

A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling.
 - Arthur Brisbane

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
 - Anais Nin

Nothing surely is as potent as a law that may not be disobeyed. It has the force of the water drop that hollows the stone. A small dainty task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.
 - Anthony Trollope
From Katia Reinert: "Would you please add the new website we launched to the best practice e-resources? This is our "public site" which pastors can use to share with visitors, friends or the public. It features live stream of programs and also lists upcoming health events for the public. Any church can send us their health outreach program for the public and they can use this site to manage their registration. The Public can register to attend and print a free admission ticket on the site and we can send the list of those registered to the organizers or pastors for follow up. We hope churches will take advantage of it."

Join 5,000 to 7,000 Adventist youth and young adults, for the
NY13 Compassion Rally, March 22-24, and bless New York City with intentional Acts of Compassion.

Global Youth Day, Sabbath, March 16, and the beginning of the worldwide Youth Week of Prayer. Eight million Adventist youths will be mobilized around the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus through acts of kindness. See Facebook page and video.

The Bible miniseries could be a ministry opportunity for youth and others. (Saddleback Church has a companion series called "History Makers".)

From Roger Hernandez: "We have a Church Planters Certification Conference coming up, May 6-7, Atlanta GA. Very reasonably priced, and great opportunity for pastors."
This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The theme is "United for Mission". More information here.

Note big changes at La Voz de la Esperanza, with new speaker Pastor Omar Grieve.

From Adventist Community Services:
Nonprofit Leadership Certification Program (NLCP) 2013 at Southeastern California Conference Headquarters. NLCP is designed to equip pastors, church administration and  nonprofit leaders with strategies and professional skills to successfully lead. NLCP focuses on three major learning outcomes; a) leadership skills, b) improvement of knowledge, and c) changes in attitude. Registration here. 

Session I: June 17-20

Session II: September 23-26

Previous resource links:

Best Practices for Adventist Ministry is published by NAD Ministerial. Publisher: Ivan Williams;  Managing Editor:  Dave Gemmell. Copyright 2012 North American Division Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists. v(301) 680-6418