The Advocate Newsletter
Spring 2013
Encouraging Verses
For this issue, I wanted to share a powerful list of 33 verses that remind us of who we are in Christ. This is not only helpful for every believer, but for every Pastor. Pastors struggle with the same issues that everyone else does, only often without a close friend to share their struggles with and a false sense that they can't show any chinks in their armor to their parishioners. Heaven forbid anyone may find out that they are human!

Pastors struggle with acceptance, depression, and identity issues on a regular basis. As an advocate one of the things you can do is pray through this list for your Pastor. Consider ways that they may be struggling and look for opportunities to encourage them with a kind word or by sharing a verse of scripture that may speak into their situation. We all have an adversary who seeks to "steal, kill and destroy." And one of his oldest tricks is to lie to God's children about who they are. We see this in the garden and we still see it today. We all need to be equipped to counter his attacks with truths from scripture just as Jesus did in the dessert. When we have a passage that we can stand on, it helps us to overcome those difficult days.

I hope that Anderson's list is an encouragement to you and a useful tool in encouraging your Pastor in his important work! (A devotional by the same name is available and may make a great gift for your Pastor.)


By Neil Anderson

1.    John 1:12                      I Am God's Child
2.    John 15:15                    I Am Christ's Friend
3.    Romans 5:1                  I Have Been Justified
4.    1 Corinthians 6:17       I Am United With The Lord And One With Him In Spirit
5.    1 Corinthians 6:20       I Have Been Bought With A Price, I Belong To God
6.    1 Corinthians 12:27     I Am A Member Of Christ's Body
7.     Ephesians 1:1              I Am A Saint
8.     Ephesians 1:5              I Have Been Adopted As God's Child
9.     Ephesians 2:18            I Have Direct Access To God Through The Holy Spirit
10.   Colossians 1:14          I Have Been Redeemed And Forgiven Of All My Sins
11.   Colossians 2:10          Am Complete

12.    Romans 8:1,2              I Am Free Forever From Condemnation
13.    Romans 8:28               I Am Assured That All Things Work Together For Good
14.    Romans 8:33,34         I Am Free From Any Condemning Charges Against Me
15.    Romans 8:35               I Cannot Be Separated From The Love Of God
16.    2 Corinthians 1:21      I Have Been Established, Anointed And Sealed By God
17.    Colossians 3:3            I Am Hidden With Christ In God
18.    Philippians 1:6             I Am Confident That The Good Work God Has Begun In Me 
                                      Will Be Perfected
19.    Philippians 3:20       I Am A Citizen Of Heaven
20.    2 Timothy 1:7          I Have Not Been Given A Spirit Of Fear But Of Power, Love 
                                      And A Sound Mind
21.    Hebrews 4:16          I Can Find Grace And Mercy In Time Of Ned
22.    1 John 5:18             I Am Born Of God And The Evil One Cannot Touch Me

23.    Mathew 5:13,14       I Am The Salt And Light Of The Earth
24.    John 15:1,5             I Am A Branch Of The True Vine, A Channel Of His Life
25.    John 15:6                I Have Been Chosen And Appointed To Bear Fruit
26.    Acts 1:8                  I Am A Personal Witness Of Christ's
27.    1 Corinthians 3:16    I Am God's Temple
28.    2 Cor. 5:17-20          I Am A Minister Of Reconciliation
29.    2 Corinthians 6:1      I Am God's Coworker
30.    Ephesians 2:6          I Am Seated With Christ In The Heavenly Realm
31.    Ephesians 2:10        I Am God's Workmanship
32.    Ephesians 3:12        I May Approach God With Freedom And Confidence
33.    Philippians 4:13        I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me

Ten Little Christians
10 little Christians came to church all the time; one fell out with the preacher, then there were nine.

9 little Christians stayed up late; one overslept on Sunday, then there were eight.
8 little Christians on their way to heaven; one took the low road, then there were seven.
7 little Christians, chirping like chicks;one didn't the singing, then there were six.
6 little Christians seemed very much alive; one took a vacation, there were five.
5 little Christians pulling for heaven's shore; one stopped to rest awhile, then there were four.
4 little Christians each as busy as a bee; one got his feelings hurt, then there were three.
3 little Christians couldn't decide what to do; one couldn't have his way, then there were two.
2 little Christians each won one more; now don't you see, two and two make four.
4 little Christians worked early and late, each brought one, now there were eight.
8 little Christians, if they double as before. . . In just seven Sundays we'd have one thousand twenty-four.
In this little jingle there is a lesson true-you belong either to the building or to the wrecking crew!
- Author and source unknown.
Pastor's Perspective
David Alves

"I sometimes feel lonely and tired."


Most of the pastors I know give generously of their love, time, and resources. I'm not much different. I love the people I serve. It is an honor to have been called by the Lord to bless and serve his precious family, his Bride. As amazing as it may seem, leadership amidst a group--large or small--of people can be lonely and tiring.


Leadership can be lonely, because often we must make decisions that are unpopular. No matter which way I choose, I will likely make someone unhappy. That's why it's so important that I hear from the Lord--get His perspective and try to confirm that in the mouths of two or three witnesses. I try to make important decisions in light of love, the best option for the most spiritual growth and the most fair approach given the information on hand. Then I make the best, most biblically and ethically informed decisions of which I'm capable. Once the decision is made, it helps when the congregation or persons involved embrace it willingly, if not wholeheartedly. Please pray for me in this area--that I would be empowered to make good and effective decisions, being led by the Holy Spirit in conjunction with good input from other leaders. Also pray for the sense of lonliness that sometimes comes of my concern for the congregation and my many responsibilities within and without the church and in my family.


The wide and heavy demands of ministry easily tire even the young and strong. Though I depend upon the strength that the Lord gives, I can fall short of taking the time I need to rest or be refreshed. The best help you could be would be to ask me if I'm setting aside time to get away from the press of ministry. Pray for me and my family--that we would get the rest and refreshment we need. Please don't be offended if my home is not open every day to every person. We need quiet, peace, and renewal--a secure space--which the Lord brings as we get apart with him. I also need to put those times into my schedule. My advocates have permission to ask me if I'm making enough space for downtime. So do all those who love me as I serve them. I appreciate how they lead the way in granting me, even encouraging me to get time away . . . Often. It makes me more effective and energetic when I'm back in the flow of ministry to each of you.


Thanks for your understanding. That makes the loneliness and drain of long-term ministry easier to bear.



I hope the fictional dialog above helps you always to be a blessing to your pastor(s). Every blessing,





London, H.B. & Wiseman, Neil B. Pastors at Greater Risk. Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2003.


DISCLAIMER: This column deals with real pastoral issues, but through a fictional voice. The perspective may or may not be shared by your pastor, nor by Dr. Alves. Rather, the issues and realities are familiar to most pastors. It is simply written to give Advocates a window into pastoral ministry-- it's issues, challenges, joys, and struggles. Hopefully it makes you a better advocate and friend to your pastor.


"Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other."

I Thessalonians 5:12-13

Recommended Reading
Building Below the Water Line
Pastors, Church Leaders, and Pastor's Advocates are invited to attend our Spring 2013 Regional Training Event, Building Below the Water Line with Dr. Gordon MacDonald. Based on his recent book by the same title, this 24 hour get-away will feature customized teaching by Dr. MacDonald for our Advent Christian church leaders on the subject of pastoral and church health.  With the goal of ministering to both the pastor's head and the pastor's heart, we'll also include times for corporate worship and private reflection.

The cost for this conference is $60.  If you or your church cannot afford the conference, please contact us regarding scholarship assistance.  The cost includes all expenses, including lodging and meals.

Won't you consider joining us for our first training event - a conference on Healthy Church Leadership with Dr. Gordon MacDonald. 
Click on the link below to register or RSVP.
building below
Cottage Getaway for Pastors
Alton Bay Christian Conference Center is offering a week summer vacation for pastors and their immediate families.  This is on a first-come, first-reserved basis.     Rentals are Saturday through Saturday.

If your pastor is looking for a place of refreshment, this is where he needs to be with his family.  

For more information contact Carolyn Schaeffner at the Eastern Regional Association office. or by telephone (603) 332-1412
The Advocate Newsletter is published as a ministry of the Eastern Regional Association of the Advent Christian General Conference.

Gregory Twitchell, Superintendent,
David Alves, Team Leader for Pastoral Health,
Carolyn Schaeffner, Administrative Secretary,

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