It Should Not Be an Option

It Should Not Be an Option

There is no substitute for proclamation! If we want people to learn about Jesus’ love and His grace offered freely to each one of us, sinners, we must not only show them with our actions but also tell them with our words. If we want people to understand the plan of redemption, and Jesus’ command to love others, as well as the hope of His Second Coming and a resurrection, we must tell them about these. 

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My First Church Revitalization Experience

My First Church Revitalization Experience

“You are going to be the Associate Pastor for the Arlington, Falls Church, and Manassas Spanish Churches, in Northern Virginia. Although you will serve all three, your main responsibility will be at the Manassas Spanish Church.” Those were the marching orders from my Hispanic Coordinator, Pastor Ruben Ramos, right after my return from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.

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An Interview on Church Growth and Revitalization

An Interview on Church Growth and Revitalization

In this video, Pastor Bill McClendon and Pastor Paulo Macena are interviewed by Pastor Jose Cortes Jr. McClendon is the former Lead pastor of Ellicott City church in the Chesapeake Conference, and he talks about how the church grew from fifty members to more than two hundred members in only four years. 

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Padres y Pastores, por Favor, Hagamos Espacio!

Padres y Pastores, por Favor, Hagamos Espacio!

Alrededor decinco añosatrás, 16 estudiantes de la AcademiaAdventistade South Lancaster, habían pedido ser bautizadosdurante una semana de oración.La ceremonia bautismal había comenzado  en la Iglesia Adventista de la Villa en South Lancaster, Massachusetts, cuando algo inimaginableaconteció.Nuestro hijo de 6 años, Joel, logró separarsede mi esposa Joanne, quién siempre lo cuida muy bien y lo mantenía al lado de ella,y corrió hacia la plataforma, y ​​comenzó a escalar tratando de meterse enel bautisterio.

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Do We Need Goals in Ministry?

Do We Need Goals in Ministry?

These are horror stories told in Adventist pastoral circles and they all have to do with goals and the fear some pastors minister with, of course, none of these happened in North America. These stories disgust me, and I feel very bad knowing that many of my colleagues suffered and some still suffer this type of abuse from some church leaders. I think this is madness, which hurts our missional movement.

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Goals, Small Groups and Baptism by Tony Anobile

Goals, Small Groups and Baptism by Tony Anobile

All of us recognize these verses in the Gospel of Matthew; they are the words of Jesus and the passage is called, “The Great Commission!” Many people have wisely said, “All the words that Jesus spoke are important.” He didn’t “wing it” or not give thought to what He was saying, how He was saying it, and in what order He was saying it.

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¿Por Qué Necesitamos Establecer Blancos o Metas?

¿Por Qué Necesitamos Establecer Blancos o Metas?

“En nuestra Asociación, si no alcanzábamos el blanco de bautismos nos amenazaban con que perderíamos nuestro empleo, y si no alcanzábamos el blanco de revistas que teníamos que vender, no los descontaban de nuestro salario…” “Por esa razón es que cuando nos pedían que estableciéramos un blanco o una meta de bautismos, siempre tratábamos de poner un blanco bajo que fuera fácil de alcanzar, una vez que lo alcanzábamos, no reportábamos mas y guardábamos esos números para el año siguiente…” “Había un compañero de nosotros que iba al cementerio y buscaba los nombres de los muertos en las tumbas y los reportaba como bautismos…”

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Objetivos, Grupos Pequeños y Bautismo

Objetivos, Grupos Pequeños y Bautismo

Todos nosotros reconocemos estos versículos en el evangelio de Mateo; son las palabras de Jesús, y el pasaje se llama "La gran comisión". Muchos han dicho sabiamente: "Todas las palabras que habló Jesús son importantes". No es algo que dijo al azar o sin pensar en lo que decía, cómo lo decía y en qué orden lo estaba diciendo.

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What do Christmas, Compassion, and Adventist Pioneers have in Common?

What do Christmas, Compassion, and Adventist Pioneers have in Common?

Yes, I know it is clear that Jesus was not born on December 25 and that does not mean Adventists cannot practice Compassion during the Christmas Season. Compassion must be a lifestyle that permeates every waking hour andevery day of the year, including this Holiday Season. Compassion was a priority of Jesus daily, even during holidays. 

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¿Que Tienen la Compasión, la Navidad, y los Pioneros Adventistas en Común?

¿Que Tienen la Compasión, la Navidad, y los Pioneros Adventistas en Común?

Sí, ya lo sé: Está claro que Jesús no nació el 25 de diciembre, pero eso no significa que los adventistas no podamos practicar la Compasión durante las fiestas navideñas. La Compasión tiene que ser un estilo de vida que esté presente cada hora y cada día de nuestra vida, lo que incluye las fiestas navideñas. La Compasión era una prioridad diaria para Cristo, aun durante las fiestas. No se lo conocía por ser alguien que se apartara de las festividades de sus días, sino que era famoso por hacer el bien durante esas ocasiones especiales, y en todo momento (lea Juan 5:1-15).

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Nike tiene razón: Just do it!

Nike tiene razón: Just do it!

Realmente me gusta el eslogan de Nike: “Just do it!” (¡Solo hazlo!) Es simple y relevante, pero presenta un gran desafío. La declaración “Solo hazlo” es lo suficientemente osada como para desafiarlo a tan solo una cosa: la acción. Nada de palabras, nada de buenas intenciones, nada de planificación, sino simple y pura acción. Si usted está sentado por demasiado tiempo, póngase de pie y muévase. Si está en la cama esperando que suceda algo, levántese y comience a hacer lo que usted sabe es lo correcto. Es simple como eso: Solo hazlo.

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Shaping Culture for Mission in 2019 and Beyond

Shaping Culture for Mission in 2019 and Beyond

Recently I have been obsessed with building church culture. I'll get to the reason why in just a moment. Google the phrase "church culture" and your search will return with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of websites, articles, blog posts, and video links about the topic. There are even entire conferences dedicated to building church culture, taking place every year around the country.

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Jessica Yoong Essay - Beyond the Spotlight - Published on November 14, 2018

Jessica Yoong Essay - Beyond the Spotlight - Published on November 14, 2018

I'm so grateful for the endeavors of the North American Division [NAD] to include and laud young adult leadership. I truly believe we are headed in the right direction and our intent is genuine, even altruistic. One such example is the inclusion of student government presidents from our Adventist campuses [AIA] and collegiate officers from Adventist Christian Fellowship [ACF] as voting members of the NAD's year-end meetings [NADYEM].

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Small Groups

Small Groups

During the 2017 eHuddle in Orlando, Florida, Pastor Anna Bennet, Associate Chaplain at Southern Adventist University, and Vanessa Hairston, former Southern Adventist University student, spoke on small groups and the importance of being intentional in forming disciples in a relaxed and friendly environment where any person can participate.

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Caravan of Training, Establishing Small Groups across the NAD

Caravan of Training, Establishing Small Groups across the NAD

I met with the Union Hispanic Coordinators in January and shared with them a vision that God had placed on my heart, to have a Caravan of Training, all throughout the NAD, and to give resources to the Conference Coordinators, Pastors and Leaders of Small Groups so that they could be equipped to begin Small Group ministries or enhance what was already taking place. The Coordinators agreed with the plan and an itinerary was prepared. 

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Contemporary Evangelism in the 21st Century – Interview with Carlton Byrd

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Oakwood University Church and Speaker/Director of the Breath of Life television broadcast, which airs on four international TV networks. He is also a passionate public evangelist. Dr. Byrd recently authoredContemporary Evangelism for the 21st Century. Dale Galusha, president of Pacific Press Publishing Association, publisher of the book, recently interviewed Dr. Byrd.


Question: Dr. Byrd, you have a passion for soul-winning and evangelism. Tell me why evangelism is so important to you.

Evangelism is the lifeblood of the church. Without evangelism, we will die as a church”not just a numeric death, but a spiritual death. The primary purpose of the church is to engage in evangelism. Just prior to His ascension back to heaven, Jesus made it clear that we are to engage in the gospel commission teach, preach, and baptize. This was His final charge to us, so I'm confident that it was very important. Moreover, what joy you experience when seeing someone else give their life to Jesus!

Question: Some in the church today suggest that the days of public evangelism are gone, that it no longer works. What do you have to say about that?

It still works. The message is still the same. We must, however, employ relevant evangelistic methods in our postmodern, contemporary society.

Question: How do you see evangelism in the 21st century differing from the way evangelism has been done in the past?

There has to be a better blend of law and grace in our teaching/preaching, along with our interactions with others. Additionally, there has to be increased, intentional emphasis on why we obey God. We obey Him because we love Him. Love must be the motivating factor for our actions and behaviors. The accoutrements that aid in the presentation of our message are more relevant. We've replaced the tent revival with the hall or church meeting. Our online ministry options for public viewing and tracking visitors has increased. Music offerings are more experiential and relational. Also, there is an expectation of excellence in our presentations (preaching/teaching, marketing initiatives, physical plant, music, etc.).

Question: You talk about contemporary evangelism how has evangelism changed in the past decade or two?

There is a greater emphasis on relationships relationships with God and one another. This is reflected in our worship through our teaching, preaching, and singing. We've moved from a "top/down" approach to a more decentralized approach. Evangelism cannot be seen as seasonal; everything a church does should center around evangelism. While we need to teach/preach our distinctive message, it must be accompanied by addressing people's genuine felt needs.

Question: Tell me about your book. Is it just for pastors? Or full-time evangelists? Who did you have in mind when you wrote the book?

This book is for anyone who is passionate about soul winning and evangelism. We may not all be able to preach like Peter, pray like Paul, or sing like David, but we can all do something to build God's kingdom. Pastors, evangelists, Bible workers, church officers, and church members can all benefit from this book.

Question: What can this book do for the local church?

It can revolutionize a local church to mobilize for public evangelism, not just seasonally but for year-round, everyday evangelism as it offers a theology for evangelism, while sharing practical methods for creating an evangelistic culture at the local church.

Question: You make this statement in the book: Neighborhood residents need to see that the church is not merely interested in gaining more members and money, but is more interested in the well-being and positive development of people. Would you share a little more about how this fits with evangelism? What are some specific things a church can do to reach out to the community in this way?

The local church must be community minded and active. It cannot be seen merely as a group of people that shows up on Sabbath mornings for worship, but it must be seen as an outpost for activity that benefits community needs. Community feeding programs, clothing distribution, health classes, health clinics, exercise classes, tutoring programs, after-school programs, ESOL, substance abuse support groups, grief/bereavement support groups, cancer support groups, mental health counseling, marriage counseling, parenting classes, and sports/recreation opportunities should be offered by the church. While this is an extensive list, the local church can identify what service(s) it can do well and practice accordingly.

Question: What is your prayer for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 21stcentury?

That we understand, recognize, and practice what our mission as a church is all about. It's rooted in our name ”Seventh-day Adventists. We observe and celebrate God's seventh-day Sabbath in joyful anticipation of Jesus' second advent, His second coming! May we cease "majoring in minors, sweating the small stuff, engaging in the paralysis of analysis" and, instead,  passionately and aggressively through the power of the Holy Spirit collectively share with the world Christ's message of hope and love!