Adventist Ministries Convention Replenishes Leaders All through the North American Division

{Photograph} by Pieter Damsteegt


After three years apart, better than 600 conference-, union-, and division-level leaders from all through the North American Division (NAD) reunited in Greensboro, North Carolina, January 8-11 for the NAD’s 2023 “Replenish” Adventist Ministries Convention (AMC). With its theme based totally on Jeremiah 31:25, “I’ll restore drained souls,” both sides of the AMC, along with specific music, keynote addresses, seminars, ministry reveals, the “Replenish” juice bar, morning hikes, group service, leisure, and ministry achievement awards, aimed to rejuvenate, educate, encourage, and have a very good time the church ministry leaders present.

“Replenish” offered every religious {{and professional}} development, with nearly 70 educational seminars unfold out over two days. Attendees gleaned best practices from NAD officers and departmental directors, union- and conference-level leaders, pastors, and materials specialists in quite a few fields. The plethora of topics included children’s ministry, cultural intelligence, disabilities, family, males’s and women’s ministry, nicely being, IT, administration, philanthropy, social media, stewardship, youth and youthful grownup ministry. And for wordsmiths, the counternarrative writing conference, on using writing to amplify marginalized voices, handed off at Greensboro’s historic Worldwide Civil Rights Center and Museum.


To spherical out the leaders’ experience, the AMC moreover offered a stay efficiency by the Watchmen Acapella Group, the first displaying of a Sonscreen showcase, along with the film “These Had been the Good Days,” and a comedy presentation by “The Skit Guys” that left the viewers crying with laughter.

The three-day convention was bookended by the Adventist Radio Convention on January 6-8, Adventist Women Leaders (AWL) luncheon on January 11, and NAD Children’s Ministries Retreat on January 11-14. Immediately following the AMC, the AWL luncheon taught

70 ladies presidents, administrators, division directors, associates, and assistants that specializing in God-given strengths is the vital factor to fulfilling God’s goal.

{Photograph} by Pieter Damsteegt

Jesus—an Oasis for Our Souls


G. Alexander Bryant, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, delivered the opening keynote deal with the night time of January 8. In his presentation titled “God’s Oasis,” Bryant spoke to the stress many leaders are beneath as a consequence of challenges along with the pandemic, work, or family factors. He then launched the correct decision. “Tonight, I have to spend a few minutes talking about God’s oasis for His people. It’s not a spot. It’s a person, and His title is Jesus,” he said.

Bryant, after quoting Matthew 11:28-30, continued, “That’s an invitation to God, via Jesus, for His people. And that invitation is for calm. . . . He asks us first to ‘come.’ . . . [Jesus] is the first place that we’re in a position to retreat that brings peace in robust and troubled situations. And in alternate for coming, He’ll give us leisure.”

Rest, and what it entails, was a regular theme all by the AMC’s morning and night time regular courses, which featured two TED talk-style keynote addresses each session. Using personal tales and biblical examples, pastors, directors, and administrators from quite a few NAD entities launched strategies leaders can replenish spiritually, bodily, and emotionally; these included creating home for solitude, taking part in laughter and humor, expressing gratitude, spending devoted time with God in Bible study and prayer, or going for a stroll. Then, recognizing our human weaknesses, a variety of messages moreover touched on the need for repentance and quit. In between messages, attendees moreover cherished two items of worship music from the Crosswalk Seventh-day Adventist Church (Redlands, California) reward group.

Lastly, the courses included a short section titled “Historic Replenish” by Michael W. Campbell, NAD director of Archives, Statistics, and Evaluation, and Matthew J. Lucio, pastor of the Peoria Seventh-day Adventist Church in Illinois and host of the Creation Historic previous podcast. The dynamic duo shared fascinating tidbits from Adventist historic previous described in stylish phrases. In a single significantly relatable “episode,” Campbell stated that James White expert burnout whereas planning the “Dime Tabernacle” in Battle Creek, Michigan and needed time to recharge bodily and spiritually. “So,” Lucio quipped, “[he and Ellen] acquired a pleasing little Airbnb residence in Colorado.”

Out in nature, climbing, and laying their souls sooner than God, “[they] had this kind of reconversion experience,” said Campbell.

Modified Lives and Mission Options

The exhibit hall open all by the AMC was a hotbed of train, the place company might meet outdated buddies, play video video games, purchase ministry belongings, or seize swag of all flavors. Nonetheless the coronary coronary heart of the hall was the 45 ministries represented, from NAD departments equal to Children’s Ministries, Communications, and Adventist Neighborhood Suppliers, to ministries of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, such as a result of the Office of Worldwide Mission and Adventist Menace Administration, to neutral ministries.

Quite a few reveals shared tales of modified lives. For instance, attendees coming from the AMC’s regular courses had been greeted by Tammy Mapes, a literature evangelist with Residence Effectively being Coaching Service, whose motivation for selling is personal.

“My dad had an Adventist coworker who tipped off a literature evangelist. There have been six of us kids. He said, ‘Go see that family. They’ve kids.’ My mom and father bought the Bible Story books, and the colporteur handed our title to the pastor, who adopted up with Bible analysis. I was the right age that I take into account life sooner than, the ingesting and smoking, then my dad turning into a gentle, godly man. The Want of Ages modified him.”

Elsewhere throughout the reveals, guests discovered the Adventist Learning Neighborhood is bigger than a training database; it moreover produces a variety of well-liked podcasts in English and Spanish. They discovered Faith for Proper now, a life-coaching branded television ministry, which pulls in 4 million weekly viewers for its flagship “Life-style Television” program. Moreover they found about tentmaking, the place “you’ll protect your career and nonetheless be a missionary,” from the world church’s Office of Worldwide Mission.

Attendees equal to Akehil Johnson, NAD pupil affiliation president for Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF), public post-secondary campus ministry, left the reveals impressed for expanded mission. He said, “I’ve been blessed to hearken to tales and uncover new ministries that will assist ACF’s imaginative and prescient. It’s been excellent.”

{Photograph} by Pieter Damsteegt

Successfully Accomplished, Good and Reliable Servant

Ministry awards for lifetime achievement and excellence in ministry had been included into the AMC’s regular courses. Awards had been launched to 11 leaders the least bit ranges of the church. Recipients acquired right here from Jewish Ministries, Regional Affairs, Children’s Ministries, Adventist Neighborhood Suppliers, Youthful Grownup Ministries and Adventist Christian Fellowship, Women’s Ministries, Membership Ministries, Refugee and Immigrant Ministries, Oakwood Faculty Church, Youth Ministries, and the Center for Youth Evangelism.

The awards shows fostered an environment of warmth and appreciation, equal to when awardee Ron Whitehead, govt director for the Center for Youth Evangelism and assistant professor of Youth Ministry at Andrews Faculty, obtained a standing ovation.

Moreover they created some lighthearted moments, equal to when Ko Saelee, husband of recipient Terri Saelee, coordinator of NAD Adventist Refugee and Immigrant Ministries, managed to play “How Good Thou Art work” using a leafy inexperienced plant.

Lastly, recipients shared inspirational phrases. Don Keele, Jr., director, Youthful Adults and Adventist Christian Fellowship, Georgia-Cumberland Conference, stated, “It’s sooner or later at a time. That’s the way in which you make it in ministry. Sooner or later at a time and within the current day with Jesus.”

{Photograph} by Bryant Taylor

Replenished for His Service

As a major step in planning AMC, organizer Wendy Eberhardt, NAD vice chairman for ministries, turned to God. “I knew I needed God to direct this event. I said, ‘Lord, these are your leaders. What is the message you want us to present? You understand what they need most,” she said.

“After spending time merely discovering out and listening to God, [the need] grew to grow to be clear as I was finding out Jeremiah 31, in regards to the Lord restoring us. Then my ideas went to the 4 gospels, and I study the story the place Christ had despatched the disciples out. That they had been so excited and exuberant about spreading the gospel. Jesus said to them, ‘Come away. Come be with Me. We now have to be collectively.’ They solely needed to regroup, needed to breathe. And Jesus knew that.”

Eberhardt thought-about how ministry leaders had been stretched by the pandemic, pushing via separation, isolation, and masks. “I felt the Lord telling me we’ve to ‘come away’ – to replenish via meeting and chatting with totally different ministry leaders, have some time for silence and solitude, and easily replenish,” she said.

The convention’s remaining day was a reputation for leaders to go away Greensboro with a bigger sense of dependence on God. In his message, “Undeserved Blessings,” Vandeon Griffin, NAD affiliate director for Youth and Youthful Grownup Ministries, made an altar identify, asking leaders: “Do that you must be replenished?” Roughly 40% of attendees walked to the doorway of the auditorium.

After speaking in regards to the religious benefits of cleansing, in “The Current of a Good Bathe,” David Ferguson, senior pastor of Collegedale Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Tennessee, closed AMC with a big communion service. As a result of the reward group softly sang, “Who can wash away my sin? Nothing nevertheless the blood of Jesus,” Ferguson guided leaders proper right into a prayer stroll ending at a desk laden with communion bread and wine.

He led them to eat and drink the symbols of Christ’s physique and blood, then prayed. “Come into our lives, Lord Jesus. Would possibly we hear Your identify and stroll in Your footsteps. Not solely to be bought and paid for nevertheless alsoto be Your palms and ft.”

— Christelle Agboka is assistant director of communication for the North American Division.