Volunteer Lay Pastor group at the Wisconsin Conference Office
On Sabbath, June 24, we are excited to announce that we will be commissioning five new Volunteer Lay Pastors (VLP)! The service will take place during Sabbath School in Pioneer Pavilion.
The Volunteer Lay Pastor Program originated with Elder James Fox over a decade ago and has trained over 50 lay people to be better equipped to serve God and help their local church to reach others for Jesus.
Most of our VLP’s are active in their local churches as elders or in other forms of leadership. Each one humbly serves their congregation, usually without recognition, because we are all called to use our gifts and talents for the Lord.
We currently have seven VLP’s that are pastoring a local congregation under the leadership of a district pastor. In these locations the district pastor provides mentorship and guidance to the VLP. We have enjoyed seeing the way that God has lead in the lives of our VLP’s and the way God has used them to touch the lives of those in their congregations.
Every year our VLP’s are required to meet the goal of completing two Continuing Education Units (CEU’s). To help them accomplish this we hold three weekend training sessions annually at the Wisconsin Conference Office. During these sessions we bring in speakers that provide seminars and lead discussions on various ministry related topics to inform, instruct, and enlarge the ministry experience of our VLP’s. Time is also given to their theological development as we focus on what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist. It is vitally important for leaders to have good communication skills so we endeavor to provide resources that strengthen those skills as well.
As a church we have been given an end time call to share the Three Angels’ Messages with the entire world, so we make sure evangelism is a major focus of our training. We also spend time on developing leadership skills as well as practical ministry related items. Last, but not least, we also focus on the personal spiritual life of each of our VLP’s. We know we need the Holy Spirit active in our own lives if we are to be used to make a difference in the lives of others.
As you read this you may be wondering, “How could I become a Volunteer Lay Pastor?” I’m glad you asked! Your entry into the program is through your local pastor. Tell them you are interested in the program and they can begin the discussion with you about what that would look like. If God is calling you into a volunteer ministry, please don’t let this moment pass.
I invite you to join us, at the beginning of Sabbath School tomorrow, for the Commissioning to Ministry service as we celebrate the hard work five of our VLP’s have put into this program.
God wants to use each of us in service for Him!
Adam Case, Ministerial Director