The Winter Lay Pastor Cohort met at the Wisconsin Conference office on February 1-3 with several guest speakers. Opening the weekend were Pastor Adam & Laurella Case with “Plugging the Hole,” a myth-busting report on the health of marriage in our society. There is much good news about marriage and the family when one looks beyond the popular notions to uncover the facts. This couple plans to expand their presentations to a full weekend of material so consider scheduling their new seminar for your church family.
Pastor Titus Naftanaila led the group study of Nehemiah 3, drawing parallels with our church work. There was prayer, preparation, united team efforts and sacrificial work under difficult conditions, but the laborers quickly did the “impossible” job of rebuilding the city walls. His next topic addressed “Building a Culture of Belonging” in our churches. Factors which can contribute to or block development of community in a church were discussed along with a comparison of engaged vs. non-engaged church goers.
The Challenges of Adventist Discipleship was Pastor Naftanaila’s next focus. How do we define success in mission? How well are we supporting new members with lifestyle changes, family relationships and integration into serving the local church? Making disciples for Jesus is our goal and will increase retention rates.
Conference evangelist Tom Michalski explored multiple approaches to finding and keeping Bible studies with attendees. Problem solving common challenges for door to door work, use of surveys, Bible study interest responses and more were shared along with many interesting personal stories of situations he has encountered.
Finally, Pastor Zachary Payne capped the weekend by enlightening attendees to ways an improved church website can attract newcomers through ”Building an Online Christian Presence.” He then led the group on a tour of “Mission in a Digital World,” giving wonderful testimonies of how complete strangers can find the SDA message and respond to it when we provide them opportunities using social media wisely.
If you are interested in joining the Lay Pastor Program which meets three weekends each year, contact your local pastor or Titus Naftanaila for more information.
Emily Goodenough, Waukesha Community SDA Church