Under the overall theme "Our Portion of the Power," North American Division's (NAD) Festival of the Laity combined a cornucopia of spiritual food and training seminars with an abundant array of resources for practical church growth.
I visited dozens of displays at this extraordinary event chaired by ]. Alfred Johnson, director of NAD Adult Ministries, and was repeatedly reminded of the plethora of materials and programs by which the Church and allied agencies equip laity and pastors to prepare people for Jesus' coming. You deserve to know about some of these unique ideas which sparked renewal for me.
Adventist Risk Management (ARM) hardly sounds like a description of finishing the work. But by presenting solutions that maintain or rebuild stability in uncertain times, ARM stays on the frontline of enabling the Church's ministry (www.adventistrisk.org).
Virtual Impact Productions provides local churches and conferences with useful tools to track membership growth, programs to enhance congregational communications, as well as professional development and continuing education for pastors and teachers (www.virtualed.org).
Voice of Prophecy keeps pace with today's technology by offering dynamic Discover Bible Guides online. Imagine, your congregation operating a successful Internet Bible School (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Life Ministries International, a supportive Christ-centered ministry, works through the local church to provide people with resources and relationships leading to healthy sexuality. It attempts to enable people to walk from the bondage of sexual addiction from within God's unconditional love (www.freedomeveryday.com).
Bite Back from Florida Hospital Church makes a difference in your community. It helps you answer questions about your community (www.hospitalchurch.org).
NAD's Commission for People with Disabilities offers training materials and awareness events dedicated to making God's house physically accessible to all who would come if they could (www.NADadventist.org/humanrelations).
Bibleinfo.com shares Bible answers via Internet or telephone 24/7. A variety of topics can be easily accessed or callers can speak with an information specialist (www.Bibleinfo.com).
La Sierra University campus ministry programs include assisting homeless, mission ventures in Mexico, and distrib uting food, clothing, toys, and God's love to the poor (www.lasierra.edu).
Someone To Talk To offers opportunity for Adventist families and friends of homosexuals to learn and interact with others encountering similar situations (www.someone-to-talk-to.net).
GC Health Ministries presents ready-to-use exhibits and resources for celebrating healthful living benefits (www.healthconnection. org).
Golden Harvest Fruit Company, shows local churches and schools that money really does grow on trees by helping groups with proven fundraising training, advertising supplies, and the finest citrus fruit (email@example.com).
Children's Daily Bible Guides bring the brightest and best resources to family worship (www.mybiblefirst.org).
Lifestyle Centers of America change lifestyles to restore health and hope (www.lifestylecenter.org).
Andrews University emphasizes life is not just a career, it's a calling. Excellence in education is coupled with commit ment to God's leading into personal service (www.andrews.edu).
PlusLine.Org serves when you seek to connect people with resources and ideas. They will help you find answers (www.plusline.org).
Book Systems Inc. develops your library into ready usability with software and search access (www.booksys.com).
Adventist Deaf Ministries helps your church reach the hearing impaired with sign language videos, easy-reading books and tracts, and attractive materials for kids (www.deafadventist.org).
Real Truth Ministries is a thrilling evangelistic outreach which focuses on preaching the gospel while addressing health, family, and youth needs (RTruthlnc@aol.com).
Loma Linda Broadcasting Network keeps you connected 24/7 by satellite at Telstar 6, Channel 11 (www.llbn.tv).
Tagnet.org offers you the tools for an empowering online ministry at the local church through their easy-to-use WebSite Builder (www.TAGnet.org).
Adventist Reconciliation Services assists individuals and congregations with peacemaking relationship restoration (www. adventistreconciliation.org).
SEEDS, NAD's annual church planting conference, brings you the best inspiration, intensive training, and how-to resources for effective church plants (www.nadei.org).
And my favorite display? Our own Ministerial Resource Center, of course! Useful materials for developing excellence in pastor and laity leadership (www.ministerialassociation.com).