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Transition priorities

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Archives / 2017 / September

 

 

Transition priorities

Jerry N. Page

Jerry Page is ministerial secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

 

Ministry magazine—how did we get here? It all began with a man called Arthur G. Daniells—but it was a rocky start. The 1922 General Conference session did not begin well for Daniells. He was replaced as president of the General Conference, but he ended the week in a powerful way with a sermon on prayer and commitment.1

Speaking with tearful humility before the gathered ranks of the church workers, he described his own neglect of prayer. “It is a sin that has been written against me,” he confessed. “We do somehow allow this strenuous pressure [of life] to deprive us of our time for prayer. We must not do it, brethren! I have come to a very serious conclusion that I cannot do this and hold my ground. Can you?”

Throughout the auditorium voices were heard shouting “No!”

Daniells was chosen to establish the Ministerial Association and direct it with a signature emphasis on prayer and spiritual revival for ministers. He organized ministerial institutes which focused on righteousness by faith in Jesus and led to his classic work, Christ Our Righteousness. He also emphasized the words of Ellen White, “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.”2

Speaking of an intimate relationship with Jesus, Daniells wrote to L. E. Froom in 1927, “For forty long years the Lord has been trying to lead us into that Pentecostal experience to fit us for efficiency in evangelism, but we have fallen into one trap after another and so defeated the Lord’s purpose. Institutionalism, administrationism, financialism, foreign-missionism— these, one after another, have gripped us so hard that we have never gotten the baptism, the most important issue of all.”

These pastoral institutes led to revival but had their limitations. Even with persons such as Meade MacGuire, Taylor Bunch, Carlyle B. Haynes, and L. E. Froom helping lead out, the world field could not be covered adequately. A method of written communication was needed. So, in January 1928, the Ministerial Association began to print a monthly magazine called Ministry, with the stated purpose of (1) deepening the spiritual life, (2) developing the intellectual strength, and (3) increasing the evangelistic effectiveness of the ministers.

Today, as we are completing a major transition in our Ministry magazine editorial team, these three priorities are still primary. Through a long process of much prayer, searching thoroughly, and sensing God’s very clear leading, we now have a new editor and associate editor to lead us into a closer walk with our Lord, just before He returns!

Pavel Goia, our new Ministry editor, grew up in communist Romania. A biography of these years, One Miracle After Another—The Pavel Goia Story, recounts in thrilling detail the miracles God worked in Pavel’s life during these very challenging years for a young Adventist Christian in an oppressive communist regime.

Pavel had a wide variety of work experiences as a young man, including construction, topography, and owning a glass and window replacement shop, and also a photography laboratory during college years. He completed college with an engineering degree and worked in that field until his strong Sabbath and religious convictions caused a change.

He then felt the call to pastoral ministry and competed a bachelor’s degree in theology in Romania. This led to his aggressive pastoring and church planting there. Then the doors opened providentially for him to move to America. Learning English as he went, he finished two more theological degrees, and, while pastoring for a number of years, he has recently completed all requirements for the doctor of ministry degree from Andrews University with an emphasis in church leadership development, specifically writing on prayer in his dissertation “Prayer That Changes and Grows the Church.”

Pavel is a sought after international speaker and trainer on spiritual life, discipleship, leadership, church growth, and prayer. His wife, Daniella, is an accomplished business and ministry manager for war veterans.

His pastoral experience in Romania and the United States led to dynamic church growth, church planting, and a very high percentage of church member involvement and new member retention. We believe the Lord led in this choice and that Pavel’s very fresh experience in frontline pastoring is a great strength in our quest to provide compelling “must read” material for today’s pastor.

Jeffrey Brown, our new associate editor, has also had a very distinguished ministry and brings with him complementary gifts and experience that have already been a great blessing to our Ministry team. Jeff was born in England, of Jamaican parents and received several degrees from institutions such as Newbold College of Higher Education and Oxford University, the highest a doctor of philosophy in religious education (family life and counseling) from Andrews University.

Jeff has 12 years overseas experience. He taught religion at Bekwai and Agona-Ashanti Seventh-day Adventist Secondary Schools in Ghana. He also served in the Trans-European Division as church pastor and director of pastoral studies at Newbold College.

Jeff then moved to North America, pastoring in Toronto, Canada, after which he became professor of religious education and pastoral care at Oakwood University. He then was called to be president of the Bermuda Conference and served there ten years before being called to be director of the Bradford Cleveland Brooks Leadership Center at Oakwood University. He also served as editor of Family Life, a publication of the Adventist Association of Family Life Professionals.

Jeff is the author of Single and Gifted. He is married to Pattiejean née McMahon, from Bermuda, author of What on Earth Am I Doing? Leadership Lessons for Clergy Spouses, and they have coauthored three books: Total Marriage, Guide to Parenting, and The Love Seasons.

I have been challenged and I have grown in many ways as interim editor during these months of transition. I appreciate the excellent work done by the rest of the Ministry team, Sheryl Beck (editorial specialist), John Feezer (finance and technology manager), and Cathy Payne (advertising and subscription assistant), along with Jeffrey Brown (associate editor), who has carried extra responsibilities during these months.

The rest of our Ministerial Association associate secretaries team—Jonas Arrais, Robert Costa, Anthony Kent, and Janet Page, as well as Jarod Thomas (communications manager) and I—all commit to being supportive of the new Ministry team, lifting them up in prayer as we move forward together.

This September issue has some excellent articles on how to share the truth of the gospel, including the lead article by Derek Morris, previous editor of Ministry and current president of Hope Channel, who provides practical helps on the delivery of the message.

Please send us your feedback and suggestions, as well as become a prayer partner with us so that the Lord can use us and Ministry to accomplish His will. Let’s all be faithful to our specific callings as we all look forward to the soon coming of Jesus!

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1 Thanks goes to Kim Peckham, who assisted in gathering historical information for this editorial.

2 Ellen G. White, “The Church’s Great Need,” Review and Herald, Mar. 22, 1887.

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