Editorial 2

All hands on deck

Jeffrey O. Brown, PhD, is the associate editor of Ministry and an associate ministerial secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Current General Conference ministerial secretary Jerry N. Page said it succinctly: “The 1922 General Conference Session did not begin well for Arthur G. Daniells. On Sunday he was voted out of the presidency of the world church. . . .

“Daniells was no longer the official head of the church, but he continued to lead by establishing the Ministerial Association and directing it with a signature emphasis on prayer and spiritual revival.”1

So, the Ministerial Association of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is celebrating 100 years—1922–2022. And it has one mission: “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).2 This one mission has three goals: spread the Word, multiply disciples, and develop ministers who are obedient to the faith.

Multiplying disciples can be an overwhelming task. Church leadership expert Richard Krejcir says, “Pastors are in a dangerous occupation! We are perhaps the single most stressful and frustrating working profession, more than medical doctors, lawyers, or politicians.”3

But God does not leave us to battle alone. Old Testament scholar Roy Gane comments: “To ordain the male descendants of Aaron as God’s elite servants within the community, Moses put blood from the ordination sacrifice on their right ears, thumbs, and big toes. This showed that each priest received divine grace, ultimately flowing from Christ’s sacrifice, that enabled him to fulfill his life-and-death responsibility to serve God for the benefit of His people. Today there is no divinely sanctioned elite Christian priesthood, apart from the priesthood of Christ Himself, through which God’s people must approach Him (Heb 4; 7–10). The human ‘royal priesthood’ includes all Christians as God’s ministers (1 Pet 2:9–10). Amazing grace equips men and women to obey Christ’s commission by ministering for the salvation of others (compare Matt 28:19–20).”4

“Saved to serve” means that all who experience salvation are called to minister. Ted N. C. Wilson says, “No matter your age, nationality, or gender, God is calling you to be part of His mission.”5 The Ministerial Association seeks to be a resource for pastors of all denominations because God calls all clergy to be involved in the same mission: “Having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6). It’s not about joining my church; it’s about spreading God’s Word. It’s not about preference; it’s about obedience.

In its description of the last-day people of God, Scripture says, “Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”
(v. 12). God asks ministers of all denominations to hold themselves not to the subjective standard of personal partiality but to the objective standard of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20).

Previous General Conference Ministerial secretary James Cress maintained that A. G. Daniells “had consistently been concerned with the development of a spiritual ministry among clergy and had personally led in a number of Bible Conferences and spiritual revivals.”6 Because of Daniells’s reassigned leadership, we can celebrate 100 years of bearing “witness to the word of God” and holding to “the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:2).

God is still looking for pastors who will spread the Word, multiply disciples, and be obedient to the faith, because “He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain.”7

  1. Jerry Page, “Ministerial Association Report for 2010–2015,” accessed April 25, 2022, https://ministerial.adventist.org/legacy-content/2015report.
  2. Scripture is from the New King James Version.
  3. Richard J. Krejcir, “What Is Going on With the Pastors in America?” Into Thy Word: Teaching People How to Study the Bible, http://www.intothyword.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=36562.
  4. Roy Gane, “Leviticus 8,” Believe His Prophets Daily Bible Reading, April 21, 2022, https://www.revivalandreformation.org/bhp/en/bible/lev/8.
  5. Ted N. C. Wilson, “Everyone a Missionary,” Adventist World, September 2016, 5.
  6. James A. Cress, back cover of A. G. Daniells, The Church and Ministry: Addresses Before the Los Angeles, California, Ministerial Institute, March 1912.
  7. Ellen G. White, Last Day Events (Boise, ID: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1992), 179.

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