October 2022 Carolina's 10,000 P5
1. PRAISING GOD FOR OUR PASTORS
Pastor or Clergy Appreciation Month and Clergy Appreciation Day became an official observance in 1992. The organization Focus on the Family first initiated the drive to promote October as National Clergy Appreciation Month.
This month, let’s take an opportunity to praise God especially for all our Adventist Carolina pastors. Pastoring is definitely not an easy job! Your pastor works long hours, often behind the scenes. Preparing a sermon requires lots of work, and that’s not all they do. They’re also responsible for leading, administration, and pastoral care responsibilities.
In addition, the schedule is relentless. Your pastor is responsible for services 52 weekends a year. And that’s not counting mid-week services, holidays, and other special events.
Also, a pastor is one of the first people called in times of emergency. And you can never predict when accidents, hospitalizations, or tragic events will occur, whether it’s the middle of the night or while your pastor is on vacation.
Although people like to joke that preachers only work one day a week, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Our pastors must deal with difficult and often tragic situations. In any given week, they might hear about someone getting a terminal cancer diagnosis, a marriage on the brink of divorce because of adultery, or an untimely death.
Although pastors know that dealing with these issues is part of their job, it doesn’t make it easy. It’s not uncommon for this to become a challenge for their mental and emotional health over time.
And there are other issues that can cause stress. When you work with people, things inevitably get messy! Pastors must regularly deal with gossip, conflict, and difficult relational dynamics within the church.
It’s not always easy being the person everyone comes to with their problems and complaints. That’s what makes Pastor Appreciation Month so important.
And yet, they continue to show up week after week because they know that God has called them to ministry.
We are approaching the closing and climactic moments of this world as we know it. We as Seventh-day Adventists – as God’s remnant church – have been called and entrusted with a special message for the people of earth’s end-time generation that is uniquely designed to help them know how they could meet the challenges they will face.
With a significant number of employed pastors who are retiring and an equally significant decline in the number of young adults who are enrolling in ministry preparation at our 13 Adventist colleges and universities in North America, we are moving into a time of concern for the church.
The truth is that we need good pastors. Jesus spoke of the coming crisis over 2000 years ago.
In Luke 10: 2, Jesus said: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Today in many of our congregations, our members are desperately crying, “Lord, please send us a good pastor.” As God’s servant leader for the Carolina Conference, I join with my fellow administrator colleagues across North America in seeking for consecrated leaders who will faithfully and passionately commit their lives to the mission and proclamation of the everlasting gospel message that has been entrusted to us.
As your servant leader here in the Carolinas, I cling to the promise of Jeremiah 3:15 – “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.”
God has instructed us to recognize, express our heartfelt appreciation and pray for His servants.
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17).
The good news is that we can make a difference! Pastor Appreciation Month is one way we can counter the negative erosion in the lives of our spiritual leaders with the positive affirmation they need and uplifting them and their families in our heartfelt and earnest prayers.
2. PRAYING ABOUT EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP
In this month’s fourth and final issue for 2022 of the Carolina Action, we once again focus our attention on the primary mission of the church, as embodied in the mission of Jesus and underscored in Luke 19:10, that the Son of man came to seek and save those who were lost. The calling and commission of Christ were to engage in the sacred trust of reaching souls for His kingdom and nurturing them to be faithful disciples of His. Again, we see some of the last words of Jesus echoed on earth before He returned from His redemptive mission on earth back to His Heavenly home in Matthew 28:19-20 ESV –“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I am not even close to having the caliber of evangelistic skills like Dale Pollett, Steve Vail, Mark Finley, or John Bradshaw! However, as a pastor and servant leader for Christ in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I am called and committed to Christ’s commission of soul winning – to go and make disciples for Him – with the few talents that God has given me. That is why I believe that evangelism and discipleship go hand in hand as the heartbeat of the church.
That is why I have dedicated my time and energy to sharing the everlasting gospel of His grace with our church family and community in Beaufort, SC during the last half of my sabbatical leave. Obviously, I would rejoice in baptisms and kingdom growth. But a number of members who have not been regular attendees at church have also been coming to these meetings. There is a need for evangelism and discipleship to be blended into the proclamation of God’s truths. A vital part of our calling is not just numbers, but the nurture of souls in their faithful walk with Christ. My soul thrills with praise when I receive other wonderful soul-winning reports and/or pictures from our pastors that demonstrate how the Holy Spirit is reaching hearts for Heaven during these closing moments of earth’s history. Thank you, Pastor Nick Wanovich, Pastor Scottie Deal, and Pastor Will Oosthuizen for sharing these recent soul-winning gems:
Pastor Wanovich as a brand-new pastor from the seminary at our churches in Summerville and Moncks Corner officiated in the baptisms of six new members and in engaged in Bible studies of 10 more who will be baptized shortly. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Scottie Deal celebrated a high Sabbath at his church in Salisbury with five baptisms and one child dedication. Included in this picture is that of a father and son who were baptized together.
Pastor Will Oosthuizen shared the beautiful news of these ten new disciples of Christ who were added to the churches of his district – 8 at the Five Oaks Church in Durham and 2 at our church in Hillsborough.
As of the end of September, God has blessed our Carolina family with a total of 663 baptisms and professions of faith. That is an increase of 202 from last year of precious lives who’ve embraced Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Praise the Lord! Would you join me in praying for each of these lives AND that by God’s grace, we can reach at least 337 more souls for His Kingdom by the end of 2022?
3. PRAYING FOR OUR PASTORS & THEIR CHURCH DISTRICTS
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these words of encouragement were penned for our churches: “Ask of me, and I will answer your requests. The promise is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” [9MR, 303]
Praying for our pastors is very important. They are serving God and the attacks of the enemy are relentless. They must be covered in our prayers on a daily basis.
Our prayers should be personalized by saying the title of pastor along with their name since they hold a position of sacred trust for God’s remnant church.
Why not pray specifically for our pastors by name using these seven needs and scriptural promises:
For Protection from Satan — "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
For Protection from Our Own Sinful Hearts — "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." (James 1:14-15)
For Deep Spiritual Encouragement — "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine." (Romans 1:11-12)
For Wisdom — "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." (James 1:5)
For Doctrinal Faithfulness — "By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14)
For A Healthy Body — "But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:27)
For A Strong Marriage & Family — "Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church." (1 Timothy 3:2-6)
PASTOR CHURCH(ES); COMPANIES & GROUPS
Henderson Spanish SDA Company
Carrboro Sp. Pueblo Del Dios Viviente Company
Sanford Spanish SDA Church
Durham Spanish SDA Church
Warrensville SDA Church
Charlotte Safari SDA Company
Umoja Central SDA Church
Raleigh Imani SDA Company
Durham Five Oaks SDA Church
Hillsborough SDA Church
Sylva SDA Church
Bryson City SDA Church
Franklin SDA Church
Bluffton Spanish SDA Church
Hardeeville Spanish SDA Church
Washington SDA Church
Jacksonville SDA Church
Kinston SDA Church
Jacksonville Hispanic SDA Group
4. PRAYING FOR OUR DEPARTMENTAL MINISTRIES
Beginning with our April 2019 issue of P5, we began highlighting a department of the conference each month – not so much as to give a full-length report of all that they have been or are accomplishing, but rather to simply uplift all our leaders and their faithful service in our prayers.
During the month of September. 2021, we began the second full cycle of remembering all the ministry departments of the Carolina Conference.
The Ministries of the Carolina Conference are basically structured under 6 organizational department functions. They include:
1. The Adventist Christian Book Center
2. Camp Meeting
5. Church Ministries
6. Children & Young Adults
We have been focusing our prayers for the Administrative Branch of our conference. The Administrative Branch of the Carolina Conference is divided into the following branches of service:
In our last month’s Issue of September, we focused on praying specifically for our Ministerial Department.
This month we invite you to uplift another important ministry that reaches out as a support and encouragement to all the spouses of our pastors in the Carolina Conference. That department and ministry is known as the Ministerial Spouses’ Association (MSA) and is headed up by no one other than my own dearest wife, Carole!
Scriptural Theme of the Ministerial Spouses’ Association:
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
MSA Mission Statement
Choosing to reflect Christ through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
The Carolina Conference Ministerial Spouses’ Association was formed to assist the spouse of a currently employed minister in:
Fostering personal and spiritual growth
Clarifying of the role of a minister’s spouse
Developing a team ministry uniquely suited to her/his interests and abilities
Training as a paraprofessional in the ministry
Finding fellowship and a support system
Developing closer home relationships
Supporting our spouses by prayer for and encouraging them
Ensuring our marriage is a living testimony of Christ’s love for His Church
6. SATURATED WITH THE WORD – Fundamental Belief #10 — The Experience of Salvation
As a President’s Prayer Partner, we again invite you to truly be a people of the Word. As Seventh-day Adventists, we embrace 28 Fundamental truths that are based on the Bible alone. This is the second cycle in our emphasis on these vital beliefs that are centered in Christ as our Savior and as our Lord.
Let’s continue to place His Word prayerfully in our hearts each day of this month. I carry a set of these passages with me in my car and repeat them aloud as I drive from place to place. My goal is to prayerfully say one verse at least five times a day for a week, thus embracing the promise of God’s Word – “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11.
Repeat these passages over and over till they become a part of your very being. Of course, you can always choose to do more. Prayerfully consider how you can saturate your soul and make His Word a part of your heart every day.
FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF # 10: The Experience of Salvation In infinite love and mercy, God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, Substitute and Example. This saving faith comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God’s grace. Through Christ, we are justified, adopted as God’s sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God’s law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment.
A. Jeremiah 31:33-34 (NKJV) — “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law in their minds, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall know Me from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more.”
B. Ezekiel 33:11 (NKJV) — “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’”
C. Romans 3:23-24 (NIV) — “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
D. Galatians 2:20 (NIV) — “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
6. PRAY FOR THE MINISTRY OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST EDUCATION
In our last issue of the President’s Prayer Partners’ Praises and Petitions (or as we have come to abbreviate it as P5) we began by uplifting and praising God for each of our Universities in the Southern Union Conference and the academies within the territory of the Carolina Conference. With this issue through May of 2023, we will be uplifting our church schools and the principals/head teachers and teachers who are making a profound impact on the hearts and minds of our children and youth.
Let’s pray specifically for:
1. Our new Superintendent of Education-elect, Rick Anderson as Gary Rouse closes his years of service and enters his retirement at the end of this year. Rick Anderson has also been a phenomenal leader in the educational ministry of the Carolina Conference. He first served as the former principal of Mount Pisgah Academy and more recently as our Associate Director of Education. We congratulate him on the confirmation of the Executive Committee in his new role and pray for God’s blessings on his leadership of our education program.
2. God’s protective care over our teachers, parents, and students during this school year.
3. Let’s pray for wisdom and happiness in the lives of each of our principals, head teachers, and teachers as they mentor and prepare our students for a life of service on this earth, but most importantly for their citizenship in Heaven.
4. Let’s pray for our school boards and church boards as they manage the operation of each of our church schools as centers consecrated for the salvation and education of our children and youth.
7. REMEMBERING AND UPLIFTING GOD’S ANOINTED LEADERS FOR THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH IN CONTINUOUS PRAYER
Be part of God’s praying church across North America by uplifting these leaders also in the Pacific Union of Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard: