Monthly Archives: March 2013

We Interrupt This Program-Again

Last time, we interrupted our series on “The Seven E’s” and the State of the Conference for a final farewell and salute to our former Adventist Book Center Manager, as well as a comment on the world-wide attention garnered by our Catholic brethren in the election of their new Pope.

We were to re-start our discussion on the next “E” in The 7 E’s-Equipping Our Workers. However, I need to share with you some late-breaking news: On this past Thursday, April 11, the Executive Committee voted to accept an offer of $700,000 to sell our camp ground in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

We purchased this property, which includes 500 plus acres, around 1997. Unfortunately, said property remains essentially the same as it was when we purchased it. Very little development has taken place in the 16 years since we purchased it.

As a result, we have a property that just sort of sits there. It certainly looks good while it is sitting there, but still, it’s just sitting there.

And, while it is sitting there, it is costing money, to just, sit there. According to the figures that I received from our Treasury Department, the final 3 full years that our campground was in operation, its expenses totaled over $300,000.

Conversely, the total revenue for the camp ground those final 3 years was $681.00. That is an average revenue of approximately $230.00, per year, or, less than one dollar per day. Please bear in mind that figure is:

The total revenue-not the total income, and
That is the total revenue for 3 years not for one year.

Put another way, our campground lost $100,000 every year, for its final 3 years. No matter how ardent any of us may be about owning our own campground, it is pretty hard to make a case for continuing to spend […]

By |March 19th, 2013|Categories: President's Blog|0 Comments

The State of Conference Part V: Equipping Our Workers

Today, our State of the Conference Series continues with the third of the 7 E’s-Equipping Our Workers.

The most important assets in our conference, or, any other conference, are the constituents and the workers.  Without constituents and workers, there is no conference.

It is true that the President’s job is to set a direction and communicate that direction and report on where the conference is going, relative to that direction. But it is the constituents and the workers who are primarily responsible for doing the things that the President communicates and reports.

The next two articles in this series will deal with the things that we are trying to do to equip our workers to provide better service for you. The focus is going to primarily be on the Pastors and the office staff.

There are basically four kinds of workers in the conference: Pastors, Educators, Office Staff and Literature Evangelist. Our discussion will focus on Pastors and the Office Staff – not because the other two are not important – they are.

It is just that my office deals primarily with the hiring and equipping of Pastors and Office Staff. The Office of Education addressing the training of our teachers.  For me to talk about the training of our educational personnel would be to assume an expertise that I do not have.

The Publishing Director, or the FHES Director (Family Home Education Service), Elder Java D. Mattison, is responsible for the recruitment of literature evangelist.  If you are an old Adventist like me; you remember when we used to call them “colporteurs”.

As I have said previously, there are certain things that are a dead giveaway that you are an old Adventist, like me: Knowing what a colporteur is. Remembering when […]

By |March 19th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The State of the Conference Part IV

Last time, we spoke with you about the second of The 7 E’s: Evangelizing Our Conference. We said that this is probably the most important of the 7 core values that we have identified of our conference.

Evangelism is the purpose of our church. It is not something that we do; it is who are. It is the business of the church and as we have said many times, a church that is not in the business of evangelism runs the risk of finding itself out of business.

In a conference such as ours that has a large number of churches that are located in rural areas, evangelism is particularly crucial. When I visit churches in rural areas, as a former Youth Director of this conference (a responsibility I thoroughly enjoyed, by the way. I tell people that, while there were people who were more gifted at Youth Ministries than me, no one ever enjoyed being Youth Director more than me. I was extraordinarily blessed to have a 17 year stretch, the first 6 as the Pastor of the Memphis Breath of Life Church, and then, the 11 years I spent as Youth Director, that were the best days of my ministry. Anyway..). I am noticing that the young people who were attending those churches in the days when I was Youth Director, are not there any more.

As these young people went off to college and moved into adulthood, a lot of them have moved away and no longer attend the rural churches of their youth. If we are not successful in evangelizing our rural churches which make up a significant percentage of the overall number of churches in our conference we are going to have some significant challenges in the future.

One of the privileges of being in the […]

By |March 5th, 2013|Categories: President's Blog|0 Comments