“And I, if I be lifted up … will draw all men unto me,” John 12:32, KJV.
The ministerial force of the Southern Union has inspired, recharged, and propelled us down the road of preparation for the 2019 evangelistic initiative that we, as conferences and Union, have voted and agreed to embrace. Next year, 2019, will represent the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 North American Division Year of Lay and Pastoral Evangelism, which we have decided to celebrate throughout the Southern Union territory. It was during 2009 that we, as a Union, experienced unprecedented growth and expansion in multi-dimensional ways. It was during that year, through varied modalities, that members of our Church embraced the Gospel Commission through multiple Christ-centered approaches. The common denominator of all of our unique strategies for introducing people to Jesus was the intentional call of men, women, young adults, and children to accept Him through a planned and organized reaping event.
Many pastors from our eight conferences, administrators from our three universities, and executives from our Adventist Health System have affirmed the missional direction evidenced through the most recent Southern Union Pastors’ Conference. An appropriate and well thought-through theme, “The Gospel Changes Everything,” was the resounding contemplation of all who registered for and participated in the three-day ministerial convention. On Monday, January 8, 2018, the attendees were admonished to “Get It.” Plenaries and workshops assisted us in conceptualizing the Gospel Commission in the context of 21st century living. On Tuesday, January 9, we were implored to “Grow It.” Outstanding preachers, lecturers, and breakout group facilitators provided tools to enable leaders to develop the art of being fishers of men and women in a contemporary/post-Christian age. On the final day of this event, we were urged to “Give It.” Sharing Jesus, His love, and acceptance of all people was emphasized through each general assembly presentation and training group. A pivotal moment for the Pastors’ Conference was an awesome banquet where conference presidents, university presidents, church pastors, and Union officers collectively reaffirmed our commitment to the 2019 Year of Lay and Pastoral Evangelism. Jim Davidson, executive secretary of the Southern Union, led us through a meaningful dedicatory ceremony and appeal to God for our success. Let us sustain a posture of intercession to God for the success of Roger Hernandez, ministerial director of the Southern Union, as he continues to cast the vision and facilitate the training for our plan to embrace the Gospel Commission through a Christ-centered approach.
A few final thoughts from the Spirit of Prophecy:
“Of all professing Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world,” Gospel Workers, page 156.
“The love of Jesus will melt and win hearts when the mere reiteration of doctrine will accomplish nothing,” The Desire of Ages, page 826.
“Present Jesus because you know Him as your personal Savior. Let His melting love, His rich grace flow forth from human lips .… Take the Word, and with tender, yearning love for souls, show them the precious righteousness of Christ, to whom you and they must come to be saved,” Evangelism, page 442.
Southern Union | February 2018