Church officers from across the West Jamaica Conference territory gathered at different downlink sites for the Online L.E.A.D Training Programme on Sunday, November 17, 2019. The Initiative was designed to foster the growth of church officers in the areas of Leadership, Evangelism, Administration and Discipleship (L.E.A.D). A total of 8 online sites were set up across the parishes of St. James, Westmoreland, Hanover and St. Elizabeth.
Pastor France Chambers, Communication and Publishing Director of West Jamaica Conference, opened the live stream programme with an overview of the initiative. “Now that the technology is available to train you without your immediate presence required in a specific location, we will be using it to supplement our ongoing training of our dedicated church leaders” he explained.
The attendees were addressed by two Administrators and two Directors from the West Jamaica Conference: Pastor Glen Samuels (President), Mrs. Marion Barrett-Popkin (Chief Financial Officer), Pastor Jonathon Myrie (Director of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty) and Pastor Charles T. Brevitt (Stewardship Director). The speakers presented on subjects critical to mission, church administration and religious liberty.
Pastor Glen Samuels centred his discourse around the Christian approach to leadership. The President stressed the importance of effective leadership in relation to quantitative and qualitative church growth. “The church is first and foremost a spiritual organism. As leaders of the church, this is a fundamental truth we have to grapple with; as we lead, our responsibility is to improve the quality of our spirituality” he shared. The audience was also steered towards practicing inclusivity in order to create effective worship encounters; making the atmosphere warm and inviting for all. “Church can be lively and friendly and still have reverential awe” he ended.
In addition to the President’s counsel on leadership, the viewers were also furnished with the finer details of the rationale behind financial health--how the church and its finances affect the mission. The treasurer reminded the assembly that even though the church practices “planned giving”, controversy will arise regarding how money is allocated. In pointing out this fact, she went on to advise the officers how this can be neutralized. “The responsibility must be seen as a team effort: everyone and all concerned about the financial well-being of the church. A concept of mutual support is critical” she said. A concise overview of financial management and the distribution of funds by the Conference was also given.
The Director of Stewardship, Pastor Charles T. Brevitt followed suit with his presentation on the role and responsibilities of the church board. In doing so he gave an in-depth exposition of the legal formalities to be practised at the local church regarding spending. “The expenditure of church funds must be done under scrutiny of the church board. There must be a vote to authorize, there must be records and receipts and proper signatures” Brevitt emphasized.
The viewers were reminded of important religious liberty practices by the Director of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty, Pastor Jonathon Myrie. The conflicts surrounding the state versus the beliefs of the church were also reviewed and in doing so, Myrie counselled the gathering on the dangers of linking the church’s participation in humanitarian activities to evangelism. “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is fully committed to promote, defend and protect religious freedom for everyone everywhere”. he ended.
Throughout the programme, the audience at the host site (The Seventh-day Adventist Conference Centre) as well as the virtual participants were given the opportunity to interact with the speakers by commenting, discussing and asking questions.comments powered by Disqus