New Position for New Direction

New Position for New Direction

       This month’s column comes from General Council Chairman John Pethtel.


In accordance with our Alliance in Ministry, the General Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Kersten to the part-time interim position of New Contact Coordinator for 2014. Nick’s responsibility will still lie mostly in his role as Librarian-Historian (⅞ time), as his new role will be limited to an average of 20 hours a month.

As New Contact Coordinator, Nick will help us respond quickly and efficiently to new contacts. He will work very closely with the Executive Director in categorizing, classifying, and collecting data from all new contacts. This position will primarily be an office-based one and will be evaluated regularly by the Executive Director and the President of the SDB Historical Society.

This interim position is just a small step for us to move forward in how the Conference handles church development. Our hope is to try to be more active in the communication that we have with new groups and potential new groups.

In related news (and as announced at the General Conference sessions in 2013), the General Council plans to have task forces related to church development starting work in 2014: one related specifically to church planting, and one related to church revitalization.

After hearing feedback from many of our members and spending much time in prayer, we see church development as a major focus of the ministry of SDBs going into the future. This involves the health and revitalization of our existing member churches, as well as the establishment of new Gospel-centered Sabbath-keeping churches throughout North America. This priority has already begun to challenge us to answer the questions of how and why our Conference exists to serve our members and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Many have asked how they can join in this work-in-progress. Let me offer some tangible ways you can participate in what God is doing and will do among SDBs. If you would commit to doing at least one of these things during 2014 it would be greatly appreciated:

1. Pray. Our General Conference earnestly desires the “more preferable future” that He has in store for us. Pray for God’s continued work in and through us, and our faithfulness to follow Him where He leads.

2. Participate. Might God be calling you to use your time and talents in your local church? Might He be calling you to move and use your talents in another church that desires to reach their God-given potential? Are you being challenged to service but don’t feel prepared?

3. Pay. If God has blessed you financially, would you consider supporting one of our newer ministries that we believe God will use to help catalyze the spiritual and numerical growth of SDBs? (i.e., Emerging Media, Church Planting Conference, etc.) Your undesignated giving will also help these endeavors.

4. Plan. We need your feedback. Planning includes being sensitive to the Holy Spirit who indwells all believers. Please contact our Executive Director, a member of the General Council, or another executive with what you want us to hear.


The General Council has been encouraged to see what God has in store for SDBs. We earnestly want you to join us in the work that only He can do among and through us.

Never has the future of SDBs been so bright! Seventh Day Baptists are a people with a rich history who desire to impact the present so that a prosperous forever is possible for those who love Jesus.

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