A Pastor Called to Ordination

A Pastor Called to Ordination

Sep 25, 2017

by John J. Pethtel Director of Church Development & Pastoral Services     Pastor Ericessen A. Cooper, a man of God, was called to pastor the NYC SDB Church at 1904 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York, in April 2005 and has been faithfully serving in this capacity.   In 2016, at a special member’s meeting, the church officially called Pastor Cooper to ordination. An Ordination committee was formed to accomplish this mission. Under the leading of the Holy Spirit, the chairperson of the committee, Sis. Monica Thompson, along with committee members, Sis. Jewel Poole, Bro. Oliver Francis, Sis. Lisa Moore, Pastor Harold Smith, Bro. Lebert Small, and Bro Cecil King, went into action with the help of the Director of Church Development and Pastoral Services, Pastor John Pethtel, and the SDB Manual of Policy and Procedure. Notice was sent to the General Conference and the date of Sabbath, March 18, was selected for the Ordination Council to examine the readiness of our Pastor to the ministry. Letters of invitation were sent to sister churches in Eastern Association and the SDB Council on Ministry to send delegates to serve on the Council. Pastor John Pethtel moderated the examination session and Sis. Jewel Poole served as secretary. After deliberation, Pastor Ericessen Cooper was declared ready for ordination. Hallelujah! The church joyfully and unanimously voted to accept the Council’s recommendation. The Ordination Service was held on Sabbath, April 29, 2017. There was such joy and excitement for this long-awaited moment. The congregation, family members, specially invited guests, friends, and Pastor Cooper’s co-workers were all seated and ready for this solemn and wonderful occasion. The message, entitled “It’s Harvest Time,” was brought by Pastor Andrew Samuels, a friend and mentor to Pastor Cooper. Pastor Egbert Downes, Plainfield SDB Church, brought the charge to the candidate and Pastor Paul Andries, Washington SDB Church, brought the charge to the church. The robing of Pastor Ericessen Cooper was done by members of our Diaconate Board and Pastor Nicholas Kersten led the consecration prayer. Presentations were made to both Pastor Cooper and his supportive wife, Sis. Crystal Cooper. After Pastor John Pethtel welcomed Pastor Cooper to the ministry, the newly ordained Rev....

Socially Acceptable Ways that Church Leaders Self-Medicate

Socially Acceptable Ways that Church Leaders Self-Medicate

Mar 23, 2017

by John J. Pethtel Director Church Development & Pastoral Services Let me guess. You’re so busy caring for others (people in your church, your kids, your family, your friends) that you haven’t really taken great care of yourself lately, have you? Welcome to leadership. Especially church leadership. You run hard. You work long hours. And you’re so busy caring for others you forgot to care for yourself. When I ask church leaders how they’re doing personally, they usually admit they don’t take great care of themselves. And when you don’t take great care of yourself, guess what you end up doing in almost every single case. You end up self-medicating. Every leader has a choice between self-care and self-medication, and subconsciously, many choose the “polite” version of self-medication. Do you? And how would you know if you did? What is Self-Medication? A health care professional describes it as what people do to cope with the stress, anxiety, and difficulty in life. When stress and life overwhelm you, you will either choose to respond to it in a healthy way (self-care) or an unhealthy way (self-medication). When you think of self-medication, don’t just think of pills or alcohol. As we’ll see below, there are some very “socially-acceptable” ways even for Christians to self-medicate. But the results are still numbing. The choice is yours. But the first reality is this: Self-care is so much healthier than self-medicating. The second reality is just as important: If you don’t intentionally choose self-care as a leader, you’ll end up self-medicating. 1. Overeating. Being overweight or even obese is almost normal in some Christian circles. As someone who is self-conscious about my weight (and who does not understand how anyone can be a natural bean pole), I empathize. I also know I often eat when I’m not hungry, but when I’m upset or just bored. Food is the drug of choice for many Christian leaders. 2. Working More Again, working too many hours is socially acceptable, even rewardable in some circles. But all work and no play doesn’t just make you dull, it makes you disobedient. It’s ironic, but the way some leaders cope with the stress associated with work is...

Why Your Church May Struggle to Find Leaders

Why Your Church May Struggle to Find Leaders

Mar 23, 2017

by John Pethtel There’s a big difference between a volunteer and a leader. A volunteer in your church will move stuff around. A leader will move stuff forward. Both are important, but leaders will provide exponential growth. A lot of churches are not very good at engaging, inspiring and working with volunteers. But we’re even worse when it comes to developing leaders. It seems like we always need people to do stuff, but we really struggle with attracting high-level leaders to lead stuff. Here are three reasons you may struggle to involve more leaders in your church: 1. Leaders aren’t recruited from a sign-up table. If you need a bunch of people to sign up for a work day or a volunteer opportunity, there’s a good chance you will see some activity from a really passionate message and a solid call to action. When the stakes are low, you can get people to go to the sign-up table. But you can’t recruit leaders this way. Leaders don’t sign up at tables along with everyone else. They respond to personal invitations. If you want to engage leaders, you need to identify them and personally invite them into the process. 2. You have to work hard to create a culture of leadership. Your church has a culture. And if you don’t have a culture of leadership, leaders won’t thrive there. You may have a culture where the pastors do everything, or where people are not trusted with decisions. If that is the case, you have got to work hard to create a new and better culture — one where innovation and risk are valued. That is the kind of culture that is attractive to a leader. Creating a culture where leadership can thrive takes time and work. You have to create a leadership development path and bring it front and center. 3. You have to be willing to let leaders make messes. Leaders don’t want to be told how to do everything. They want the freedom to lead. That’s a defining and fundamental characteristic of this kind of person. So if you want leaders to lead ministry, you need to put people in charge. Support them,...