“We Will Not be Deterred.” NAD Year-end Meetings Day 1


(Spectrumbot) #1

The North American Division Year-end Meetings began on the afternoon of November 1, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. with the usual humor and camaraderie that the NAD Officers display, but Dan Jackson’s President’s Report contained uncharacteristic bluntness and contagious energy.

The meeting began with comments from President Jackson and Executive Secretary G. Alexander Bryant about the number of individuals who have expressed interest in this year’s meetings. So many people are coming to Sunday’s business session to hear the NAD’s discussion on the Annual Council compliance document vote that a special overflow room has been set up so they don’t violate any fire codes in the main meeting room (which can hold a maximum of 401 people).

Jackson opened the business session with a reminder to delegates to speak from the heart, but to also treat those who disagree with dignity and respect. This is a meeting of family, he said. “There are times when family is happy and united, and there are times when there are dysfunctions and family is not happy. This does not preclude talking about it...I know that this family is hurting...your role and mine is number one to not add to the hurt, and number two to be the agents of Jesus’ healing to one another.”

He continued saying, “It is my great desire that when we walk through the doors going outward on Tuesday night that we will walk out praising God, and that we will walk out into the mission field."

After these opening remarks, Alex Bryant got down to business, reading the mission statement, announcing that 232 delegates are registered in attendance (fulfilling the quorum), and officially calling the 2018 business sessions to order. After the body accepted the meeting agenda, Jackson stood to deliver his President’s Report.

The theme of the year-end meetings is “Working Together with Jesus,” which draws from 1 Corinthians 3:9: “For we are co-workers in God’s service...” When you accept Jesus as your savior, you become a minister of the gospel, said Jackson. We are all ministers of the Good News, who can bring hope, healing, and wholeness to the whole world.

Throughout his report, Jackson reiterated several times that each division is a steward of its own territory — it is a responsibility and a privilege that no one else has. "God calls us who live in North America to be the stewards of our territory. He didn't call Africa to steward North America and he didn't call North America to steward Africa. We've been given the specific responsibility of our own territories."

He then took the audience on a journey of the NAD’s path over the last 10 years of mission work within its field, from 2011 through the vision for 2020. He touched on the NAD gaining the Guam-Micronesia Mission as part of its territory (2012), Oakwood University becoming an NAD institution (2014), and the NAD receiving governance of Christian Record Services (which provides services to the blind) from the General Conference (2016).

“If anyone tells me women don’t know how to do business, I have two words for them: Diane Thurber,” said Jackson, highlighting the President of Christian Record Services who took it from bankruptcy to thriving in just two years.

“Where do we go from here?” Jackson asked the delegates. He then listed the strengths of the NAD: A GREAT God, excellent human resources, great facilities, active laity, capable youth, and generous constituencies. He said the NAD does not have “one penny of indebtedness” for its new building, and that they are currently running 8% ahead of expected tithe for this year.

But there are challenges, too, he admitted. These include failure to place mission as the top priority, a disenchantment potential for all age groups, the inability to financially fuel mission, potential of decreasing funds, and pluralism inside and outside the church.

He told the story of an 87-year-old woman who recently contacted him, saying she doesn’t recognize her church anymore after the events at Annual Council. She lives in an Adventist retirement facility and everyone her age is expressing the same concern, she said. It’s not just young people who are disenchanted with the way things are, Jackson emphasized, though young people are struggling, too.

He shared that an executive committee member approached him at Annual Council. With tears in his eyes, the individual told him that his 17-year-old daughter, Emma, had texted him Sunday night after the vote to say she was leaving the church. The father asked Jackson to please contact his daughter, which he did.

The church needs all of us right now, Jackson told the audience. “Please don’t go.”

On mission initiatives, Jackson highlighted the many goals of the NAD. Church Plant 1,000 has the goal of 1,000 new congregations within five years. The NAD is currently in its third year of the project and has planted 560 churches. Thousands of evangelistic campaigns have also been conducted, resulting in hundreds of baptisms. But the “number one soul-building and soul-winning outreach in the NAD is our system of education,” he said. Jackson also praised God for the 60 Adventist hospitals in the NAD.

The need for more money to fuel these projects was a central point, which could set the stage for a discussion on creating tithe parity with other divisions. The NAD currently gives more tithe to the GC than other divisions do to help fund mission in other parts of the world.

Throughout his presentation, Jackson repeated the phrase, “we will not be deterred!” several times, focusing on the dedication and specific mission of the NAD for its own territory. “We will not be deterred. We will not be discouraged into doing nothing. We will not be defeated by the forces of hell, because we’re on God’s team, and I’ve read the end of the book and I know how it ends. This is God’s church, this is God’s territory.”

Speaking specifically to the NAD’s dedication to women pastors, Jackson said, “I want to always be associated with this reality: that God pours out his spirit on women as well as on men...To all who like it and to all who don't like it: we will not be deterred. We do not care what action, we do not care what body, we do not care. We have a mandate from God to encourage women to serve as pastors.”

"We are not doing anything contrary to the General Conference,” he continued. “As a matter of fact, we never have.” He said to anyone who thinks otherwise, he’s happy to highlight the parts of the Working Policy they need to read.

He mentioned an article he had read recently that stated the Annual Council decision meant no women were allowed to be pastors. “Hooey!” he cried. “Hooey!...To be really honest, I'm getting really tired of the baloney that comes through our fake news outlets.”

Jackson closed his report by saying, “We have one North Star in the NAD, his name is Jesus, and we serve him. We will not stop, we will not be deterred.”

As he sat down to exuberant applause, Alex Bryant thanked Jackson and said he doesn’t think he’s ever heard the words “hooey” and “baloney” used from the pulpit before. “They’re appropriate words,” Jackson replied. Bryant then called for a motion to accept the President’s Report. Several affirmatives were given and the report was received unanimously by the body.

The vision Jackson laid out is one of unity in diversity, rather than uniformity, one where the NAD focuses first on the needs within its own territory. How that is accomplished in the future will unfold in the coming days. Will the NAD decide to keep more tithe at home? What will come out of Sunday’s discussion about recent happenings at Annual Council? One thing is clear: all eyes are on the NAD.

WATCH the live stream of Day 1 of the NAD Year-end Meetings here:

Alisa Williams is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

Image: SpectrumMagazine.org

We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9171

#2

See the video from 1:36 - 1:41 minutes if you view nothing else where this is explained. It is very informative and you will find it really blows the smoke and dust of misinformation away from from the church’s long standing policy and practice of women in service to God.


(jeremy) #3

what a positive report…what confidence…what a difference from the doleful dread attached to the battle creek annual council…what a difference leadership makes…

i’m sensing a new name emerging: seventh-day NADventism…i’m a NADventist…it has a good ring to it…


(Thomas J Zwemer) #4

There is more hooey in Ted Wilson than just WO. But what a statement. Conformity has become a dirty work in politics and in Church.Let us get back to Micah 6:8.


(Joselito Coo) #5

All eyes on Jesus instead, perhaps? Honestly, I don’t believe the global SDA church will suffer if the NAD were to withhold its tithe contribution and mission offerings they send to the GC. As far as I’m concerned, it will be a welcome respite from our colonial culture of dependence on the West.


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #6

Kudos and applause for President Dan Jackson, who like Donald Trump, is vociferous and vehement in his denunciation of FAKE NEWS

Plaudits for Jackson’s listing of the strengths of the NAD, the most significant of which is GENEROUS CONSTITUENCIES.

When the NAD tithe is more than double the rest of the world field’s tithe,
that is a telling.testament to our clout.

We have the ultimate weapon: THE POWER OF THE PURSE.

TW should wither and quail, if rightly, we choose to excercise that power in pursuit of ethical, egalitarian outcomes for our women pastors.


#7

Something that stood out to me in Dan Jackson’s report was his mention of not having enough money to address the many immigrants coming to North America. Tithe has gone up “but it doesn’t all stay here.” He mentioned what an evangelism opportunity exists, and “we won’t be deterred.” Maybe this portends an impending change in financial flow, for one thing.

Just in a ten-mile radius around the NAD offices and the GC, both places are teeming with people from all over the world and many are neither prosperous or Christian. The opportunities to minister to their needs and later share the gospel with them are many. This is the mission field and it needs funding.


(Steve Mga) #8

Ha! Ha! Ha!
Any Seventh day Adventist Administrator who can call out “fake news” by using
commonly used words of “Hooey! Baloney!” is my kind of guy or gal!
It is about time our Administrators don’t pussy foot around in these troubled times
for the SDA church in North America.
Something Alisa did not bring out which AToday does, is that that President Jackson
announced that he is HALF WAY to his Goal of 1000 women pastors in North American
Territories – he announced that there are 500 at this time.
It was important for him to announce the hard line stance that North America can only
understand and plan for North America.
The NA Division cannot say what goes on in other Divisions, and other Divisions cannot
say or vote on what the NA Division needs to promote and accomplish.


(George Tichy) #9

Steve, here it is indeed:


(George Tichy) #10

Pastor Dan Jackson is definitely the kind of leader that our Denomination needs. I consider him my leader, since he leads the Church in america, where I live. The only thing that matters is if he is leading the Church here according to what we are and do HERE. So far, so good! Excellent!

I am not a bit concerned with other regions of the world; they can take care of themselves, according to their culture, habits, and needs.

And, regarding the GC, a completely irrelevant entity, my only concern is, “When is it going to be dismantled, dissolved for the good of the REAL CHURCH here out of the GC Bubble?”

Go NAD, GO!!!


(jeremy) #11

i think steve is talking about women pastors, not congregations…


(Robert King) #12

“Satan will always cooperate with those who are willing to betray scared trusts”. EGW (RC201)

“I saw that many of these shepherds had denied the past teachings of God; they had denied and rejected the glorious truths which they once zealously advocated and had covered themselves with mesmerism and all kinds of delusions. I saw that they were drunken with error and were leading on their flock to death. Many of the opposers of God’s truth devise mischief in their heads upon their beds, and in the day they carry out their wicked devices to put down the truth and to get something new to interest the people and divert their minds from the precious, all-important truth.” {EW 123.2}

Dan Jackson has no anchor to the 3AM or even how to proceed forward with his brand of truth, it just relegates us to emotionalism with no connection to Jesus in the MHP.


(George Tichy) #13

If you had any purpose posting these two paragraphs, please reveal what the purpose actually was. Are you trying to make a point? What is it?


(Steve Mga) #15

George between Spectrum and AToday President Jackson’s Goals:
Church Plant: 1000 [has 560]
Women Pastors in the NAD: 1000 [has 500]

Re: Robert King’s post.
Not sure how this article relates to President Jackson’s belief/not belief in the
3 Angel Messages
Most Holy Place
I don’t believe it even addressed Pres. Jackson’s “brand of truth.”


(Tim Teichman) #16

Of course he does. He’s an Adventist pastor seeped in such things. For decades.

What are your two quotes supposed to mean? It’s everyone’s guess unless you explain why you used them.


(George Tichy) #17

Robert, now that you added something to the two quotes, please explain what you mean by:

  1. How do you define “his brand of truth?”
  2. What is this “anchor to the 3AM?”
  3. How is the connection to Jesus lost in all this process?

I hope you can explain those issues, because so far they are obscure.


(Alisa Williams) #18

@niteguy2, just to clarify, Jackson did not mention the number of women pastors they currently have. Yes, the goal is 1,000, but the reference to being halfway to the goal and the number mentioned of over 500 was, as @GeorgeTichy points out, in reference to the Church Plant 1000 goal of 1,000 new congregations, not to the number of female pastors currently serving. I just confirmed with an NAD official who said there are currently only 160 or so female pastors in the NAD.


(Alisa Williams) #19

@niteguy2, I responded in another comment, but this number is not correct. Jackson was referring to the current number of congregations (560). He did not mention the number of female pastors (which is about 160), only the goal of 1,000.


(George Tichy) #20

Thanks Alisa for clarifying the number. I knew it was just a little above 150 so far. But hey, it is already great anyway. It will be a slow growing process because the negative messages and threats sent by the GC certainly discourage many women to pursue ministry.

But I am sure that despite the current “Deterring GC,” God will continue opening the doors of opportunity for women to become ordained ministers.


(Alisa Williams) #21

@GeorgeTichy - Indeed! May their numbers ever increase.