Implementing programs is a part of leadership. But what happens when you become responsible for an existing program? This was my jumping off point as the new Ministerial Director for the Pacific Union. My first thought was, What about Westpoint of Evangelism?
The logical course was gathering the Westpoint stake holders into one room and asking the big questions. Thursday morning, January 14, at the Union headquarters the process began.
Four core assumptions guided our conversation:
First, we must win people to Jesus Christ and His message. The Seventh-day Adventist church is called by God to share the Gospel in the context of the Three Angels’ messages. Like Ford Motor Company used to say, “It’s Job One!”
Second, we must grow these new members as active disciples. If we baptize people and then leave them we have committed ministry malpractice. Nurturing and growing the spiritual experience of members is crucial to our mission.
Third, the primary place for this activity is the local church. We are indeed blessed as a church community with wonderful schools, hospitals, media ministries, and church organizational structures. However, none exists as an end in itself. Each serves the mission of the Body of Christ manifested principally in the local congregation.
Fourth, pastors along with trained members are the primary persons used by God to accomplish this work. Over a quarter-century of ministry in local churches and administration teaches me that the local church typically does not rise above the level of its spiritual leader. Yet the pastor cannot act alone. It is the team of pastor-membership which creates a growing local church culture.
Critical outcomes emerged for Westpoint 2010. These include some new elements:
1. Westpoint will no longer be an event but a process. December 5-9, 2010 will be the major gathering but the Westpoint project will continue throughout the year.
2. Our Westpoint 2010 curriculum will include tracks of seminars designed for Local Church Pastor/Member Teams. These trained and mobilized leaders will return to the scene of but will be supported throughout the coming year by Westpoint consultants. Through Webcasting, Facebook, and a YouTube Channel (to name a few), the Westpoint experience will continue through the year for Westpoint Ministry Teams in the local church.
3. A Spanish language track of seminars will debut in 2010. The fastest growing portion of our membership in the Pacific Union will have training events in Westpoint designed specifically for them.
I am truly exhilarated by the synergy that is coming about from our strategic examination of the future of Westpoint. More is coming.
"Westpoint: Inspire, Instruct, Mobilize."