NEC Workers Training

3rd March 2018

It has been a few weeks since the North England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists administration staff team were at the Adventist Campsite in Aberdaron to mull over the strategic plan. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of activities for the NEC team. In this hustle and bustle it’s a welcome distraction for the pastors and administrators to set aside a day here and there to be empowered and mentally nourished. In a long-standing tradition within the NEC there is some time set aside to upskill the workers and the 15th and 22nd of February was no different. Pastor Jackson is very intentional in the development of his staff members. He states that if all profession requires training and development then each worker in the North England needs to do the same in order to effectively serve the membership. He is committed for all staff to be equipped and serve with all their hearts.

As a denomination the Seventh-day Adventist church is known for the impetus it places on the pursuit of a well-balanced and Christ centred education. For those who are in the employment of the NEC, personal development is encouraged and supported so as to stay abreast of any legislation, policies and trends so as to serve the membership in a professional manner. It is important to give spiritual formation a place within the whole structure of professionalism. Those in favour of an explicitly professional conception of ministry have a goal-oriented interest in reflection and practical, ethical action. With respect to prayer, a degree of differentiation is discernible. Continuing professional development is important because it ensures one to continue to be competent in their profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his penname Mark Twain, once said “If you don't read the newspaper you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper you're misinformed.” VictorHulbertThis was a quote mentioned by the Trans-European Division Communication and Media Director Pastor Victor Hulbert at the NEC Workers meeting, held at the Seventh-day Adventist Windsor Street church. This was during a presentation he gave entitled “Fake News -Don’t get caught out”. In his presentation Pastor Hulbert spoke to the workers on how unprepared many churches find themselves when a ‘crisis’ emerges. He quoted some instances in the past when the lack of preparedness has resulted in an inability to represent the Adventist message in a positive light. This in most cases is due to lack of preparedness. He counselled that every church should have a designated person who is tasked with interfacing with the media/press. This person should have a firm grasp of our core beliefs and confident in dealing with the press.

On the issue of ‘Fake news and alternative facts’ Pastor Hulbert quoted Philippians 4:8 which states “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” He mentioned that there are many stories currently circulating the internet and social media which have no basis in fact. He cautioned that one should verify any story before sharing. Check the website links of some of this content, check the date and Don't Share any information unless verified and from a reputable source.

BernardOn the 22nd of February Dr Valerie Bernard-Allen delivered an interactive presentation entitled “Ministerial Significance”. In the introduction Dr. Bernard-Allen mentioned her role in contributing to the human resources strategy of the Sheffield City council and her time lecturing at the Newbold College. She said she classes herself as a Sociologist. In explanation she said, Sociology is the study of society and of people and their behaviour. Sociologists create theories to explain human behaviour and the workings of society.

The NEC workers delved in sociological scenarios and discussions which left many in awe. Some of the case studies that were looked into were: ‘The secularisation thesis’, ‘The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism’ and ‘The sex ratio theory’. The presentation challenged the biases that we have towards each other on the basis of gender, race, marital status and sexuality. As a people of faith there are issues that are happening in churches that are swept under the rug in the fear of ‘rocking the boat’. There are lessons to be learnt and the NEC is petitioning for your prayers so they can serve you better. Please keep these workers in your prayers.

[Lungani Sibanda]


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