The Future of the Adventist Ministry

Speaker: Categories: Dec 30, 1989


[58min, 7sec / 36min, 11sec]


Any Southern or Southeastern California Conference church which has gone through a pastoral transition within the last several years has become keenly aware that the days have long since passed when pastors were in abundant supply, easily relocatab1e, and ready to assume new challenges. The available "pool" seems tragically "drained." Worse yet, the prospects for the future seem even more dismal with rumors rampant that fewer and fewer young men (and women) are seeking to prepare for the ministry. Is it that fewer are hearing the "call" or that fewer are answering such a "call"? Perhaps, the "call" is now being interpreted much differently -- including such items as employment opportunities for spouse, educational opportunities (and costs) for children, housing costs, etc.

Churches remaining pastorless, during a pastoral transition, for up to six months seems to be not at all unusual. This, despite the concerted efforts on the part of Conference administration to fill the positions quickly --,to minimize the inevitable trauma of losing one pastor and adjusting to a new pastor.

And matters of church size seem to make little difference -- as attested by the current experience of the Loma Linda University Church as well as a host of other "small" churches throughout the southern portion of California.

The problem seems further compounded by the number of SDA pastors who have defected from the ministry, some of whom have even left the denomination, within recent years.


David Newman was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He earned his Bachelor's degree in theology from Loma Linda University in 1966, his Master's degree in archaeology and history from Andrews in 1974, and is anticipating completion of a Doctor 'of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in church organizational behavior in June, 1990.

Our December speaker has pastored in Michigan, Ohio, and Scotland, 1966-75. He has served as an administrator in the Ohio Conference, 1981-84. Since 1984 he has been associated with the General Conference Ministerial Association, serving one year as assistant secretary and more recently as associate secretary. He joined the staff at MINISTRY magazine in 1984 as executive editor, the position which he currently holds.

Elder Newman has conducted seminars in conflict management, leadership development, management and planning, adult Sabbath School teaching, and 1888 and righteousness by faith.

His wife, Phyllis, is a realtor. They have two daughters: Michelle, 19, a junior at Columbia Union College, married to Jerry Rader; and Heather, 17, a freshman at Newbold College, England.

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