Church elders, lay preachers and lay Bible workers on St. Maarten were re-energized and empowered for effective service during the weekend of September 28-30, 2018. Participants were engaged in certification ministry programs facilitated by the Personal Ministries Director of the North Caribbean Conference (NCC), Dr. Henry Peters, and the NCC Ministerial Secretary, Pastor Royston Philbert.
As he addressed over 100 program participants, Dr. Peters said, “This is a very significant weekend. Elders of St. Maarten are on the last leg of completing the necessary requirements for Inter American Division (IAD) certification, while the course is also a requirement for lay Bible workers and lay preachers for completion of the General Conference (GC) certification module for the School of Evangelism.” It was a weekend in which the School of Evangelism once again motivated, trained and allowed some lay preachers to display skills learned during these sessions” commented Philemon Dupuis of the Good News SDA congregation.
In 2019, the NCC will embark on a massive evangelistic initiative and in preparation, the certification programs are geared toward enhancing the proficiency of lay leaders to serve as Bible workers and campaign coordinators for the initiative.
On Friday evening Pastor Philbert emphasized Biblical preaching. He reminded leaders of the need to tap into the person of the Holy Spirit to receive the necessary power for evangelism: “When our preaching is accompanied by the Holy Spirit, we will win souls. . . Our pulpits are not ecumenical. Elders should study the message of the church and preach the whole message. When that message is preached with power, things will happen in our pulpits.” That message was confirmed by Dr. Peters who gave a brief survey and stressed the importance of the biblical base of the doctrines of the SDA Church.
The sessions, which took place at the newly dedicated St. Peters SDA Church, had the largest attendance on Sabbath afternoon for topics such as, Effective Preaching and The Biblical and Psychological Dimensions of Preaching. Attendees were exposed to different types of sermons and how to prepare those sermons.
The weekend climaxed with the much anticipated preaching practicum on Sunday evening. Seven preachers were given the opportunity to present sermons using the information presented over the weekend. Members were inspired by the delivery of Bernadette Gumbs, a recent convert who joined the church seven months ago. She was inspiring in her sermon, entitled, Can’t Live Without It.
The NCC School of Evangelism is geared to delivering cutting-edge training for elders, lay Bible workers and lay preachers in a non-formal setting. All those present expressed their appreciation for the wealth of information and the opportunity to practice what was taught.