Church not reading enough even though we have the best books in the world says Adventist Pastor
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Thursday, May 3, 2018
The potency and power of the publishing ministry in the salvation of souls took center stage at the Publishing & Spirit of Prophecy Convention held at the Andrews Memorial SDA Church on April 28, 2018 under the theme “Experiencing Transformation through the printed pages ... Connect and Share."
Publishing directors and literature evangelists from ten churches as well as entrants in the 2018 Diplomats program participated in the convention which was designed to emphasize the role and purpose of the Publishing and Spirit of Prophecy Department in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Former Secretary and Publishing Director of Central Jamaica Conference, Pastor Ronnie Henry was the guest speaker for the divine service who declared in his opening sentences that there was a special place in his heart for the Publishing Ministry. Within minutes of him speaking in the pulpit, it became evident from his delivery that he has a passion for the colporteur ministry.
Henry captured the attention of his listeners by positing that God was the first publishe since it was he who wrote the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone with his very fingers. According to Henry, the fact that God gave tablets to the prophet Moses who took it took it to the people, made Moses the first colporteur.
The man of God engaged the congregation by asking the question “Who are we?”, and as the congregation responded with answers like, “we are children of God”, “ we are his peculiar people”, “we are the remnant”, and “we are his witnesses”, the preacher affirmed their responses and added that “we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth,” and that both of these concepts are important if we are to understand why God gave the church a message to give to the world.
Henry, who has given over forty six years of ministry to the church in
Central Jamaica Conference and Northern Caribbean University (Formerly West Indies College) affirmed his faith and belief in the doctrines of the SDA Church when he said “there is no other church on the face of the earth like the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” and went further to say “the church has been given such an important message but so many of us are not even aware of it.”
He highlighted the publishing ministry as an important gift to the church but lamented that members no longer take the time to read books which are written to provide knowledge insight into spiritual things.
“Seventh-day Adventists have the best books in the world but as a church, we are not reading! As a congregation we have not fully appreciated what God has given us. We have the knowledge but do not have the zeal,” Henry said with disappointment in his voice.
The former Central Jamaica Conference Stewardship and Spirit of Prophecy Coordinator challenged members to study the Sabbath School lesson guide and know the word of God for themselves for we are living in earth’s final days and turbulent times are ahead. .
“For what is about to beak upon the world, if you don’t know the word of God you are going to go under! You’ve got to make the Bible your friend, for when all is said and done, the Bible is God speaking audibly to us.”
Henry brought highlighted the importance of the colporteur ministry and urged the church to respect these workers who are doing an awesome job in introducing Christ to the world with the printed pages.
Noting that the Publishing Department plays an important role in the church but has been relegated to the back burner by the enemy, Publishing and Spirit of Prophecy Director in East Jamaica Conference, Sis. Kathleen Dunkley, said “we need to turn this around! It belongs on the front burner!”
Dunkley established the significance of the publishing ministry to the Adventist Church in Jamaica when she disclosed that the Seventh-day Adventist church in Jamaica came into existence from a little piece of paper (a tract) and that the "Publishing Department is the only department that God gave direct instructions as to how it should be established at the beginning."
President of East Jamaica Conference, Pastor Eric Nathan, commended Sis. Kathleen Dunkley for her passion for the Publishing and Spirit of Prophesy ministries and made an appeal for persons to join the colporteur ministry and help with spreading the gospel through the printed pages.
Nathan lamented that there are many in our ranks who do not know the power of the printed page and invited everyone to read and share the Priority Magazines which have important information which can shared with the people around us.
During the day several testimonies were shared which highlighted the positive impact that is being made by colporteurs across the Conference. One such testimony was that of Sis. Sharon Nevers of the Trench Town SDA Church who disclosed that she came to a knowledge of the truths in the Bible by the intervention of a colporteur.
“I am a product of the printed pages and the child of the King,” said Sharon who proceeded to tell the story of her conversion through the efforts and ministry of EJC colporteur Sis. Clarice Knight who visited her office at the Ministry of Finance and Planning where she worked in 2003.
“While Clarice Knight was canvassing, she introduced me to her books and I started to purchase,” Sis. Nevers told the church. “By reading the literature, I read myself straight into the church along with her guidance and prayers. My husband saw my transformation and he too started to read the books.”
According to Sis. Nevers her husband soon followed in her footsteps and gave his life also to the Lord.