"Moses was overworked, but his father-in-law Jethro loved him enough to instruct him on how to organize other leaders under himself" (Ex. 18:13-27). With the busyness of the modern world, the need for organized leadership is greater than ever. Thus, the Lord established elders to help oversee the work of the church alongside their pastoral leaders. One of the primary roles of the pastor is to train church members for service in ministry (Eph. 4:11-13). This, of course, includes church elders, and the Conference Officer Retreat for Elders (C.O.R.E.) endeavored to do just that.
On April 21, 2023, elders and pastors from across the Carolina Conference gathered to receive a weekend of training, inspiration, and ideas to further ministry. The theme of the weekend was “Filled with the Spirit,” and Pr. Pavel Goia shared both inspirational messages and instructions on what it looks like to cast a vision for the local church and launch meaningful, Spirit-led outreach. In concert with Goia’s teaching, the Carolina Conference officers and the ministerial department shared practical tools and training related to evangelism, preaching, community outreach, and total member involvement. Local elders sent in questions with their event registration, and many were addressed by the leadership team via panel discussions and Q&A.
The goal of the event was to both inspire and equip local leadership teams for ministry in their context and specific demographics. On Sabbath afternoon, Pr. Darryl Bentley, associate ministerial director, shared a tool called MissionInsite that taps into census and consumer trend data to help local churches know specifics about their communities. Bentley gave a live demonstration of how the data can be used to meet needs present in the community, and each church represented was given two reports on their community. Other churches can request a report by visiting www.carolinasda.org/elderresources and clicking on “Request MissionInsite Reports for Your Church.”
The weekend culminated with a send-off from Carolina Conference President Leslie Louis. Elder Louis challenged attendees to make time in their lives to stop and listen for the voice of God and to actively take up the mantle of leadership in their churches. He also shared the Conference’s goal of emphasizing discipleship along with our consistent evangelistic efforts. Apart from the training and inspiration, each meeting was bathed in prayer and blessed by music from various elders across the Conference. All leaders are encouraged to continue learning and growing in their walk with and service to Jesus.
— Darryl Bentley
photos by Rebecca Carpenter