February 9, 2024 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division

Local church elders across the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-American Division (IAD) will be honored on Feb. 17, 2024, during a special online program hosted from Miami, Florida, United States. The event will celebrate the more than 15,000 church elders who have completed last year’s comprehensive elder certification training program overseen by the IAD’s Ministerial Association.

“This is an opportunity to highlight the important and dedicated work that local church elders do in assisting pastors in shepherding the membership throughout the more than 23,000 churches and congregations across the territory,” said Pastor Josney Rodríguez, ministerial association secretary of the IAD.  “We want to ensure that church elders are equipped and empowered to care for the church, ministering to the spiritual needs of the members, their well-being and are totally engaged in discipling them.”

[Image: Inter-American Division]

The comprehensive certification program seeks to equip church elders who assist pastors with five, 10, or even more than 20 congregations, doing essential work that pastors are not able to do, explained Rodríguez. “Church elders have vast leadership responsibilities that together with the deacons, deaconess, and small group leaders keep the church on course in ministering and engaging members in the mission,” he said.

Conference and mission fields will gather its local church elders in auditoriums, offices, and large churches to ensure they can to be part of the live program and receive their certificates, said Rodríguez.

This year’s online program will include short spiritual segment from IAD leaders, including recognition of outstanding church elder from each union, unions with the most certified church elders, churches with the most engaged membership in the discipleship program, among others.

“Our goal is to have each one of our more than 37,000 local church elders registered in the annual certification program,” Rodríguez said. “We have been striving for that since 2017 and have seen a wonderful benefits in the spiritual growth of the church overall.”

To view the online program in Spanish, English and French, on Feb. 17, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. (Miami Time) visit webcast.interamerica.org

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