Thousands of pastors and their families across the Seventh-day Adventist Church throughout the Inter-American Division (IAD) vowed to re-commit their lives to God as they continue to minister to their congregations. Families took part in a special communion service in the comfort of their homes as the Annual Pastoral Family Week of Prayer ended Feb. 2, 2024.
“We wanted to seal this week of prayer differently,” said Pastor Josney Rodríguez, ministerial association secretary of the IAD. “We have never done it this way, but today we have been united in faith. God has spoken to our hearts and together we have made a new commitment to Him, by partaking of the Lord’s Super which represents an intimate union with Him.”Coined as Inter-American Division’s Annual Pastoral Family Week of Prayer, the event occurs at the beginning of each year to inspire the more than 4,000 local church pastors, and pastors in administrative and departmental leadership positions as well as with their spouse and children, to study the Word of God and pray together, gain spiritual strengthen, and disciple the more than 23,000 congregations throughout the territory. The online event took place every evening from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, 2024.
This year’s guest speaker was Pastor Pavel Goia, associate ministerial director of the Ministerial Association of the General Conference and editor for Ministry Magazine.“God is calling His church to be filled with His presence, to show the world Christ’s character, to daily surrender their life and become true disciples,” urged Pastor Goia as he concluded his week of prayer. To become true disciples, Goia reminded pastors and their families throughout the week of the importance of daily prayer, study, and meditation on the Word of God. “If we spend at least an hour daily reflecting on Jesus’s life and His sacrifice, and ask for His Holy Spirit on our lives, that will change us,” he said. To know Him, to be closer to Him, to experience Him and trust Him will prepare you to tell others. “Prayer is not a chore, prayer is a joy, a time when you get to talk to God. As long as you are connected [with Him] you are safe,” emphasized Goia. “You must know God’s voice too. We have all the resources available to us, the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, yet having knowledge doesn’t mean having power. We don’t produce fruit because we may have the knowledge but not the connection with God.”
Goia’s messages during the week were sprinkled with personal anecdotes and witnessing experiences throughout his life. It’s not enough to go to church and keep the Sabbath, or to eat healthy, he urged. “We must daily die to self, get to know God, and trust Him. It’s about loving Him first and foremost to be better shepherds to others, said Goia.“Make a decision with our family and your churches to make God the center of your lives, continually asking for the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit,” urged Goia. “Pray for the Holy Spirit around the clock. Together and in humility ask God to help you finish the work for we need the outpouring of the latter rain,” Goia added. He reminded pastors and their families to walk daily with God and reminded them that before God can use them, He needs to teach patience, faith, pain, and more. “We need to represent God and His love to a lost world.”
Pastor Leonard Johnson, executive secretary of the IAD, urged pastors and their families to spend time together in prayer daily. “You are part of the team of ministerial servants throughout the IAD and we are praying for you to recommit to God every day.”Evening programs included music, testimonials, and spiritual nuggets.
“We want our pastoral families to grow in faith and be able to continue motivating their congregations to be clear about the mission as disciples of Jesus even as they face challenges and crises,” said Rodríguez.
The week of prayer kicked off the first of five weeks of initiatives and activities geared toward preparing the family to grow in faith during Inter-America’s “All the Family in Mission,” initiative this year.To learn about more resources and initiatives of IAD’s Ministerial Association, click HERE