James A. Cress is the Ministerial Secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

The cover for this inaugural issue of Elder's Digest aptly depicts our objectives: illumination, insight, access, spirituality, blessings, and mission.

Windows provide illumination—they let in light. One of our primary objectives is to focus light on the work and ministry of the local church elder. Elder's Digest will feature the best available resources, discuss effective methodologies, and showcase practical, easy-to-use ideas that will promote increasing proficiency for lay leaders.

Windows provide insight—a view of others. Windows allow us to see how others deal with their challenges and opportunities. Elder's Digest will permit elders to view other church leaders ministering in their unique settings. If you have wondered how to face the challenges of a city, you will benefit from reading about others who minister in an urban setting. If you lead a new congregation with plenty of energy but few resources, you will appreciate seeing how other churches cope with limited funds.

Windows allow access—when opened they let in fresh breezes. In addition to introducing you to resources and ideas, Elder's Digest will provide tools you can use right now. Each issue will contain at least one sermon you can preach plus help in preparing your own sermons.

Windows symbolize spirituality—remember Daniel. Praying at his open window, Daniel set an example of spirituality for his own people and those who conspired against him. It might have been more convenient to shut the window and hide his convictions, but Daniel wanted all to know of his belief in God. This attitude of openly worshipping God even at potential personal risk models leadership at its finest. As a spiritual leader, you will find spiritual food for your own growth that will enable you to effectively invite others to follow Christ.

Open windows bring blessings—God promises to honor faithfulness. Our purpose is to motivate and inspire faith-filled living. Elder's Digest will encourage faithful discipleship, bringing our time, energies, skills, and funds in obedience to our Lord. As a result the windows of heaven will open and abundant blessings will pour out on those who serve our local congregations as spiritual leaders.

Our window shows the mission—notice the cross! Above all, Elder's Digest must lift up Jesus as the only solution to humanity's need. Just as the cover pictures the cross in the center of the window, so our central theme must be salvation in Jesus, the theme of every doctrine, sermon, and service.