It is a real joy to present the new Elder's Digest magazine. For many years Pastor Joel Sarli, with wisdom and ability, prepared this helpful resource for local church leaders. We would like to express our gratitude for his ministry and vision.
This special double issue includes the last quarter of 2005 and the first of 2006; however, Elder's Digest will continue as a quarterly resource magazine. As you can see, we feature a new design and format with the intent to provide more attractive and interesting material for our readers. Each magazine will contain an interview, four sermons, questions and answers, articles written by different departmental leaders from the General Conference, plus many other fascinating resources which feature the church's programs for local leaders.
We recognize the importance of elders in the local church. Today, we have nearly 100,000 churches and companies around the world, with more than 200,000 local church leaders preaching, visiting, and evangelizing. It is almost impossible to imagine the church working effectively without these volunteers. But what are you, church leaders, receiving from our church? As pastors and members, we have a deep respect, appreciation, and gratitude for everything you are doing to help this ministry grow. But is that enough?
We understand that you were called by Cod to accomplish a special assignment in His church. And you are doing your best for Him, because you love Him and understand the solemn times in which we are living. For these reasons, you are working with passion to see Jesus coming soon. Can the church do something more for you? We think so.
With this vision and understanding, we want to transform our magazine to deliver more training, better support, and to become a more effective equipping tool for all elders in their multiple functions as partners in pastoral ministry. We firmly believe that if we set quality material in your hands, you will be able to serve the church with more motivation and effectiveness. However, in previous years, this magazine has been put in the hands of few church elders.
Our dream is to see that each local church elder around the world receives this magazine. Perhaps in some locations it will be necessary to translate the magazine into the local languages while in others places, our church administrators will need to provide financial support to share this tool freely. In this way, church pastors should serve an important role as facilitators and motivators. None of these obstacles can keep us from visualizing this bright new horizon. What a challenge! With God on our side, we can reach these goals together.
We ask for your support as we transform this dream into reality.
General Conference Associate Ministerial Secretary