Jerry Page, General Conference ministerial secretary, and his wife, Janet, ministerial associate for Shepherdess International, are a couple passionate about knowing Jesus, prayer, and reaching people for Him. As a previous president for Pennsylvania and Central California conferences in North America, Jerry witnessed firsthand the power of God’s people believing His inspired writings and unitedly calling on Him in prayer. As prayer and women’s ministries director for those two conferences, Janet has seen God work to change lives in miraculous ways when His people come together in prayer. The Pages believe that in this great controversy, the united petitions of believers praying God’s Word make an eternal difference. Jerry and Janet have shared their experiences at retreats, camp meetings, leadership meetings, and religious television programs in North America and around the world. They are the parents of two grown sons, who are both married, and the grandparents of two young boys.
HOW DO YOU FEEL BEING THE SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE PASTORS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND THE LOCAL CHURCH ELDERS FOR THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST WORLDWIDE CHURCH?
It is such an awesome challenge and responsibility that my feelings vary from sometimes feeling inadequate or overwhelmed, to the excited optimism and confidence of knowing all of God’s callings are enablings. Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). It drives me to seek that abiding intimate connection with God promised in John 15, every moment of every day!
WHAT ARE YOUR VISION AND MAJOR PLANS YOU HAVE FOR THE MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION IN THIS QUINQUENNIUM?
The Lord has given us a powerful team in Ministerial and we are one in heart and purpose. We spent a prayer and strategic planning week together plus listening to the field leadership in advisories. We assessed all previous programs and activities and have prioritized what we feel the Lord is calling us to do. We will continue to do many of the previous programs of training and providing resources for excellence for the pastors, their spouses, and elders as well as their division, union, and local conference leaders. We are improving delivery systems for these resources by developing a new weekly TV program for Hope Channel, “Ministry in Motion,” which will highlight extremely practical training from expert guests both in the 30-minute program format broken down into 8-minute segments to be archived for later study on the Internet. We are also continuing to archive the 30 years of Ministry magazine articles by subject for easy access on the Internet.
We have also been asked to lead out in several major initiatives by our GC leadership. Revival and reformation is our greatest need in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are producing materials and seeking to nurture this in all our leaders and members. We also have been asked to help lead out in the “Mission to the Cities” initiative that will lead to comprehensive evangelistic thrusts in a major city in every division, union, and local conferences by 2015 (over 600 cities). We have also been asked to take on leadership of prayer ministries for the world church family. The list goes on, but the spiritual life of our team and all the leaders we serve is our top priority!
YOU WORK WITH A TALENTED TEAM, ALONG WITH YOUR WIFE. WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES SHE HOLDS AS PART OF THE GC MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION?
Janet is an associate secretary of the Ministerial Association, along with several other associates. All of them travel the world field training and speaking as needed by the fields. Her specific responsibilities include resourcing pastors’ spouses, and a new ministry for pastors’ children is being developed as well. She has recently been assigned to lead Prayer Ministries for the world church. She is editor of The Journal—A Shepherdess International Resource for Ministry Spouses.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MAIN PASSION OF YOUR MINISTRY?
To lead people to experience a revival of true godliness, discipling and equipping them to know Jesus so they naturally grow into His mission to seek and save those who are lost. Prayer experience and ministry are what the Lord has especially called Janet and me to lead out in during recent years.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH OF PASTORS AND ELDERS?
Following the example of Jesus, to prioritize enough quality time to be able to develop an intimate and practical knowledge of and relationship with the Lord. This happens practically by much time in His inspired writings, communing with Him often in prayer privately, and in united prayer with others. This leads to such a vibrant walk with Him that active ministry for others is a natural and powerful outgrowth.
FROM YOUR PRESENT PERSPECTIVE, HOW IMPORTANT IS THE WORK OF THE ELDERS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH?
The work of local church elders is crucial to the health and growth of the church and its members. When the local church is functioning as the Word of God says it should, the elder’s role in leading, discipling, and nurturing will be extremely vital.
IN WHICH WAYS CAN THE MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION SUPPORT THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH ELDERS?
Elder’s Digest is a tremendously helpful and practical resource for the work of elders. Many additional resources have been produced for training, helping organize preaching and worship services, and administering some of the organizational needs of the local church. Several Ministerial Websites, such as eldersdigest.org, ministrymagazine.org, and revivalandreformation.org, can be excellent supports. The new weekly television program, “Ministry in Motion,” will have practical training segments too. Our associates often bring training events to local fields as another help.
WHAT ARE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT WAYS THE PASTOR AND THE ELDER CAN SUPPORT EACH OTHER?
Spending quality time praying together over the specific needs of their church and the outreach needs to their community is one of the most effective means. “It is in the order of God that those who bear responsibilities should often meet together to counsel with one another and pray earnestly for that wisdom which He alone can impart. Unitedly make known your troubles to God. Talk less: much precious time is lost in talk that brings no light. Let brethren unite in fasting and prayer for the wisdom that God has promised to supply liberally” (1 Testimonies p. 624).
Another very important support is to follow the gospel order of Matthew 18:15-17 and Ephesians 4:29-32, in not criticizing one another and to make sure they are not listening to criticisms about each other from other members without using the principles of the Word of God as to how that is processed.
THE CHURCH WORLDWIDE IS EMPHASIZING THE THEME OF “REVIVAL AND REFORMATION.” HOW CAN A LOCAL ELDER SUPPORT THIS IMPORTANT INITIATIVE?
First, make sure you are having a vibrant living experience with the Lord yourself! Nothing else will motivate the church members more than a godly leader who reflects Jesus! Another resource to give helpful ideas and share worldwide initiatives about prayer, Bible study, and witness is the Website, revivalandreformation.org. Leading out in and encouraging these three components of revival can be a great help.
WHAT ADVICE COULD YOU GIVE TO THE LOCAL ELDERS IN THESE END TIMES?
As Elder H.M.S. Richards said privately to me in the minute he had with me just before he led in my ordination, “Never lose your time with Jesus!” Christ’s own counsel in John 15 is the answer to the life of a Spirit-filled and effective elder. Stay connected to Him and you will bear fruit to the glory of the Father; you will be able to ask anything in His name and He will do it; your joy will be full and you will be an obedient productive leader! But if you are too busy and become disconnected, He said, “Without me you can do nothing.”