In our rapidly changing world, opportunities to connect and share in a united vision are more crucial to the church than ever.
While the Seventh-day Adventist Church may not always look or minister the same in different communities, sharing a clear purpose and mission is what allows us to pool our resources and experiences in ways that we, individually, could never hope to. This was the philosophy behind eHuddle 2023, an event that brought upper church leadership and clergy from across the North American Division to the Holden Convention Center in the middle of February.
eHuddle is an annual evangelism and leadership visioning event presented by the NAD. From case studies showcasing successful launches of urban centers of influence, to successful church revitalization efforts in local churches, the three-day event focused on the most recent developments and best practices happening across the division.
Though presentations spanned a wide variety of topics including digital innovation, when to baptize and even emerging initiatives like gaming ministries, one of the themes strongly emphasized this year was community engagement.
More than a dozen guests shared what was happening in their local contexts before eHuddle ended on Wednesday. Nitza Salazar of Idaho Conference shared the work she and others have been doing alongside children with special needs through the performing arts. Elizabeth Talbot pushed against the Adventist temptation to wait until someone has reached our spiritual standards before baptizing them.
Tandi Perkins of Alaska Conference shared insights into Native Ministries and their turn toward cultural sensitivity in light of the church’s past abuses and missteps. Roger Hernandez, pastor, emphasized the church’s need to intentionally develop curiosity in approaching their communities.
With its emphasis on social and digital ministry innovations, several current and former members of Oregon Conference were mentioned as examples of engaging new forms of ministry. This included the teams behind the How the Church Works Podcast, digital missionary Justin Khoe, and Colby Maier, local Portland pastor whose YouTube ministry has grown to more than 1 million subscribers this year.
Careful not to directly equate views and online subscribers with long-lasting conversion, Adam Fenner, director of Adventist Learning Community, said, “Every Adventist is already an ambassador. Some of us have huge platforms and some only have a few dozen in their network, but we are all called to be ambassadors for Jesus.”
You can watch all the presentations, including audience Q & A with nearly every speaker, on the NAD Adventist YouTube channel and find event content including presentation summaries by following @nadmultiply on Instagram and Facebook.