87 Community Service Leaders Learn How Nonprofits Help With Evangelism
Nearly 90 outreach ministry and community service leaders from around the Columbia Union and from as far away as California gathered earlier this month for the 13th annual Nonprofit Leadership Certification Program.
Story by Beth Michaels
Nearly 90 outreach ministry and community service leaders from around the Columbia Union—including the Allegheny East, Chesapeake, Ohio and Pennsylvania conferences—and from as far away as California, Maine, Tennessee and Bermuda gathered earlier this month for the 13th annual Nonprofit Leadership Certification Program. The four-day training event, hosted this year by the Allegheny East Conference (AEC) on their grounds in Boyertown, Pa., was designed to equip Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders of all levels to develop professional skills that will help them lead and manage successful ministry in nonprofit operations.
Nonprofits, says Minnie McNeil, Adventist Community Services (ACS)/Disaster Response coordinator for the Columbia Union Conference and ACS director for the AEC, play an important role in helping local churches, community centers and metropolitan centers better articulate and act out their vision of following Christ’s command to minister to local communities. “Outreach ministry is evangelism; it’s an evangelistic tool where we develop one-on-one relationships,” she says.
McNeil, coordinator of the event, says that attendees learned about the ministry of Christ, about the importance of fundraising, and how to do strategic planning and community development. She believes they gained “a greater appreciation for the impact that ACS has as a partner in evangelism,” and that they will return home with tools they can immediately begin to utilize.
“When we think of evangelism, we think of large meetings, but ACS ministries touch people one-on-one and introduce people to the practical Jesus, the Jesus that loves them,” she explains. “They then begin to have a hope that they had not had before, and the Holy Spirit can then germinate that seed, that love, that has been planted. They are then more open to hear more about God’s love, a God that will help them with the practical things of life.”
Allegheny East will host a second training session September 22-25.