Brazilian pastors, leaders and officials of the Seventh-day Adventist Church met from May 2-5 to accompany the “Crescendo em Graça – Santa Convocação” project (Growing in Grace – Holy Convocation), a training initiative focused on spiritual renewal promoted by the Stewardship Ministries department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Connected through the project site, YouTube and the official Adventist Church Facebook profiles in South America, participants followed the event in churches, small groups, and at home with family members. More than 100,000 people were reached by the messages of appeal to Christian fidelity, presented by evangelist Alejandro Bullón.
The “Holy Convocation” program is an initiative of the Stewardship Ministries departmnet of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It consists of training for pastors through lectures, seminars and sermons. The novelty of this year was that for the first time, volunteer church leaders and officials were invited to attend. The event mobilized almost 700 pastors.
Ted Wilson, president of the Adventist World Church, sent a video message stating that he was happy for the initiative and praying to God to bless the event. Erton Kohler, president for the Adventist Church in South America, also recorded a message expressing his optimism for the program.
The auditorium of the central church of Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, was where the live transmission was held. In a joint action of the Northeast Brazil Union Mission (Adventist headquarters for 6 Northeastern Brazilian states) and the East Brazil Union Mission (headquarters for Bahia and Sergipe), the transmission reached most of the Adventist leaderships in the northeast portion of Brazil.
But pastors and leaders of the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo also followed the program. "We have decided to be a part of this project because we believe it would be an opportunity for spiritual growth for our pastors and leaders and for promoting Christian fidelity," said Jander Oliveira, treasurer of the Adventist Church in the South Espirito Santo region.
According to Luciano Salviano, director of Stewardship Ministires for Bahia and Sergipe, the primary purpose of the initiative was to bring pastors together for an update on the issues surrounding fellowship with God as the basis for life in the community and the development of Mission.
During the event period, each morning, there was an exclusive training for pastors for this purpose. "It’s only with a daily and real experience with God that pastors can inspire leaders and the church for a life of Christian faithfulness," said Bullón, at the opening. It was the idea that would sum up all content focused on the ethical, moral, and spiritual attitudes of the pastoral ministry, all based on daily devotion and genuine fellowship with God.
"I believe we achieved the goal of having a great spiritual revival among us pastors and the leaders of our congregations," Salviano said. For him, the result is a church with more dedication, love, unity, faithfulness, more mission focused, and more committed to the work of preaching the gospel.
Faithfulness in practice
For Josanan Júnior, leader of Stewardship Minstries in the Northeast Brazil Union Mission, the second purpose of the program was to inspire and prepare pastors and leaders for the Week of Christian Stewardship that began in thousands of churches on Saturday, May 5.
"It’s expected that pastors and leaders who have been impacted by the power of the Holy Spirit will now bless the church through preaching and visiting families during Stewardship Week," said Júnior.
One of the most inspiring moments of the program was the dedication of commitment, held on Friday night, May 4. Each leader was challenged to visit four families in their community to share what touched their heart during Bullón's class.
The visitation will take place during the week of Christian Stewardship. The sermons and studies presented will be based on the classes presented by Bullón. "This way the project will involve theory and practice," concluded Júnior.
For leaders who accompanied in the web, the experience was unforgettable. "Allowing churches to follow the message, be connected and hear and learn about Christian faithfulness - it was too much blessing," said Israel Gomes, from Saloá, Pernambuco.
"The training was wonderful, it brought edification to all who have a commitment to the word of God and prepared us to truly lead and live the gospel of Christ," said Paulo Sérgio, leader of the church of Cidade Nova, Feira de Santana neighborhood, Bahia.