CALLED 2022 - Pastor's Convention

Pastor Matthew reports on the North American Division CALLED convention
The North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventists held their second CALLED convention for pastors and their families in Lexington, Kentucky, on June 19-22. Roughly 6,000 Adventists registered to attend seminars, catch up with old friends, and earn some money for innovative evangelism.

Adventism can be a lonely place given that so many churches are spread thin across the planet, so it's always a treat when a few thousand Adventists can get together. Pastors in the same conference only see each other about 1-2 times a year, so you can imagine what it is like for us when pastors from across the Division get together. Many of us haven't seen each other since the first CALLED in 2015.

The NAD really thought of everything. The childcare was amazing (though we left our girls in Peoria). Redshirted exercise teams routinely marched into the arena to urge us to stretch and move. The music was on-point. Testimonies were shared. New Adventist movies and documentaries were previewed. Baptisms happened. George Knight, the most memorable Adventist historian, was there to give us daily nuggets of new information about people in our past, including a never-before-seen image of our first female pastor, Sarah Lindsey.
Sarah Lindsey (1832-1914)
A highlight of this CALLED was the techLAB, which inhabited the convention center's nightclub space and allowed pastors to get their hands on lights, cameras, and microphones. NAD tech people were there to tell you anything you wanted to know about integrating any of it in your church. I ended up using their gear to record three podcasts while I was there. Others shot video. The Ellen G. White Estate was present to talk about their software, as were reps from several Bible software companies.
I even got to do a techLab talk about podcasting ...and let me tell you how cool it is having a video wall behind you for your slides.
Most heartwarming of all were the Evangelism Shark Tank, where pastors doing creative and effective ministry could make a pitch each night for a grand prize of $20,000 (or end up with a smaller prize).

Nitza Salazar, who works for the Washington Conference, came out big with the most inspiring presentation of her ministry that we saw. People were in tears by the time she was done:
CALLED was many things for Laura and I: It was a place to reconnect with old friends; a place to rest; a place to learn.

Above all, it was a place of inspiration.

We are not alone. We have work to do.

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