by Andy Im
November 23, 2018
Approximately 230 teachers and pastors from the Michigan Conference gathered together at Camp Au Sable this week to attend the Teacher-Minister Summit. The meetings began Sunday evening and concluded late Tuesday morning.
President Jim Micheff opened the event and shared the intent of the meetings. “Our purpose in coming together is twofold. First of all, to build a stronger working relationship between pastors and teachers. The second is to deepen our understanding of the message. If we are going to be united in our mission, we have to be united in our message.”
Education superintendent Jeremy Hall expressed his appreciation for building stronger bonds. “What I’m really excited about is the opportunity we’ve had to build relationships with each other, and those relationships will help carry us forward as we seek to evangelize both within our churches and schools, and also the world.”
Ministerial director Royce Snyman highlighted the centrality of righteousness by faith as a defining component of our remnant identity. “Our pastors and teachers met together sitting around tables studying and praying. We searched out the word of God to understand the message of Christ our Righteousness, recognizing that that message is the center of what Seventh-day Adventists are all about.”
One of the key outcomes of the summit was echoed by executive secretary Justin Ringstaff. “These past few days with our pastors and teachers were a monument to God’s goodness. We sensed a closeness and unity of the Holy Spirit collectively as never before. This is just the beginning of what we know God is going to do as we follow His lead to hasten the coming of Jesus.”
With an eye towards the future and within the context of the current challenges facing Adventism, Elder Micheff set a clear tone for the Michigan Conference, emphasizing the need to remain focused on mission. “Our church has challenges, but that’s to be expected. We need to be praying and not get involved in controversy. Yes, we are going to have disagreements, but let the Lord deal with that. What God has called us to do is the work here in Michigan. These other things that are happening are out of our control. There are people trying to get me to make statements one way or another. I have two presidents—one at the General Conference, Ted Wilson, and I have prayed with that brother. I love that brother. I have another president, the NAD president, Dan Jackson. I’ve prayed with that brother, and I love that brother. I may disagree with things, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to throw stones or criticize. I’m going to pray for our leaders. That’s the position we should take. Don’t go to the online magazines, don’t start writing things and adding to this Facebook page and that. Go to your knees and pray for them and move on doing the work that we’re supposed to do.”