SeLD Conference Empowers Hundreds of Church Leaders in Inter-America

Delegates during Inter-America’s Segment Leadership Development (SeLD) Conference, held in Miami, Florida, United States, July 10-12, 2017. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

July 14, 2017 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens/IAD

Inter-America’s Segment Leadership Development (SeLD) Conference gathered more than 600 leaders from the Seventh-day Adventist Church across its 24 major regions for three days of training in Miami, Florida, July 10-12, 2017.

IAD President Pastor Israel Leito (right) speaks to the SeLD Conference delegation during the closing ceremony, July 12, 2017. Dr. Efrain Velazquez, president of IATS translates. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

Top church leaders and event organizers challenged newly appointed and seasoned church administrators, pastors, educators, local church elders, and department heads employed in the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory to become humble, visionary leaders, united and focused in fulfilling the mission of the church.

“Many of you came here as excellent leaders, very successful in what you have done,” said Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America. “By rubbing shoulders with the eminences here to instruct you, we hope you might discover that there is still room for improvement, because our learning never ends.”

Becoming effective leaders is about putting self aside and being transformed by Jesus Christ daily in the leadership journey, said Pastor Leito. That goes for any leader who is discouraged, or may be arrogant, or may be seeking political ambition.

Pastor Desmond Sturrup of Freeport, The Bahamas. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

“Let the Lord lead in your life and be used by Him for the Lord’s church, for the Lords’ mission and the Lord’s people.”

“Better leaders will result in a better church and a people ready for the coming of the Lord,” Pastor Leito added as he offered the last challenge to the delegation of leaders.

A better leader is what Desmond Sturrup, 34, wants to be as he pastors two churches and heads the communication department at the North Bahamas Conference in Freeport, The Bahamas. He is one of 30 delegates from the Atlantic Caribbean Union, or region, who attended the SeLD Conference.

“It’s very important to have 21st century leadership trained to be more connected with the Word of God and in touch with the world and issues that affect the church,” shared Sturrup. Finding innovating ways to motivate and get church members to engage in ministries and service to the church and community is what is the most challenging, but also rewarding.

Patricia Cerrano, principal of the La Esperanza Adventist School in the Dominican Republic. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

With only eight years of service in the church, Sturrup has soaked up every session and seminar of the conference to better manage his work back home. He has compiled notes and presentations to share with his local church leaders and communication teams across Freeport.

“We need to get more of your young people involved with a purpose for church leadership,” said Sturrup, as he envisions the future leadership needs the Seventh-day Adventist Church must have.

Visionary leadership is what the church needs and what the SeLD Conference sought to instill during the three-day event, said Pastor Balvin Braham, assistant to the IAD president in charge of leadership development for the church in Inter-America.

“We want leaders to zoom in on what they must do to be an effective leaders as they network and form partnerships with seasoned leaders and experts and hone their leadership skills during the conference to do as God expects to fulfill responsibilities,” said Braham.

Evangelist Zukisani Mxoli (left) of the Word Lives Ministry, spoke on the need for partnerships between lay ministries and church organizations. Dr. Carlos Archbold retired IAD educator translates. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

Seasoned leader Patricia Cerrano took in every moment of the conference to become a better leader to her school staff back at home in the Dominican Republic. Cerrano, 57, has been the principal of the La Esperanza Adventist School in Samana since 1996, and has seen the Pre-K to 12th grade school grow from two classrooms with 45 students to a full school campus with 12 classrooms, two buildings, sports facility and some 348 students.

Cerrano has seen her share of leadership challenges with the school from possibility of school closing, to delayed accreditation, teacher turn over and more, but the conference reminded her to depend more on God every day and better empower the 27 teachers and staff she manages.

“Serving God and being useful where He leads is the key to being an effective leader,” said Cerrano. That’s the key message that resonated with her during the conference. “Dependence on God helps me not to be afraid of challenges that come along.”

Dr. Ella Simmons, general vice president of the General Conference, speaks during her seminar on transparency and accountability for leaders. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

Fearless in serving God and leading His church in the right path to empower other leaders and believers across the IAD territory is what organizers set out to accomplish during the largest territory-wide training conference held this week.

Investing in leadership training is part of an ongoing strategy set out by the IAD more than a decade ago to benefit the fast growing church across the 24 major church regions.

Regional trainings have been taken place as well as leadership trainings for union, conference, mission and institutional leaders but it is the first time that the IAD has expanded to church leaders at different levels of the church this year, explained Braham.

“We have recognized that there is need for a greater number of trained individuals fulfilling leadership roles within the organization in order for these organizations to effectively fulfill the mission,” said Braham.

Pastor Balvin Braham, assistant to the IAD president to oversee leadership development. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

The SeLD Conference featured more than 25 speakers from the Adventist World Church and the IAD during plenary sessions and more than 35 seminars on ethical leadership, transparency and accountability, strategic planning, organizational leadership, conflict resolution, human resources development, administrative skills, church management, retirement benefits, and more.

Delegates to SeLD Conference will receive certification from the Inter-American Division’s Montemorelos University.

IAD Leaders announced that another SeLD Conference is in the works for next year in June.

To find download seminars and resources from IAD’s SeLD Conference, click HERE

To view a photo gallery of the event, click HERE

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Categories From the Headquarter, RSS English | Tags: | Posted on July 14, 2017