Adventist Youth Ministries
The church works for and with its youth through the Adventist Youth Ministries (AYM). Under the AYM, youth are to work together, in cooperation with the wider church community, towards the development of a strong youth ministry that includes spiritual, mental, and physical development of each individual, Christian social interaction, and an active witnessing program that supports the general soul-winning plans of the church. The goal of AYM should be to involve all youth in activities that will lead them to active church membership and train them for Christian service.
- Lead youth to understand their individual worth, and to discover and develop their spiritual gifts and abilities.
- Equip and empower youth for a life of service within God’s church and the local community.
- Ensure the support and integration of youth into all aspects of church life and leadership in order that they might be full participants in the mission of the church.
The Adventurer Club
The Adventurer Club is a church sponsored ministry for children age 4-9. The program aims to strengthen the parent/child relationship and to further the child’s development in spiritual, physical, mental, and social areas. Through the adventurer program, the church, home, and school can work together with the parents to develop a mature, happy child.
Children’s Ministries develop the faith of children from birth through age 14, leading them into union with the Church. It seeks to provide multiple ministries that will lead children to Jesus and disciple them in their daily walk with Him. It cooperates with the Sabbath School and other departments to provide religious education to children and fulfills its mission by developing a variety of grace-oriented ministries for children that are inclusive, service-oriented, leadership-building, safe, and evangelistic.
“Too much importance cannot be placed on the early training of children. The lessons that the child learns during the first seven years of life have more to do with forming his character than all that it learns in future years.”
“It is still true that children are the most susceptible to the teachings of the gospel; their hearts are open to divine influences, and strong to retain the lessons received. The little children may be Christians, having an experience in accordance with their years. They need to be educated in spiritual things, and parents should give them every advantage, that they may form characters after the similitude of the character of Christ.”
“Children of eight, ten, or twelve years are old enough to be addressed on the subject of personal religion. . . . If properly instructed, very young children may have correct views of their state as sinners and of the way of salvation through Christ.”
“When Jesus told the disciples not to forbid the children to come to Him, He was speaking to His followers in all ages to officers of the church, to ministers, helpers, and all Christians. Jesus is drawing the children, and He bids us, Suffer them to come; as if He would say, They will come if you do not hinder them.”
The Clerical Department is largely responsible for the efficient functioning of the church, preserving the records and account books of all offices within the church. It is the responsibility of the church clerk to keep accurate records of the church membership through membership transfers, baptisms, death, and other actions as voted by the church. The clerk also works in tandem with all department leaders and officers to ensure correspondences is sent to the church membership at large and all absent members. The clerk is also responsible for preparing and presenting reports to the church board and membership during board and business meeting respectively. Additionally, the clerk prepares and sends reports to the conference as requested. The clerk is also is responsible for ensuring the all visitors and members are welcomed during their worship experience and the church is informed of all activities occurring at a local and conference level.
Communication Ministry calls for the support of every layperson, Church employee, and Church institution. The communication department promotes the use of a sound program of public relations and all contemporary communication techniques, sustainable technologies, and media in the promulgation of the gospel. The church should elect a communication secretary, and where needed, a communication committee. “We must take every justifiable means of bringing the light before the people. Let the press be utilized, and let every advertising agency be employed that will call attention to the work. Means will be devised to reach hearts. Some of the methods used in this work will be different from the methods used in the work in the past.”
Community Services Department
The Community Services Department gathers and prepares clothing, food and other supplies for those in need and works closely with the Deacons, Deaconesses, and other church departments in community outreach. Adventist Community Services however, includes more than giving material aid. It focuses on identifying needs and responding with services based on these specific needs. Examples are educational seminars, community development, visiting, counseling, and other services relevant to the community.
Deaconesses are appointed by the church. They work closely with the Deacons as one department under the heading Deacon and Deaconess Board serving the church in a wide variety of activities. Some duties are greeting and visiting guests and members, assist with baptisms, making arrangement for communion service, caring for the sick, assessing those in need, and also working closely with the building committee in the care and maintenance of the church property.
- Greeting and Visiting Guests and Members—In many churches, deaconesses assist in greeting guests and members at meetings and in visiting members in their homes when they cannot attend services.
- Assistance at Baptisms—Deaconesses ensure that female candidates are cared for both before and after the ceremony. They also give such counsel and help as may be necessary regarding suitable garments for baptism. Robes of suitable material should be provided. Where robes are used, the deaconesses should see that they are laundered and carefully stored.
- Arrangements for the Communion Service—Deaconesses and deacons arrange for everything needed for this service and see that everything used is cared for afterward. Before the communion service begins, deaconesses set the communion table, including preparing the bread and wine, pouring the wine, placing the plates of unleavened bread, and covering the table with the linen provided for that purpose. Deaconesses assist in the service of foot-washing, giving special aid to women visitors and new members.
- The Care of the Sick and the Poor—Deaconesses assist deacons in caring for the sick, needy, and unfortunate.
- Care and Maintenance of Property—In churches where the responsibility for the care and maintenance of church property is not assigned to a building committee, deacons and deaconesses have this responsibility.
The work of deacons involves a wide range of services for the church, including:
- Assistance at Services and Meetings—Deacons are usually responsible for welcoming members and visitors as they enter the church and for assisting them, where necessary, to find seats. They also cooperate with the pastor and elders for smooth functioning of all meetings.
- Visitation of Members—In many churches’ visitation is arranged by distributing membership by districts and assigning a deacon to each district with the expectation that he will visit each home at least once a quarter.
- Preparation for Baptismal Services—Deacons make necessary preparations for baptismal services.
- Assistance at Communion Service— At the service of foot-washing, the deacons or deaconesses provide everything needed, such as towels, basins, water, and buckets. After the service they see that the utensils and linen are washed and properly stored. Remaining bread and wine should not be consumed, but disposed of in a respectful manner by deacons and deaconesses following the Lord’s Supper.
- Care of the Sick and Aiding the Poor and Unfortunate—Deacons and deaconesses are charged with assisting the sick, poor, and unfortunate and should keep the church informed of their needs and enlist the support of members. Money should be provided for this work from the fund for the poor and needy. The treasurer, on recommendation from the board, will pass over to the deacons or deaconesses whatever may be needed for use in needy cases.
- Care and Maintenance of Property—In churches where the responsibility for the care and maintenance of church property is not assigned to a building committee, deacons and deaconesses have this responsibility.
The Education Department is responsible for the promotion and fostering of Adventist education within the church and the community. We provide support and guidance to individuals interested in educating their children not just for this world but for eternity. With 8500 schools, colleges and universities worldwide there has to be an institution that will meet each of us where we are and grant us the opportunity to achieve academic excellence and eternal spiritual growth. Interested in enrolling your child(ren), don’t hesitate, it’s an investment that pays!!!
Elders must be recognized by the church as strong spiritual leaders and must have good reputations both in the church and community. In the absence of a pastor, elders are the spiritual leaders of the church and by precept and example must seek to lead the church into a deeper and fuller Christian experience. Elders should be able to conduct the services of the church and minister in both word and doctrine when the assigned pastor is unavailable. However, elders should not be chosen primarily because of social position or speaking ability, but because of their consecrated lives and leadership abilities.
Family Life Ministries
Family Ministries focuses on people in relationship. It is a ministry that provides tools for couples, parents and children, single adults, and all members of the wider family circle as they pass through life’s predictable stages and confront unexpected changes in their lives. The objective of family ministries is to strengthen marriage and the family. The family was established by divine creation with marriage at its center. As the primary setting in which values are learned and the capacity for close relationships with God and others is developed, its health is vital to the Church’s disciple-making mission.
Family ministries upholds the biblical teaching related to the family and lifts up God’s ideals for family living. At the same time, it brings an understanding of the brokenness experienced by individuals and families in a fallen world. The department facilitates understanding, unity, and love at home and in the family of God. It fosters reconciliation between the generations promised in the Elijah message of Malachi 4:5, 6 and extends hope and support to those who have been hurt by abuse, family dysfunction, and broken relationships. Relational growth opportunities are provided through family life education and enrichment. Individuals, married couples, and families are helped to avail themselves of professional counseling when necessary.
Ministry to families in the local church focuses on premarital guidance for couples, marriage strengthening programs, and the education of parents. Ministry to families also gives attention to the special needs of single parents and stepfamilies and provides instruction in family-to-family evangelism. “Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home. . . . There is no missionary field more important than this. . . . By many this home field has been shamefully neglected, and it is time that divine resources and remedies were presented, that this state of evil may be corrected.”
“God designs that the families of earth shall be a symbol of the family in heaven. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God’s plan, are among His most effective agencies for the formation of Christian character and for the advancement of His work.” “The mission of the home extends beyond its own members. . . . Far more powerful than any sermon that can be preached is the influence of a true home upon human hearts and lives.”
The Church believes its responsibility to make Christ known to the world includes a moral obligation to preserve human dignity by promoting optimal levels of physical, mental, and spiritual health. In addition to ministering to those who are ill, this responsibility extends to the prevention of disease through effective health education and leadership in promoting optimum health, free of tobacco, alcohol, other drugs, and unclean foods. Where possible, members shall be encouraged to follow a primarily vegetarian diet.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Heb. 13:2). Every church should cultivate a spirit of hospitality, an essential element of Christian life and experience. Nothing is so deadening to the spiritual life of a church as a cold, formal atmosphere that drives out hospitality and Christian fellowship. Our purpose is to serve our guests and members and to help them to feel and experience the love of God by truly welcoming them in God house through friendly and authentic services. Especially selected greeters should cordially welcome visitors, who also may be welcomed at the time of the worship service.
Empowering men to be good Christian leaders, reflecting Christ in their homes, church, place of employment and in the community. The men’s ministry goal is to develop men holistically; physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. We participate in recreational activities (group cycling, fishing trips and rafting), spiritual activities (group bible study, prayer breakfast and men’s forum) and work together to win souls for Christ. We aim to be mentors to our church family and our community.
The church should take great care in selecting music leaders, choosing only those who are thoroughly consecrated and provide appropriate music for all church worship services and meetings. Secular music or that of a questionable nature should never be introduced into our services. Music leaders should work closely with the pastor or elders in order that musical selections harmonize with the sermon theme. The music leader is under the direction of the pastor or elders and does not work independently. The music leader should counsel with them about the music to be rendered and the selection of singers and musicians.
The Pathfinder club
The Pathfinder club works in partnership with the home, school and church. It is a church sponsored ministry for children age 10-15. Our purpose is to lead young people into a redemptive relationship with Jesus, to build them into responsible and mature individuals, and to involve them in active and selfless service. The club encourages the youth to participate in all aspects of church life.
The program provides opportunity to:
- develop self worth in a fun, safe and caring environment
- develop an appreciation of Christian spirituality and its role in personal lifestyle
- aid in the development of leadership and positive group skills, teamwork and fun problem solving experiences
- focus on developing skills in outdoor and environmental issues through practical camping, hiking, nature study and other outdoor adventure activities
- expose those involved to a wide range of skills, crafts, arts and other practical skills
- teach the awareness of joy in serving others and the understanding of opportunities within community needs
- encourage a good healthy lifestyle that says no to any drugs or any other harmful substances.
The Personal Ministry Department exist to provide training, Christ centered service that meets the physical, spiritual and psychosocial needs of humanity while carrying out the great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. The mission is accomplished by community outreach projects, partnership with local stake holders and personal evangelistic outreach programs. All services are free, friendly and Christ Centered.
The goal of our Prayer Ministry is to equip, enable, and envelope Sharon SDA Church, its ministries, families, the Pastor, its leaders, the youth, the community, our nation, and the world through prayer. To encourage the members to pray continually and effectively while making prayer an integral part of everything we do. To foster and inspired the members, families and church ministries to pursue a deeper and more personal prayer life, for the overall edification of the body and the glorification of the Lord. To provide education regarding prayer and to present opportunities to experience prayer in many forms (Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, Prayer Vigils, Prayer Buddies, Prayer Walks and Prayer Breakfasts) . Prayer is opening the heart to God as to a friend. Prayer is the lifeline of the soul. Prayer is spending time with God. Join us at Church, online prayer conference, send your prayer request. For where there is much prayer there is much power! Pray without ceasing.
Public Affairs and Religious Liberty
Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) promotes religious liberty for all people, no matter what they believe. From the beginning of our church’s history, we have worked to promote this as a fundamental, God-given human right. Related to this is PARL’s work in assisting church members who are discriminated against or persecuted for their beliefs.
Sabbath School Ministries
Sabbath School has four specific objectives: Fellowship, Study of the Bible, World Mission Emphasis, and Community Outreach. We accomplish these goals through: Morning song service and prayer starting at 9:15; Lesson studies starting from 10:00 to 10:35, Collecting money to assist with the world mission – (Information is presented from various parts of the world each Sabbath), and partnering with various ministries in the church to meet the needs of the local community and members. The Sabbath School, the primary religious education program of the Church, has four purposes: study of the Scripture, fellowship, community outreach, and world mission emphasis. The General Conference Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department distributes the Sabbath School Bible study guide for all age levels, provides designs for Sabbath School programming within the context of the various world division cultures, provides resources and training systems for Sabbath School teachers, and promotes world mission Sabbath School offerings. “The Sabbath School is an important branch of the missionary work, not only because it gives to young and old a knowledge of God’s Word, but because it awakens in them a love for its sacred truths, and a desire to study them for themselves; above all, it teaches them to regulate their lives by its holy teachings.” “The Sabbath school, if rightly conducted, is one of God’s great instrumentalities to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth.”
The mission of the Stewardship Department is to educate and motivate members to acknowledge God’s ownership by faithful service to Him and His fellowmen. We are God’s stewards entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions and the blessings of earth and its resources. There should be return of tithes and offering for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship ministries encourages members to respond to God’s grace by dedicating all they have to Him. Stewardship responsibility involves more than just money. It includes, but is not limited to, the proper care and use of the body, mind, time, abilities, spiritual gifts, relationships, influence, language, the environment, and material possessions. The department assists members in their partnership with God in completing His mission through the proper utilization of all of His gifts and resources. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the life, “those whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ will follow the example of Him who for our sake became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. Money, time, influence—all the gifts they have received from God’s hand, they will value only as a means of advancing the work of the gospel.”
The Treasurer is the Custodian of all funds of the church that includes conference, local and auxiliary organizations; provides continuity in record keeping, reporting and also safeguards purpose of the funds.
Women’s Ministries upholds, encourages, and challenges women in their daily walk as disciples of Jesus Christ and as members of His church. Its objectives are to foster spiritual growth and renewal; affirm that women are of immeasurable worth by virtue of their creation and redemption, equip them for service, and offer women’s perspectives on church issues; minister to the broad spectrum of women’s needs, with regard for multicultural and multiethnic perspectives; cooperate with other departments to facilitate ministry to women and of women; build good will among women to encourage mutual support and creative exchange of ideas; mentor and encourage women and create paths for their involvement in the church; and find ways and means to challenge each woman to use her gifts to further global mission.