You can participate in a weekly nurturing process known as Sabbath School. The Adventist Church operates a school each Sabbath for all age groups in almost every church around the world. While the curriculum is designed by professionals within the church, each division of the local school is manned by volunteers. The Sabbath School is about a 70-minute exercise usually conducted before or after the worship service in the local church, and it is based on four basic goals:
1. Bible Study—Each level of the Sabbath School has a printed Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. It covers a topic of study for a three-month period. The goal is to encourage daily study of the Bible to develop your faith in God and the truths of His Word.
2. Fellowship—It is important to develop relationships based on shared ideals, goals, and concerns. The aim is for each class to develop a climate that encourages freedom to express what one has learned from the week’s Bible study and to share prayer requests.
3. Community Concern—Time should be spent in each class to learn how to share one’s faith with others in the community.
4. World Missions—An emphasis is placed on the worldwide mission activities of the church, and opportunity is given to support missions financially.
A Children’s Ministries coordinator plans workshops to provide training for the volunteers who teach in the children’s departments of Sabbath School and for those who conduct a Vacation Bible School (VBS). VBS is an annual effort of the Sabbath School to reach out to children in the community.
“The Lord desires that His word of grace shall be brought home to every soul. To a great degree this must be accomplished by personal labor. This was Christ’s method” (Christian Service, p. 117). The aim of the Personal Ministries Department is to involve every member of the Michigan Conference in personal soul-winning labor. To aid in this endeavor, the department provides essential training, tools, and resources for Michigan Conference churches and their members to be effective witnesses for Christ. Specialized ministries such as Hope for Humanity (Ingathering), Prison Ministries, and Disabilities Ministries are also within the purview of the department.
Elder Kameron DeVasher serves as the new director for Sabbath School & Personal Ministries (SSPM) for the Michigan Conference. He is no stranger to Michigan and has pastored churches in Muskegon, Fremont, and most recently the Kalamazoo church.
He brings a wide range of experience as an evangelist, public speaker, and instructor for Emmanuel Institute. He has also served as a district superintendent and is a member of Michigan's Training Center Churches (TCC) committee and the Lake Union Executive Committee.
Elder DeVasher has a Masters in Religion from Southern Adventist University. Prior to his ministry in Michigan, he served as associate pastor for the Avon Park SDA Church in Florida.
Elder Mark Howard is an ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with over 20 years of experience. He currently serves as the associate director for the Sabbath School & Personal Ministries (SSPM) department for the Michigan Conference, as well as director of the Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism.
Pastor Howard has served as a pastor in the Michigan Conference since 2003, training people in soul winning and evangelism throughout his ministry. He continues to work with the General Conference as part of the GROW team, developing such wonderful resources as the Discipleship Handbook, Fundamentals of Faith, and the soon-to-be-released personal soul winning guide, Share the Word. He also serves on the Lake Union Executive Committee.
Pastor Howard is known for his clear teaching style and his commitment to the Adventist message. He and his wife of 34 years, have served together in ministry for nearly 25 of those years. They have two children, Caleb and Anneliese, and look forward with hope to the soon return of Jesus!