It is my great privilege to share in this space an exciting and historic appointment: The selection of Pastor Darriel Hoy, Youth, Young Adult and Children’s Ministries Director for the Nevada-Utah Conference as the very first Communications Director for the Office of Regional Conference Ministries (ORCM) and the Regional Conference Retirement Plan (RCRP).
Let me tell you why I am so excited about this choice:
On May 15th, I had the privilege my first in-person worship experience in 14 months. It was a wonderful experience; sometimes, we take things for granted until they are taken away
The ways things are opening back up around this country, soon many of you will have the same experience. Churches are set to reopen; indeed, some are already open.
But there are a couple things that I think it might be helpful to remember as we reopen; I’ll mention one for now.
The first thing I want to suggest that we remember as we reopen is that this is an opportunity for us to reorganize. Reopening gives us a chance to re-examine how we operate on every level of our church. What things from pre-Covid 19 do we want to keep? What do we need to discard?
I believe that reopening is going to mean reorganizing in terms of who does what when we come back because it is quite possible that everyone who was in your church pre-Covid is not coming back when you re-open post-Covid.
We’ll talk more about that next week but for now, I would like to suggest that reopening gives the opportunity to reorganizing the seats around our leadership table. To reorganize the seats around our leadership tables does not mean that the people currently at our leadership tables have to be replaced. It just means being intentional and adding some “extra seats” at that table.
In most of the entities of our church, the seats at our leadership tables tend to be occupied by older men. Now-that is not all bad; as an older man-in July, I shall begin my 44th year of ministry. Unless I started my ministerial career in the second grade (I didn’t!) being an Adventist Pastor for 44 years means that realistically speaking, I am on the back end of my ministry and the back end of my life. I am one of those “older men” in leadership.
We need older men in ministry (the church has only begun hiring female Pastors fairly recently, so right now, there are not a whole lot of older females in ministry). One of my mentors in ministry who is now deceased told me when I was a young Pastor many years ago “There is no substitute for experience”. He was right.
Not long ago, a younger Pastor called me to discuss a particular situation that he was facing. He was kind enough to accept some advice. After I finished giving that advice, he was profuse in his thanks. I told him, first of all, if you received any wisdom from our dialog, it did not come from me, it came from God.
Secondly, I said that if it seemed like I knew what to do about his situation, it was because I had previously experienced that same situation in my own life and ministry. There is no substitute for experience.
Our church needs us “old guys”. It does. There are things that we have lived through that others have yet to experience. But our church doesn’t just need “old guys” seated at the leadership table; it needs some young guys. And-it needs people in “seats at the leadership table” who are not “guys “at all. In a church that is overwhelmingly female in terms of the people seated in the pew, we need have some females seated at the leadership table.
Someone once said that a diversity of opinions leads to better decisions. In other words, you need a bunch of people from different stations in life, who are at different times in their lives, to have an effective leadership and decision-making group.
I experienced the benefit of having people of different ages and life experiences as part of the decision-making group when I was in leadership in the South Central Conference. The Conference Treasurer at that time was a young adult female-Mrs. Merkita Mosley. The fact that she was younger, female and not a Pastor gave me a perspective that I did not have-but one that I needed. The different perspective that she brought was simply invaluable.
On the other hand, I had an older male as the Conference Secretary, Elder Auldwin Humphrey. He brought another perspective that I needed. Ironically, he had been Youth Director in the conference when I was a teenager; I was Youth Director in the same conference when Mrs. Mosley was a teenager. We had a good demographic balance in our leadership team.
I am very excited about Pastor Hoy joining our team at ORCM and RCRP because in addition to her gifts and her reputation for being thorough, for following through on assignments and being a hard worker, she gives us a kind of person at our leadership table that we have not had before. As our Communications Director, she is not going to just tell you who we are as Regional Conferences, where we have been and what we are doing-but because she will be involved in everything that we do in this office here at the headquarters of the Regional Conference work-she won’t just tell you what’s happening, she’ll help to shape what’s happening.
Pastor Hoy won’t just be telling you about our outreach to the continent of Africa , where 45% of all Seventh-day Adventist live. She’ll be in the room talking with the leaders of our church there-helping us to continue to build bridges and be involved in some of the training and preaching that they have asked Regional Conferences to do over there in the recent past and what we plan to do again-once international travel becomes feasible once more.
When this office plans the yearly ORCM/Oakwood University School of Theology Job Fair that matches prospective Oakwood Theology students who are looking for jobs with Regional Conference Presidents who have jobs (this year’s Job Fair-even though it had to be virtual-resulted in several Oakwood grads getting hired as Pastors), Pastor Hoy won’t just tell you that this was done, she’ll impact how it was done.
When the Regional Conference leadership meets in-person for the first time in 19 months in Orlando in January for the North American Division Black Caucus-the meeting that-more than any other meeting-sets the agenda for the collective ministry of Regional Conferences-Pastor Hoy will be a part of helping shape that agenda.
This office is tasked with leading out in the building of a 2 story, 32,000 square foot office complex that will house all of our major entities (ORCM, RCRP, Breath of Life, Message Magazine and The Regional Voice)-a project that will be done without asking any additional monies from any Regional Conferences. All the steel beams have been erected for that building-work on the inside has now begun with early January, 2022 set for the completion date. Pastor Hoy will not just tell you about the finishing touches of that project. Some of those finishing touches will come as a result of our conversations she will have with the architect, the contractor and the project manager in our bi-weekly meetings with them.
We are excited about the gifts and the different perspective that Pastor Hoy brings to our leadership table. It is with great joy and eager anticipation that we pull up another chair around that table on July 1 and await what God will do for her and through her in this new area of ministry.
Welcome, Pastor Hoy.