In a world-first, hundreds of Literature Evangelists (LEs), pastors and church-goers from across the South Pacific Division (SPD) tuned in to watch the inaugural Literature Ministry Summit over the weekend of October 9 to 11, themed “Live His Calling”.
Organised by Adventist Media literature ministry coordinator Brenton Lowe, assistant coordinator Marilene Stevenson, and community engagement assistant Vania Chew, the program was created to encourage attendees to distribute Christian literature among their communities.
“The purpose was to inspire church members to share hope through literature,” Mr Lowe explained. “As part of that, our leaders, literature champions and members involved in literature distribution shared stories about how God is using books and their personal ministry to change lives.”
The live programs were hosted by Miss Chew and literature ministry coordinator for Australia and New Zealand, Tony Wall. More than 110 individuals and groups tuned into the live event on Friday night and additional viewers watched the weekend programs.
“All of the presentations gelled together beautifully. From the context of sharing literature, right through to the critical reason that we share literature, it highlighted the central piece: the gospel,” Mr Lowe said.
Key leaders from across the Division—SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend, Australian Union Conference president Pastor Jorge Munoz, New Zealand Pacific Union Conference president Eddie Tupa’i and Trans Pacific Union Mission president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga presented at the event.
“That really encouraged our people around the field to know that the leadership are actually interested in literature ministry,” explained Adventist Media CEO Pastor Brad Kemp.
“We planned to run a summit this year at Avondale. Because of COVID it wasn’t able to happen, so we found another more creative way of connecting our LE team from around the Division, to provide some spiritual uplift and a chance for them to connect,” he added.
As a result of the summit, the literature ministry team at Adventist Media are receiving requests for more information.
“People are interested in becoming LEs and are also requesting info packs on how to share literature in church or in a personal setting,” Mr Lowe explained.
As a follow-up initiative, literature ministry representatives are planning a training program in November to equip those who attended the summit, and anyone wanting practical tips on sharing literature.
“[The summit] was an inspirational piece. Now we want to equip those that they have been inspired to share literature,” said Mr Lowe.
“Literature ministry was shut down during COVID for a while, but now it’s been opening up and the work has begun again. To hold the summit at this time was particularly important to lift the spirits of the people, boost morale and make them feel valued for the work that they do,” Pastor Kemp said.
General Conference associate publishing director Stephen Apola was impressed by the event and said it was a model that other Divisions could be using to promote literature ministry.