Seminario Adventista Laico (SAL) is an initiative that began in 2005 at the Andrews University Institute of Hispanic Ministry. Its mission? To equip lay members for ministry in their local congregations. Last year, the Carson Spanish church organized the program at the local level with representation from different churches in the South Bay area. The six-month program consisted of once-monthly classes, each attended by about 40 students.
This module of the program focused on equipping church members to preach. “Our core study was evangelistic preaching,” explained Pastor Yonny Jimenez, senior pastor, Carson Spanish church. “Our goal was to motivate our students to learn about public evangelism and for the student to practice what they learned.”
The graduation took place on January 27. Ricardo Norton, M.Div., D.Min., is the Associate Professor of Church Growth and Director for the Institute of Hispanic Ministry at Andrews University. Norton shared the history of the program, recalling his experience as a pastor when he trained his church. It was at that time he realized that this was a need, not only for his churches here, but all around the world.
“This training is important because we believe in the priesthood of all believers,” shared Elder John H. Cress, SCC Executive Secretary, Ministerial Director. “We all are called, and one of the main jobs of the pastor is to be sure the members of the church are equipped for ministry, according to Ephesians 4:12.” The central theme of his challenge to the graduates, taken from 1 Timothy 4:14-16, was this: “Your walk with Christ is the crucial foundation of your work for Christ.”
As part of the curriculum, students were required to submit sermons and were encouraged to support their local church by preaching the gospel. Many of the students had already preached in their local congregation, and some will be preaching in the small group conference-wide evangelism meetings that will take place this month.
According to Pastor Jimenez, the response to this first track was positive, and students were motivated. On February 18, the church started its second track, this time on leadership.