Posts Tagged: Rodlie Ortiz

More Than a Voice!

For the past 12 years I’ve had the privilege of working for The Seventh-day Adventist denomination. My prayer is that I continue to work for them until Jesus comes back or I die, whichever comes first. I truly love this global community of faith; that said there are occasions that I become flummoxed by some of the things I am seeing and hearing within my church.

Recently I’ve been reading the biography of J.N. Loughborough by Dr. Brian Strayer. I have thoroughly enjoyed the read, it might be my favorite of the Adventist Pioneer Series thus far.

As I’ve read almost two-thirds of the book however I have found myself getting sideways on an issue…

The lack of inclusion of young adults at the highest levels of leadership within our church!

I have heard, ever since I accepted Jesus and started hanging-out around Seventh-day Adventist leaders the statement, “We need to make sure our young people have a voice within their church.”

Here is what I would say to how well that has gone: if young people truly had a voice in this church, a voice that anyone was listening to, a voice with a vote, then there would be a more diverse spectrum of ages amongst our church leadership at every level.

As it stands now though, at the highest level of leadership, The General Conference, there are currently no administrators under the age of 50…and I would venture to guess that there are not even any under the age of 60, if any of you are I apologize :). But it is not just at the General Conference level, The North American Division has the same problem; we have some leadership in their 50’s, but no one at a significant leadership level is below the age of 50 to my knowledge. The same is true within our Union leadership.

I got sideways as I was reading  the Loughborough biography because I am reading stories about young adults that are in great positions of influence within our church…oh and when I say young adult, I’m not talking about 40’s and 50’s, I’m talking about 20’s and 30’s, even a few in their late teens. Presidents, GC executive committee members, top theologians, General Conference sent evangelists.

Reading these stories makes me so proud of our early church and so disappointed with our current church.

Young in leadership is just something that is not seen anymore…

Something that is not even given a chance to be seen or experienced at any level other than the local church and maybe, just maybe a local conference or two, at least here in the United States.

There is much talk about giving the young a voice, but folk the young need more than a voice they need to be in on the decision making process, they need at times to be the actual decision makers.

Let me ask what I believe is a very logical question: If the church is trying to figure out ways to retain the youth and young adults of our church would it not make sense for the young to be deciding what actions are going to be taken to reach & retain those demographics? Every successful business in the world has figured this out, why can’t the church?

Hear what I am not saying. I am not saying that we should put those of the older ilk out to pasture. We are a multi-generational church, so we should have multi-generational leadership…AT EVERY LEVEL!

People like Pastor Rodlie Ortiz should be sitting at any table at the highest levels of this church that are visioning and strategizing for church growth, if you don’t believe me ask Pastor Dwight Nelson. Pastor Anthony Wagenersmith I believe would be an asset to the Biblical Research Institute. He has a brilliant theological mind, before we were even out of seminary he was a grad assistant that was delivering lectures to other graduate students. Gina Creek, is a gifted writer, that writes in a unique voice; she should be at the Adventist Review or Signs of the Times or writing copy for The GC. Pastor Taj Pacleb is one of the most gifted traditional evangelists I’ve ever heard, why aren’t we tapping him for global evangelistic events or media posts? Pastor Benjamin Lundquist is in my opinion the most innovative youth and young adult leader out there right now. Every youth and young adult leader should spend time with him. These are just a few, the list could go on and on!

My point is the young adults are out there, out there ready to lead at the highest levels. Just like they were in the first 50 years of our church.

But their church isn’t inviting them to even consider such a step.

Their church, our church, my church just keeps talking about giving them a voice…

but what good are their voices if they are not being heard in the rooms making the decisions?

If their voices don’t actually have a vote when the decisions are made?

Please church that I love, be a church that truly represents ALL of us! Give us more than a voice!





Let Me Introduce You…

Is this the only blog you read?  Most blogs I read I have discovered through the testimony of friends and or people I respect.  You may not consider me a friend and you may not respect me, but I hope you will at least for curiosity sake check out some blogs I am going to introduce you to today:

on a wild horse | doing my best to blend in : This blog is actually written by my little sister, Erin.  Erin received her degree in “Writing” I believe, yeah I didn’t know they had a degree in that either…yeah you’re right that limits the job field:) But all of that is okay because my little sister is the greatest stay-at-home mom ever!  She writes about her experiences as a mom of two and surrogate mom for my two.  Even if you cannot relate to this type of life, that is okay, because she is a gifted writer and I think just in general you will enjoy her caustic wit and self-deprecation (if you can get over the fact that she writes everything in lower case, still bugs me a little, but it is her trademark).  So check it out and subscribe if you like it.

gastrobro | GI wannabe : This blog is the blog of my brother-in-law, Chad, yes we share the same name. 

Quick story about that: A lady in church comes up to me, “Pastor Chad I met your brother.” Me: “I don’t have a brother.” Lady: “Yes your brother Chad.” Me: “Oh yeah my brother-in-law.” Lady: “NO your brother.” Me: “He’s actually my brother-in-law.” Lady: “He said he was your brother.” Me: *Confused stare* as I ponder how to deal with a member that A.) Thinks I don’t know whether or not I actually have a brother B.) A member that thinks my parents would actually name both of their sons, “CHAD.” 

Sidebar over: Chad’s blog are the ramblings of a Medical Resident.  Chad is a resident in Fresno, soon to be chief resident, and he is working on his writing skills through blogging…or maybe he is just wanting to share his brilliance with the world!  Either way I am not medical at all and I enjoy his blog, probably because it is more about him and his outlook on things than pure medicine.  He also throws in experience of his life as a dad and husband to the crazy sister you will read about above.

Modern Ekklesia | Some thoughs on the intersection of church, leadership, and technology : This blog is written by my friend, Rodlie Ortiz.  In my opinion Rodlie is one of the most gifted young pastors in our denomination!  I hope that one day I get to work with him or for him.  Rodlie’s blog is beneficial to anyone in leadership whether you are a pastor or not.  It is beneficial to anyone interested in technology. 

Thoughts from The White Board : This blog I have mentioned before. It is written by Jason Lombard.  Jason owns a marketing and design agency, Anagram Design Werks her in the Central Valley and he is also one of the Elders at Visalia Seventh-day Adventist Church (a site he built and designed).  I read Jason’s blog because I sit with him each and every week and learn from him, so I figure I should read what he writes as well!

Seth’s Blog : If you read my blog you will read quotes from Seth Godin a lot.  I believe he is brilliant!

Michael Hyatt | Intentional Leadership : The first blog I ever read with any consistency was, Modern Ekklesia, there Rodlie introduced me to Michael Hyatt and I have been hooked ever since.  I believe ALL leaders should read Michael Hyatt and then folk that just have a curiosity about doing things well, should be reading Hyatt’s blog as well! 

running: the dawn : My friend Gina Creek in this blog writes about her experiences as a runner.  She is writes with great honesty and her growth as a runner is inspiring to me!  She went from being a well over 4:30 marathoner to a Boston Qualifier!

Well those are some of the blogs I read.  I hope you will check them out.  Please share with me the blogs you think I should read, I am always open to reading and learning more!  

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