Working to Take the Mission Forward
Editorial by Mike Hewitt
On May 19, the Mountain View Conference will hold its first Quinquennial Constituency Session at the Valley Vista Adventist Center in Huttonsville. It has been an incredible privilege to serve the Mountain View Conference (MVC), first as executive secretary, and currently as president since December 2017. Though my family and I have served in this role a short time, we have fallen in love with the
members, pastors, volunteer lay pastors and their wives; our Bible workers; our education team; and our office staff. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the mission of Jesus in West Virginia and Western Maryland.
Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20, NKJV). We can testify that Jesus has been with the MVC throughout the last five years. As we have made mission our primary focus, He has blessed in ways that have left us speechless at times. I would like to share with you a few of the ways we are working to take the mission forward in our conference:
Renewed Commitment to Training Our Pastors
We have made a strong commitment to provide our pastors with the best training we can give them. We will again be taking our entire pastoral team to train with Mark Finley at the Living Hope Evangelism Training Center in Haymarket, Va. We have also brought in highly-skilled trainers from various places to help our pastors know best how to lead and grow their churches.
Church Planting and Replanting
I am also excited to report on our church planting and replanting work that is underway. During the quinquennium now ending, we started two new church companies with the Moorefield Spanish and Lewisburg Spanish groups. We are also working hard to plant four new churches: Petersburg, W.Va. (English speaking); Hurricane, W.Va. (English speaking); Clarksburg, W.Va. (Spanish speaking); and
Parkersburg, W.Va. (Spanish speaking). We sincerely believe that church planting is vital to growing our conference. We are also making plans to replant the Williamson, W.Va., congregation, since its active members have either moved or passed away.
Growing Hispanic Work
We have also seen God working through our focus on outreach to Hispanic people in Mountain View. In 2015 we brought student missionaries from Peru to begin working in various locations around our territory to evangelize our ever-increasing Hispanic population. As I previously mentioned, churches are being planted and we are seeing growth with our Hispanic congregations, and we expect even stronger growth in the upcoming quinquennium.
Volunteer Lay Pastor Initiative
We also launched a Volunteer Lay Pastor initiative. Many of our smaller congregations were in three and sometimes four church districts, which means they usually only saw their pastor once a month at best. Through our Volunteer Lay Pastor initiative, we are now empowering teachable laypeople who we can train to lead these smaller congregations on a weekly basis.
Mission-Focused in Mountain View
I am truly excited about the future and all that Christ has done and is about to do in the Mountain View Conference. The fields are already ripe for the harvest, and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus wants to do even greater things through us in the upcoming quinquennium. It can and will happen if we work together and allow Him to use us.