A Vital Missing Ministry

by May 4, 2023Personal Ministries, Public Evangelism

Many churches are missing a vital element in their work that can literally make or break their evangelism success. All the wonderful outreach activities a church conducts may be highly organized, strongly supported, and even well attended, yet still fall short of their soul-winning potential.  Why? Because the spiritual interests these activities develop are not diligently followed up. What’s missing is the vital work of the Interest Coordinator!

When outlining the leadership positions of a local church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual first mentions those responsible for the administration of the entire church body like elder, deacon/deaconess, clerk, and treasurer. After those, it lists leaders of “departments and other organizations” that manage specific areas of church life such as children’s ministries, education, health ministries, and Sabbath School.[1]

It might surprise you to learn that on that first list of church-wide leaders is the Interest Coordinator. It may also surprise you to know that the only local church officer specifically mentioned in the work of the church board is the interest coordinator.[2] Though many have never heard of, much less served as an interest coordinator, apparently this is a vital position in the local church. So, what in the world is an interest coordinator and why is it this job so important?

To answer these questions, let’s turn to the source.

An interest coordinator should be elected to make sure that interests developed through the church’s missionary outreach are cared for promptly. This person is a member of the board and the personal ministries council and works directly with the pastor and chairperson of that council.

Duties of this office include:

1. Keeping an organized list of all interests received by the church.
2. Assisting the pastor and chairperson of the personal ministries

council in enlisting and recruiting qualified members for follow-up service.

3. Presenting to the board a monthly report on the number of interests received and followed up. When an interest is sufficiently developed, it should be shared with the pastor.[3]

Apparently, every department of the local church is expected to develop “interests”—spiritually curious non-Adventists—and share those names with the Interest Coordinator. The Interest Coordinator is then responsible to “make sure [those interests] are cared for promptly.” The three subsequent duties of this position simply explain how the Interest Coordinator makes sure follow-up ministry happens: keep an organized interest list, recruit members for follow-up service, and report interest progress with the board each month.

This may sound like a basic or even minor task but take a moment to consider how such a focus on intentionally seeking out and following up with new interests could radically alter your local church. Every department would plan activities and initiatives specifically aimed at discovering spiritually interested people in your area. Members would be enlisted to promptly follow up those interests with Bible studies or personal invitations to other spiritually enriching activities. Board meetings would prioritize discussions of how to minister to these new interests and coordinate plans for finding still more in the future. The culture of the church would shift from merely planning events to truly seeking and saving the lost!

Now imagine an entire conference filled with local churches that made finding and following up new spiritual interests one of its highest priorities! The soul winning potential is almost incalculable but certainly not impossible.

Visit with your church’s Interest Coordinator this week to see how you can help follow up with the spiritually interested souls in your area. If you don’t currently have an Interest Coordinator in your church, talk with your pastor or elder to find out what can be done to move in that direction. 

[1] Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 2022 ed., Ch. 9

[2] Ibid, p. 137, 138

[3] Ibid., p. 91

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