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Insights from the AIIAS 9th Preaching Lectureship: The Transformative Power of Prayer

The AIIAS 9th Annual Preaching Lectureship drew more than 150 attendees on January 18-19, 2024. Pastors from the region enthusiastically convened to attend the 2024 workshop focusing on the theme of “the transformative power of prayer”.

Dr. Andrea Trusty King, the keynote speaker for the lectureship, served as the director of communications for the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The two-day event was attended by pastors and leaders from Seventh-day Adventist institutions within the Philippines: AIIAS, Cavite Mission, Negros Occidental Conference, Northern-Luzon Conference, and South-Central Luzon Conference.

The program began with a brief devotional message by former AIIAS Applied Theology professor Dr. Aivars Ozolins, who cited a story from Paul’s teachings in Roman 4. He emphasized the power of God’s word in bringing life to the dead, and in creating something from nothing. Ozolins highlighted the power of the gospel to bring salvation and transformation, with the focus on Jesus as the living Word. 

Next Dr. Andrea King opened her message by recounting the story of her calling at the tender age of 14. She described her initial reluctance when invited for the first time to preach to a large gathering of youth. She shared that her mother’s encouragement and guidance at that time became an instrument in her ministry. Throughout her presentations, King focused on the transformative power of God’s Word, emphasizing that preaching can open the door to healing and deliverance. 

King also addressed the obstacles faced by preachers. She attributed these challenges to an increase in secularism, allowing worldly influence to take over one’s spiritual life, the continued societal decrease in attention spans, and the increase in electronic distractions. Speaking of the insecurities that dwell in sermon preparation, she called the preachers to persevere through adversity and periods of discouragement. She structured her sermons with biblical principles and stories of Bible characters who continued in their dedication to the Lord despite facing challenges. King urged preachers to purposely and consciously connect with the Lord, Who provides the context for a message deeply rooted in faith. 

Empowerment, strength, and trusting in God’s Word were the focus of the two-day event during which participants were called upon to embody their calling. Dr. King also recommended resources for effectively communicating the word of God to the attendees’ congregations. She discussed the best sermon format to help listeners to remember what they hear. She encouraged the attendees to preach impactful sermons that engage the head, the heart, and the hand. Finally, she taught her listeners how to utilize tools such as AI, apps, and websites that are essential for sermon preparation and development.  Her inspirational and practical approach created an empowering environment for her listeners.

The remaining sessions focused on seeking God’s guidance before preparing and preaching a sermon. Dr. King reflected on Jesus and how he connected with His Father in order to seek direction for ministry. She continued to emphasize that a prayerful life is essential for listening to what God wants to say from His Word. She noted that it is through the practice of seeking divine intervention that a foundation is created for effective sermon preparation. She urged preachers to listen, hear, and accept God’s guidance, explaining that sermons should be “marinated” in prayer and rooted in Bible study and spiritual contemplation.

In a culmination of the sessions, attendees participated in activities wherein they could reflect prayerfully on assigned Bible passages. The exercise was designed to facilitate a practical application of the principles taught in the workshop, and to develop skills to better prepare for preaching the word of God. Follow-up feedback indicated that attendees were deeply appreciative for the inspiration and professional development provided through Dr. King’s Preaching Lectureship, and were excited to put to use what they had learned.

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