Inter-America Trains Administrators, Committee Leaders Online

Some 280 locations connected from around the world

LIBNA STEVENS, Inter-America Division
Inter-America Trains Administrators, Committee Leaders Online

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America provided newly appointed church administrators from the territory’s major church regions, or unions, local fields, and institutions an online orientation to assist them as they lead and make decisions for the fulfillment of the work in its territory.

IAD administrators and leaders answer questions during one of the Q&A sessions during the SeLD online training program held Nov. 30, 2016, in Miami, Florida, United States. The online orientation was focused primarily for church administrators and leaders serving on committees and boards across local fields, unions and institutions across the IAD territory. Image by IAD

The one-day training session was organized under the Inter-American Division’s (IAD) Segment Leaders Development (SeLD) program, and focused primarily on those who serve on committees and boards, organizers said. It was also open to individuals in key leadership areas in IAD including institutions, schools, and churches.

“This is the first time we are reaching all committee and board members across the division in an effort to train and equip board members in their responsibility to help lead this church,” said Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America.

Some 280 locations connected from around the world during the SeLD online training program. Image by IAD

Many come from various environments and may not understand the organization as it is, noted Leito. “If we want to lead this organization, if we want to have part in moving the church forward to the coming of the Lord, we must understand what the Seventh-day Adventist Church is all about organizationally.”

“Authority is disbursed, committees have authority granted, and render accountability to the constituency it serves”

Leito reminded leaders that no concentration of authority rests in any of the church’s organizational levels, from local field, union, division, to the General Conference level. “Authority is disbursed, committees have authority granted, and render accountability to the constituency it serves,” he said.

Adventist world church president Ted N. C. Wilson congratulated IAD leaders for the governance training session and encouraged viewers to be loyal to Christ’s church and His mission.

“We need authentic, genuine, humble, Christian leaders in the IAD who govern, who supervise, who encourage as Christ did,” said Wilson. “God wants you to be transformed to lead effectively before Christ’s return.” The president reminded leaders to study the Word of God, pray, and share with others about the transforming relationship with the Lord in dedicated service to fulfill the mission of the church.

The online training also included training sessions by IAD executive secretary Elie Henry, division treasurer Filiberto Verduzco, and SeLD coordinator Balvin Braham, on the function of unions, local fields, and institutions in the organization, the function of policy in boards and committees, the fiduciary responsibility of leaders, conflict of interest, and Group Think on boards and committees.

Viewers were able to submit questions during the program to be discussed during question and answer sessions featured after each training segment during the six-hour program. A case study exercise for leaders was also featured.

Braham said the leadership development the IAD has undertaken for more than 10 years is all-important for the church organization to thrive and function effectively in today’s environment of continuous change.

Usually, dozens of newly appointed administrators travel to IAD Headquarters in Miami, Florida, for annual development training. But the online program became a cost effective and time efficient method to reach the large and diverse group of leaders.

“It is imperative that we invest in training and development to avoid mistakes that result from lack of information and knowledge,” said Braham. “To deepen or change the organization culture, and make the organization relevant to achieve desired results, leader development must be intentional and continuous.”

Plans are underway for a face-to-face leader development conference to be held July 10-17, 2017

Leaders were happy that the live, online program had connections in 280 locations, and more than 2,500 views of the program were accessed within 24 hours after the webcast.

According to Braham, plans are underway for a face-to-face leader development conference to be held July 10-17, 2017, in Miami, Florida. “This conference will include a wider cross section of individuals. Church elders, pastors, department leaders, and administrators at all levels are invited to attend.

To view IAD’s SeLD online training session click this link.

To download presentations featured during the online event, visit

LIBNA STEVENS, Inter-America Division