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Some Thoughts from a General Conference Leader

Over at the Club Adventist online forum, Stan Jensen conducted an interesting interview with Lowell Cooper, vice-president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

According to his bio, the Canadian-born Lowell Cooper has served at the General Conference Office since 1994. He was elected as a General Vice President in 1998 and continues in that role at present. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Michigan and a Master’s Degree from Loma Linda University School of Public Health. His assignments after the 2005 GC included the role of chair for several boards and committees including: Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, Pacific Press Publishing Association, and the Council on Evangelism and Witness. The assignments for all of the vice presidents are subject to change after each GC session. Significantly, he received the second most votes during the 2010 General Conference Session election for president.

He comments on several issues and leaders in the church.

On Jan Paulsen:

In my estimation Elder Paulsen has been an exceptionally gifted leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

His training as a theologian and his experience as an administrator equipped him with a deep understanding in all areas of church life.

In addition, no matter where one sat in the Seventh-day Adventist Church he/she could be seen and heard by Elder Paulsen. He was a president for the whole church–children, youth, adults, men and women, seekers and defenders, institutions and congregations.

He kept a focus on the big picture and the big issues

On Ted Wilson:

Each General Conference President brings some different elements of leadership style and such should be expected from the new president, Elder Ted Wilson. However, the way the General Conference office carries out its work is largely dependent on systems, procedures, and a lot of consultation. Elder Wilson has a lot of experience in denominational administration and therefore knows the value of preserving deliberative and consultative procedures in fostering the unity of the worldwide church.

On missionaries:

There is still a need—however a different kind of need. There is much less need for church administrators since in most areas of the world there is a sufficient pool of well-qualified nationals to fill leadership positions. Today the most urgent need for interdivision employees (formerly called missionaries—a term that is not held in high esteem in many countries) is for persons with advanced professional degrees in theology, business, education, administration, and healthcare.

A message to members:

Wherever you live and whatever you do, live in a way that brings glory to God. When people discover that Jesus lives in your house and in your church they will break down the doors and walls to get into His presence.

UPDATE: This post has been edited as it incorrectly listed the result of the General Conference Session vote and a denominational board membership.

Also, here’s Bonnie Dwyer’s interview with Lowell Cooper.

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