What Is a Holy Convocation?
It’s an annual one-week TMI/Revival & Reformation program involving all pastors from a given region or field, as well as church members from the participating churches.
It’s a call to holiness and a life renewed by the Holy Spirit, enhanced through four important areas:
- Stewardship Revival and Reformation Pastoral Council (mornings)
- Visitation program (afternoons)
- Daily specific calls to revival and reformation (evenings, in every participating church). These calls should motivate faithfulness through the work of the Holy Spirit (not by works) in key areas of one’s spiritual life, such as regular communion with God, daily family worship, family relationships (love, forgiveness and faithfulness), Sabbath keeping (limits and activities), health reform, personal missionary ministry, and tithe and offerings (the Promise concept).
- Renewal of vows, a commitment ceremony at the end of the program.
It will take place in a region with at least the same number of churches as the number of participating pastors – one church for each pastor. Those churches must be located within a reasonable distance from the venue where the participating pastors would lodge and meet for the stewardship council every day.
The pastors and their spiritual life will be the first target of this program, but it should also deeply impact members of participating churches. After this program, participating pastors are expected to take what they have learned and experienced and apply it to their own districts.
One week, once a year.
When? (Daily Schedule)
Morning: Stewardship Council
Afternoon: (Stewardship) Visitation program
Evening: Church service (in participating churches)
- Total Pastoral Involvement: All pastors of the participating administrative region (including administrators and department directors) should participate in all activities of the entire program.
- Preparation: Churches should be informed beforehand about the program, and its advantages, and be prepared for it.
- A church for each pastor: Each pastor should have a church in which he will conduct the daily evening service and also do the visitation program. During this week, each pastor may attend a church other than his own district church(es).
Food and lodging
- The best possible: Avoiding any ostentation or over spending, lodging venue and food for pastors should be the best, the healthiest possible and affordable. Pastors should feel that through this program, the church is investing in their social, physical and spiritual growth.
- Venue: Following Christ’s example, an effort should be made to assure that the accommodation for the participating pastors and the venue of the pastoral council be as close as possible to a natural environment.
- Healthy Adventist food: Plan for a healthy, delicious and nutritious Adventist vegetarian meal for breakfast and lunch.
- Refreshments: Mineral or potable drinking water should be abundantly available, while coffee-breaks or refreshments between meals should be avoided as a way to keep mind alert.
- Evening meal: Church members should be scheduled to entertain pastors each evening before service with simple but healthy vegetarian food.
Time and Program
- One week: This annual program should be scheduled for one entire week.
- Stewardship exclusiveness: The daily morning program (Stewardship Council) should be totally dedicated to Stewardship and Revival and Reformation, and should be planned according to the “Daily Schedule” guidelines (please, see that file).
- Pastors prepared: Pastors should be prepared beforehand for what will happen. They must come prepared to visit church members.
- Spiritual diagnosis: A spiritual diagnosis should be conducted at least three months prior to the Holy Convocation in every participating church (please, see below).
- A church for each pastor: A church should be assigned to each participating pastor, preferable not from within his own district.
- Sermons: Suggested sermons should be prepared for pastors to preach during the daily service in their scheduled churches. Those sermons should motivate a call to revival and reformation.
- Communication: Leaders from the participating churches must be informed, prepared and motivated for what will happen.
- First meeting: An overview of the program should be given at a planned meeting on the first Friday. This meeting should include the participating pastors and, if possible, the leaders of the participating churches.
- Leisure day: A day off for leisure should be planned for pastors (why not Monday?)
- Daily exercise: A prayer walk or some kind of collective exercise should be scheduled to take place very early in the morning, from Sunday to Friday.
- Personal devotional time: At least one hour of the daily program should be scheduled for pastors to have their personal devotion, early in the morning.
- Daily program: A sheet should be given to pastors with the weekly and daily schedule.
- Renewal of vows: A renewal of vows should be scheduled for the last weekend of the program.
Spiritual Inventory and Visitation:
- Select priority visits: At least three months before the scheduled Holy Convocation, each participating church must conduct a Spiritual Inventory in order to determine which church members/families should receive priority during the visitation program.
- Contact those to be visited: Families to be visited should be contacted and scheduled to receive a pastoral visit during the Holy Convocation. Usually a pastor can visit no more than four or five homes each afternoon.
- Visitation agenda: Each visit should follow the Holy Convocation visitation program’s agenda, using the format of a personal spiritual inventory.
- Time sensitive visitation: Visitations should usually last no more than 50 minutes and meals or refreshments should be avoided during these visitations, making it possible to visit with more families.