Do You Know “The Real Deal?”

A compilation of thoughts and topics from contributors of this blog:

One day one of my favorite pastors told me a story concerning a brief confinement in an urban city jail. His account went like this: One day I was driving down a country road outside of the city and just enjoying the view when suddenly I found myself pulled over by a small town cop. After forty-five minutes of waiting, I was suddenly handcuffed at gun point, thrown into a transport vehicle and locked up in an urban city jail. The charge was, “Grand Auto Theft.” After, sometime they later took me to a cell where I curled up to hide in shame. After two hours I heard the noise of a steel jail cell open, and to my surprise, I suddenly found myself sharing a cell with a fellow inmate.

Now the inmate asked me one question, “What are you in here for?” My response was quick and simple, “Mistaken Grand Auto Theft.”

Instantly, the inmate laughed and said, “That’s what we all say.” I quickly responded back out of disgust for his mocking and asked, “Well, what are YOU in for.” Without hesitation the inmate replied, “You see I’m the REAL DEAL. I’m in for First Degree Murder. So you best better get up out of that bed!”

From that point on until I left on bail, there was no conversation. I was glad that he told me he was the “Real Deal” fearing for my own life.”

In a few weeks from now the “Real Deal” is coming. Don’t you want to know what “they are in for” so that you will know how to preference what you will say or do? This election will affect pastors and members in either a positive or negative way. And most of the decisions concerning your well-being won’t be made by you. Unfortunately, those who are in power are afraid to reveal to us the “Real Deal.” Very little will be revealed concerning how money was spent and for why. Nor will you actually have a chance to debate or for a better word discuss as we have in this forum the future of our conference. They will only tell you what they want you to know for the sake of getting through the meeting as quickly as possible. Most delegates will leave the meeting feeling that they didn’t get the answers they were looking for as so many times in the past, they will leave with emptiness.

If you are heard, at least you can say “you tried.” “The step I took in opening this forum  came with the responsibility of allowing people to say what they wanted to say whether people agreed or not.” I am okay with that. Comments will not be deleted unless they are inappropriate. The power of your words can make a difference and help our leaders see more clearly.

 Thousands of people are already tuning into the relevant discussions by contributors on this blog. It’s sole purpose is to allow pastors and members a forum to voice their opinion. Through this process we can learn from each other. One email I received asked, “Who are you?” But he or she never asked the more relevant question, “Who are they, and how do they want to be remembered when all is said and done.”

I have learned that other conferences have blogs such as this one so that people can state their opinions anonymously or otherwise. “Right on” to those “cutting edge” conferences that allow their members to say what they mean. Good leaders have “thick skin” as Jonah_77 stated in one of his comments (You should visit Jonah_77’s comments concerning the Strategic Plan. He sounds like someone who writes them and implements them at the tactical level. Without this blog we would not benefit from his knowledge concerning such a plan proposed by the SWRC).

The question of the day is, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE REAL DEAL IS…AT THIS UPCOMING CONSTITUENCY MEETING? You ask the questions and you can find the answers. Or, if you know the problems of our conference, tell us what you think the issues are so we can discuss them and recommend solutions.

Do you know that there are forces at work today to swing the decisions of small committee members to persuade you to accept leaders whom know very little about this conference and your needs as constituents? Communicate with your local delegates and members of small committee and let them know what you need as a church. Send a message to everyone that backroom deals and favors are over we as constituents are better and smarter than that. Stay informed because so that you can improve this process.

Finally, I think the opinions of Craig and Left Behind, which are only contributors, should be discussed and solutions suggested. If you are concerned about how to place your comment, please feel free to email me at . I will respond to you.

God Bless


About The Forgotten Shepherdess

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36 Responses to Do You Know “The Real Deal?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    it is so lonely here where are all my friends?sometimers huh?lets start this up again!


  2. Anonymous says:

    billy got three obama gets 2!


  3. Anonymous says:

    will obama get 2 terms?billy got 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Ain't too proud to beg says:



  5. LEFT BEHIND says:

    If you would like the un-cut version of “Bad News from the Prez” please email the FORGOTTEN SHEPHERDESS. Maybe she’ll send it to you.

    Oh by the way, I’m LEFT BEHIND.


  6. Jonah_77 says:

    ministers who have been in SWRC for over 20 years know what this illustration speaks to. They know the players and deep down that Leftbehind is speaking truth through open, outright illustration, which is more than I can say for those he refers to. The tactics of intimidation and reprisal are not Christian traits People who claim that the upcoming process is transparent, spiritual, and politic free should open their eyes and demand specific changes to this process. What’s more is that this forum IT IS NOT GOING AWAY. The longer issues like these are not addressed, the more questions will be raised about more issues. Lets start submitting ideas for change. Lets educate constituents on the constitution and bylaws and the proposed Strategic Plan (that wont get put until the meeting because its the only idea on the table). Also, what about term limits, education and schools. Why cant people being considered for office submit a portfolio or leader philosophy to the executive committee that is presented at constituency meeting so that this conference does noes not get buyers remorse for another four years. Otherwise bloggers like Leftbehind will continue to feel left behind, and will ultimate be LEFT OUT.

    What say you?


  7. @left behind your sattire is very funny yet pushing the envelope be careful.


  8. Jonah_77 says:

    In summary,

    Lets see where we are. We can agree that there is an attempt being made by a few to get a pastor from the outside to come in and address all the problems in this conference. Second, there are others in this conference who if this happens will be Leftbehind in some form or fashion. Finally, it is not a transparent process. What say you?


  9. nprayer45 says:

    The Lord is soon to come and all of us should be in prayer about the state of this conference. I’ve seen plans, people, and churches come and go. If we see the challenges we face, it should strengthen our Bible study and prayer. God’s church will be victorius. Fact check: The Atl pastor will be at his church for five years in August. The members know they can lose another pastor. This is a movement. If someone has not committed, perhaps it’s an act of letting God do the
    selection, not a man, a group, or a committee.


    • @nprayer45 thank you for joining the discussion and clarifying. Do you think it’s right that MAN is trying to get him in instead of God? If he thinks he can do great things for this conference which I don’t doubt that he could why not step up and say it? Why let others do the maneuvering such as placing members on the committee in strategic ways to get him nominated. I just think we could all support someone who is upfront and honest about their intentions. I marvel at the work he has done why not let us see that so we can make informed decisions?


    • firstangel1844 says:

      Thank you for your comment. You are right if men and women let the system work ideally the way it was set up. (see Clarion Call who did a superb job describing the process)

      The system is compromised when some seek to do their will. There are cases in the Bible where God gives people up to their own methods and means when they do not follow His counsel.

      What some people are sacrificing is spirituality. Look at the history of the kings of Israel and judah. In the Chronicles at the end before captivity is a sad commentary of a nation that sacrificed spirituality in place of their way of doing things.

      Yes we need to pray and let God do His choosing.


  10. Anonymous says:

    I find this dialogue extremely interesting. As a member who has had little, if any interaction with SWRC officials, I often wonder exactly what we as members should expect of them. What is their duty – functionally and spiritually? From what I have seen, they seem to think their duty is self gratification. WHo are they accountable to? After being accountable to God, shouldn’t they be accountable to the membership that returns the tithe and supports the ministries of the church with their time and talents? I don’t ever recall seeing any type of conference report that shares income, expenses, priorities, results, baptism, etc. NOTHING. Is that how it is supposed to be – no tranparency? What’s the saying – power corrupts and complet power corrupts completely?

    I don’t recognize the fruit of the spirit in any of the characteristics noted in these blog entries, and perhaps that is the crux of the problem.

    We should demand Godly leaders to lead God’s people. Not dynamic speakers, good politickers or nice dressers. The salvation of souls is serious business and these are serious times so men clothed with the superficial attributes of this world will do us no good. They must be clothed in the whole armor of God and be about His business.
    Most of the current conference leaders are not very visible, in the local churches. Are church members okay with this or is it something we have just come to expect?

    This conference and it’s affilated institutions – and yes this includes the schools – is languishing in mediocrity. As has been pointed out before, the church school system is inadequate at best. At worst it is shameful in God’s eyes because it simply does not represent the best that we can offer His children – not in this day and time.

    What is needed most desperately is leaders who are willing to OPEN THIER EYES and see what is right before them. The crumbling facilities, the members who are indifferent because they have become numb to business as usual in God’s house, the detached members who are disengaged because they know if they are not attached to someone of a certain status in the church, the conference officials don’t even know of them, the young people who feel they don’t matter and don’t have a voice because the institutions that are supposed to serve them are inadequate or nonexistent.

    To LISTEN to people who are not yes men and women but who care enough to speak truth to power because they believe it can make a difference. Then be courageous enough to LEAD. Lead by example – by doing what is right for the church and its members, politics aside.

    No matter how dynamic and well polished the new conference leaders may be, if they are not prepared to spend time addressing the details that lay the foundation for successful ministry, the result will be the same. The pig with lipstick will still be a pig.

    I don’t know if the delegates in this process have the power to do so, but I urge you to demand more transparency in this process so that we have a chance at appointing leaders whose focus is to serve God and serve His people. God Bless.


    • @anonymous welcome if you are new to the discussion. I agree, I also think that these leaders need to recognize the pain and anguish caused to certain ministers in this conference who have been “exiled” because they have a voice see “how long” in the top right hand corner of the page. I call for a reconciliation before we proceed with business as usual at constituency this year. Some recognition and accountability needs to be presented in front of the delegates to right the wrongs done to the men in this field who came in with the desire to serve God. Before we move to vote in anyone or place anyone in office we need to fix one component that is obviously broken the low morale amongst ministers in this conference. If we can heal that, then I think we can move to bigger and better things.


    • firstangel1844 says:

      @anonymous Thank you for your comment. I love your observation that expresses my feelings too. I want to point out that my main theme is all about SPIRITUALITY. This is my message. LET’S MAKE THIS ELECTION GOD CENTERED.


    • firstangel1844 says:

      This is an outstanding writing. It should be mailed to everyone including ministers. THANK YOU!


  11. dolomite9 says:

    Special provisions should be made for pastors who have special needs children because unfortunately,, our best equipped adventist schools do not have any special eduaction classes or classes for special needs children.In those cases,pastors have no alternative but public school and even then ,you must advocate to be certain that your child gets a”free appropriate public school education”.The law says that if that school does not have what your child needs,then the school must pay whatever it costs to supply it! Now how can our church school systems do that?


    • Thank you for clarifying. You know I think it’s a shame that we don’t have adequate schools for our kids. I remember when church school was everywhere and it was unthinkable to do anything else other than to go to adventist school. Maybe it’s teacher pay are our teachers getting a fair shake no one has answered that question yet.


    • Ain't too proud to beg says:

      I agree! I think what Dr. Stanly might say is, “where it is possible, minister teacher and members should put their children in Church Schools.


  12. For those of you who are just getting in on the discussion and may not know what we’re talking about click this link below:

    Frank, Dino and Jerry

    To learn about Frank, Dino and Jerry a little more you can go back to the blog of Are Pastors Recycled or Re-used? . I can see that this analogy or fictitious story will continue to become a topic of conversation and reference.


  13. Jonah_77 says:

    I like this blog. People please respond.

    TFS, obviously this story is happening right now. Members should note, that if three men are going to decide the fate of everyone else without involving their fellow ministers then they should be drawn out and their plan revealed in open. Had they talked among the ministers openly about their designs then maybe the need for this forum would be obsolete. What LeftBehind is saying is that because certain people are in prominent positions they have taken it upon themselves to decide who the next president of the conference is going to be. Really? Thats some real power. Furthermore they are going to continue the policy to cut out the hearts of good men. What they are oblivious to, is this, the individual they attempt to bring in, may at some point, cut their hearts out or whats left of the hearts of Frank, Dino or Jerry. Then what? What will be left is a generation of ministry who knows nothing of discipline, and hard work to advance. It will be a generation that knows and cares only about whats in it for them. Also, the more I read Leftbehind, the more I read into the illustrations. Many of you out there have been LeftBehind and you know it. In the 80′s there were tent meetings, crusades, and evangelism efforts that taught young ministers the discipline needed to pastor a large church or the responsibility of being in office at the conference. You will never see a rookie police officer become a detective in the first years on the streets. Why then would you give the best opportunities that were earned by the men of the late 80′s and 90′s to a generation of young pups? We have to consider that Leftbehind was left behind by men who are trying not to miss that last train. Frank, Dino and Jerry, have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. The back room talks, deals, and discussions may actually catch up to them and the ultimate fear for them is that they may no longer be called, “Frank, Dino and Jerry”. There new names could be, Leftbehind 1, Leftbehind 2, and Leftbehind 3.

    There will be a new Frank, Dino, and Jerry and the cycle of being a forgottenshepherdess will continue unless, through prayer, insight, and common sense we discuss and make the best decision. What say you?


  14. dolomite9 says:

    We need to expose mess and messmakers when it happens and clean it up on the spot!People do not change unless they feel the need.Since these racketeers have been doing this stuff for years,they expect to keep getting over.”Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily,therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”
    We need to let these gangsters know that the jig is up no more shall they be allowed to play these games!Enough is enough!


    • @dolomite9 Right on! So… how do we expose Frank, Dino, and Jerry as “Left Behind” so adequately put it. What can the constitutents do? In the previous forum “Left Behind” illuded to a plan to bring a certain minister from Atlanta to serve as president…How can three people coordinate such a plan without the full knowledge of members on the small committee? I mean can we get real? We just say what it is no full names but can we just be real? I think the small committee members who have been charged with this task who may not know what “they’re in for” may not know and understand the true complexity of this plan. How it will effect senior men, how it will effect morale, why doesn’t this person or “falcon” just come out and say “I’m Interested In The Position” and get it over with? Do we even know if he wants the job? Additionally, it is my understanding that he has only been at his church for a small period of time like 2 years, how would his member feel if they knew he was seeking this position without their knowledge? I don’t know this just doesn’t make sense. In the real world it is professional courtesy to let your employer know when you are seeking a position. I guess SWRC doesn’t operate in the “real world” yet we need a “strategic plan” or vision like organizations in the “real world.”


      • dolomite9 says:

        We expose them by asking questions and not giving free passes orgranting a divine right to anyone because of where he pastors or what positon he or she holds in the conference.Doesn’t it seem a little suspicious that some people are given plush positions and who have done little if any work in this conference while others who have been left behind will continue to be?How do we expose them?They have a plan so we must have a plan.We cannot continue to reinforce negative behavior and we do this sometimes by doing nothing about it or saying nothing about it.Yes Frank and Dino and that bunch are closing in on rettirement but a new group some groomed by them inadvertently are already assuming their positions by “divine right!”


  15. Pastor W.B. Stanley says:

    Lets not forget the status of Adventist Education in the SWRGC. Have we allowed this most important issue to fall through the cracks? Across the SWRGC we have no more than 150 students as a combined total in our church/conference subsidized schools. This number is a sum total of one school in other conferences. What’s wrong witht his picture? Have we forgotten that Adventist lower education in a mandate given us by God and the Spirit-of-Prophecy. There are pastors who have their children in public schools as opposed to our schools. Personally, I think this should not be when teachers children are required to attend. Why not pastors.


    • Welcome back Pastor Stanley you were missed 🙂 I think your absolutely right, however we have to ask ourselves are there some services that are not adequately being provided? Are the facilities in all school equitable? If we have failing churches we will have failing schools which is a failure of leadership and a lack of pastoral advocacy in this conference. I think we have to fix systemic problems first to provide a better education for our students. By the way are our teachers getting a fair shake? What’s the average salary for an SWRC SDA teacher these days?


    • firstangel1844 says:

      Now tha’s what I’m talking about! This is a real issue that should be open for discussion and we should seek doable answers.


    • dolomite9 says:

      Who changed that policy?The red working policy of the gc said pastors are required or expected to put their kids in the local church school.We were expected to lead by precept and principle.Somehow we have such a watered down version of what is expected and what is accepted!


      • I know a pastor who had a son with special needs and the school could not meet those standards for him. How does the church accomodate for students who need english support? I think this whole system needs an overhaul.


    • @Pastor Stanley you have been at a church with a school for quite some time can you write a blog about your perception of our educational program you can email me at I would love to tackle this issue head on.


    • Ain't too proud to beg says:

      CAN WE PLEASE BE REAL? Dr. Stanley, Adventist Christian Education is for the few. At the high escalating cost of private education, members in the African American community cannot afford it. Parents, who can afford it, want a school that provides quality education from the building to the classroom. In order to get quality teachers they will have to be paid more or they will leave.

      We will need to get rid of multiple grades taught by one teacher, and we will have to accelerate a viable sports program. We will have to ask prominent members in the Conference to help subsidize the cost by creating endowments.

      The Church needs to answer some important questions like: “What kind of school do we want? Do we want a church school or mission school? Overall, if the church doesn’t answer these questions a school will not get members support. Also, a church school may not be the right place for everybody child.

      NOT UNTIL there is another innovating paradigm, our schools will continue to dwindle in numbers. We are in the 21 century using 20th century approaches.

      We need to seek out experienced and seasoned educators in our region and invite them to look at our schools and then develop a “think tank” of solutions presented by them. We are thinking inside the box!

      I have listen to you on many occasions speak on the “Real Deal” concerning Christian Education but what solutions do have that are on the cutting edge to jump start failing schools in our conference? Please, I’d like to read them.


  16. dolomite9 says:

    God will not do for us what we can do for ourselves!


  17. dolomite9 says:

    Perhaps the more amazing thing about all the observations being made is that in spite of pastors being by and large the most passive, approval seeking people needing to be reinforced positively,hw does anything get done?When we were kids,maybe this stuff was cute and only for a minute but to perpetuate this for years or even to tolerate it so long makes me wonder who are we afraid of?
    Hopefully we can get it straight this time in spite of all the done deals and best laid plans of men and mice!Let’s not be afraid that something will happen,let’s make something happen!


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