Who can preach during the divine worship hour?

Questions & Answers August 5, 2017

Q: Can children or unbaptized adults be the main speaker in the divine worship service? — Alfonso, from the Philippines

A: Alfonso, the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual highlights the importance of the worship service, and contains instruction as to who may occupy the pulpit. It states:
​“The Sabbath worship service is the most important church meeting. Here members gather weekly to unite in worshipping God in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving, to hear the Word of God, to gather strength and grace to fight the battles of life, and to learn God’s will for them in soul-winning service. Reverence, simplicity, and promptness should characterize the service” (p. 121).

​Recognizing the importance of the worship service, the Church Manual stresses that “the pulpit must be reserved for the preaching of the truths of the Divine Word and the presentation of denominational plans and policies for the advancement of the work of God, not personal views and opinions” (p. 120).

​Considering this instruction, church pastors must be very judicious as to who is allowed to preach during the worship service. Only those who have shown their commitment to Jesus and have shown that commitment by being baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church should be considered to preach in our churches on Sabbath morning. Furthermore, it should be an individual whom the pastor believes would be faithful in preaching God’s Word to the flock.

​Sometimes the church may hold a special children’s or youth service during the divine worship hour. During these special services children or youth may present the sermon. In addition, children and youth are also very effective evangelistic preachers and God works through them in reaching others for Him. In both cases however, the children or youth should be selected carefully and work under the direct guidance of dedicated local church leaders.

​A word about the Church Manual: This official manual is produced by the General Conference Secretariat and can only be modified by a vote of the General Conference in Session.

​The Church Manual is very useful in understanding the operation and functions of local churches and their relationship to denominational structures. It also “expresses the church’s understanding of Christian life and church governance and discipline based on biblical principles and the authority of duly assembled General Conference Sessions” (p. 16).

​The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual is available to everyone.

You can read my answer to a similar question here.