Max Torkelsen II has particular interests in furthering the Lord's work through international communication strategies, including Adventist World Radio and Lifestyle TV.
Torkelsen is the co-founder of Bibleinfo.com, a global Internet ministry currently translated in 14 languages.
He serves as the vice-chair of the Adventist Health board and is the chair of the Walla Walla University Board of Trustees.
The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North Pacific Union Conference is to prepare people for the imminent return of Jesus Christ by nurturing, educating and motivating its membership. We will empower our conferences to help each member demonstrate God's character of love through the power of the Holy Spirit and share the gospel message with other people through the development of individual spiritual gifts.
The office of the president articulates the vision that keeps Adventist work in the Northwest unified. Typically, the union conference president represents the church at various meetings, advises local conference administrators and provides leadership or input to the committees of local conferences, the North American Division and the General Conference. This office seeks to make sure that leadership is accountable to membership.
What's Been Accomplished
In completing the term of former president Jere Patzer, we have concentrated on continuing the initiatives he began, including the following areas:
Professional Growth — There have been increased continuing education opportunities, including geo-science and New England heritage trips and Reformation tours. A leadership convention has been planned for each quinquennial period to inspire and train pastors and teachers.
Public Awareness — In order to position Adventism in the Northwest as a visible and attractive option, increased study has been given to establishing a greater media presence throughout our territory.
Church Planting — Conferences have been encouraged to hire pastors passionate about church planting and educating members in the related outreach. We have been intentional in encouraging the development and hiring of Bible workers.
Evangelism — The NPUC-sponsored Momentum series of meetings in various parts of the Northwest has helped inspire a year-round cycle of sowing and reaping.
Informed Membership — The GLEANER website, weekly GleanerNOW! e-newsletter and social media sites are helping to keep our members connected.
Ethnic Diversity — We foster our annual black convocations and monthly Spanish-language pages in the GLEANER, along with other avenues to support ethnic diversity.
Education Summit — We held a Northwest-wide education summit to deal with areas of concern related to Adventist education. Our education department continues to work on this process of constantly improving how we teach and train our youth.
Spiritual Growth — Along with other personal growth tours and trips, we partnered with Pacific Press and Lightbearers Ministries to publish the New King James Version editions of The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy.
Global Mission — The NPUC has continued to seek ways to encourage a spirit of global outreach. It continues to positively impact our Northwest students and church members.
Financial Accountability — While we recognize that our mission must determine how finances are allocated, we will carefully use the resources according to responsible and accountable forms of stewardship that honor the Lord and are faithful to the trust of His people.
The Challenges Ahead
While there are many, here are several important areas of focus.
Successfully launch a NPUC lay-training plan to equip church members to do Bible work with a goal of eventually having a Bible worker trainer in every church or church district.
Implement recommendations from the NPUC Ad Hoc Mission Advisory Study Committee (see the article on pages 26-33) to enable us to downsize the NPUC office need of financial resources while enhancing our partnership with Northwest conferences and churches in fostering frontline ministry.
Give greater attention to stewardship education and leadership development at every level of church organization.
Emphasize the use of technological advances in user-friendly ways and use these tools effectively for interchurch communication and for evangelistic outreach.
Define and implement plans to reach the urban mission fields of the Northwest.
Create an inactive member reclamation ministry.
Develop an intentional plan for integrating young adults into the life and mission of the church — not just as token members of boards and committees.
Develop a passionate pool of lay people anxious, willing and capable of helping accomplish the mission of the church in the Northwest.
Establish Adventist education as a core value and reverse the rising costs and declining enrollments.