NPUC Literature Ministries to Refocus
SOULS Northwest, the Bible worker training and literature ministries program sponsored by the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) and local conferences within the union since 2012, will be phased out of operation this June with the completion of the current term.
The March 8 decision by the NPUC executive committee to close the program comes after much discussion and prayer. It factors in trends toward an insufficient number of paying students recruited to adequately maintain the program’s budget, in addition to increasing redundancy with other regional or conference-led efforts. The NPUC decision will refocus unionwide efforts toward encouraging the Youth Rush programs of literature ministry in each local conference.
Five students plan to graduate this June from SOULS Northwest. Eleven others, who are completing the first year of the two-year program, will determine what alternate directions to take.
In a report for the 2016 NPUC Constituency Session, Jason Worf, program director, shared at that point more than 235,000 books and 1.3 million pieces of free literature had been distributed during 2 million home visits within the Northwest. Since its inception 58 students have attended the SOULS Northwest program, with 36 graduates, not including this June’s expected graduation.
After wrapping up things in June, Worf will move with his family to College Place, Wash., to begin duties on the pastoral staff of the Village Church.
“God is not encumbered by our human limitations,” says Worf. “The opportunity to have used this training program for His glory during the past five years has been amazing. I have no doubt that we will see more evidences of how He has blessed and will continue to bless the efforts of our students as they transition to other opportunities in the months ahead.”
Vince Onkoba, who has served as Worf’s associate, and four additional stipend workers for the program will also be seeking new tasks once SOULS Northwest closes in June.
The NPUC is committed to a strong and growing Youth Rush literature ministries program in each Northwest conference. Union conference leaders will collaborate with each conference leadership team to consider ways literature ministry, with strong youth leadership components, can be strengthened in the months and years ahead.