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" Shepherding In Messiah’s Love "

2007 AMC Hampton, Virginia
Leadership Conference

Dr. Alan Poyner-Levison

The AMC Conference in Hampton, Virginia was held from the 16th through 18th of July at the Liberty Baptist Church in Newport News. It began with a dinner after which was a welcome from Steve Shermett, the President of AMC. Steve then brought us a teaching on “Leading in Love”.

The following day got underway with the first of three teachings on congregational leadership by Mottel Baleston, another board member. Mottel was followed by Dr. Alan Poyner-Levison on "Leading in Messiah’s Love," a breakdown on pastoral leadership in a busy congregation. The third session came from Dr. Michael Herts, a clinical psychologist in the Newport News area and senior rabbi with B’nai Avraham Messianic Fellowship of Hampton. Mike spoke on a subject that would rarely be discussed in a Messianic gathering, but one that is often a problem to many rabbis in congregational life: Personality Disorders. Mike weaved his way through habitual behavior patterns in some case studies and how best to deal with such cases. Next up was Steve Shermett again speaking on "Core Values for Ministry". He spelled out the need to aim for excellence in your ministry and not to let your guide down in your application. Next was a panel discussion, which is always popular every year with attendees. We discussed the subject of how to deal with difficult situations in our congregations. Peter Koziar, a board member and rabbi of B’nai Avraham, chaired the panel where all could put their heads together to discuss ways in which they had overcome difficult incidents in their congregations. The last teaching of the day came from Mottel Baleston who meticulously laid out a biblical pattern for congregations, touching on leadership from rabbis to shamashim (deacons), with models taken from the early church.

The final session was a half day, which began with praise and worship. Dr. Herts concluded his sessions with "Pastoral Burnout" and how to prevent it. We next had a testimony from George Wehnes of Rescue Israel, sharing on how he began the project to rehabilitate the vast amount of dropouts and drug addicts in Israel, especially Tel Aviv, and how he needs support from us all to get these Jewish people back on track. Many of these needy people are war weary, and many also are in their present condition due to the government's decision to remove them from their homes in Gush Katif. The final session of the conference was again by Mottel Baleston who finished his series on congregational leadership.

We also had a guest speaker in David Sedaca, Chairman of Chosen People Ministries, who shared something of the wonderful victory they have secured in opening the Charles L. Feinberg Center for Messianic Jewish Studies. It was at our first conference in New Jersey in 2005 that Chosen People Ministries president Mitch Glazer announced their plan to open a Messianic College. We rejoice with them at this victory in Yeshua.

Many more came than expected, and all confessed to being thoroughly blessed. As usual, the camaraderie was strong and many came from all over the USA, all of whom were in leadership of one kind or another in their congregations. We all said goodbye after another great time together.


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Dr. Poyner-Levison is Messianic Teacher at Beit Shalom Ministries
at various locations in the United Kingdom,
and is the AMC European Director.