Christians around the world acknowledge October as Pastor Appreciation Month. The General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (GC) have designated Sabbath 8 October as Pastor Appreciation Day.
Pastor Eglan Brooks, British Union Conference (BUC) President, leads senior church leaders to thank pastoral staff around the territory.
Having spent over 25 years in pastoral ministry, I understand the enormous challenges that pastors and their families face. First, our appreciation to God for calling us into ministry and guiding our lives and His work.
To our pastors, thank you for untiring service, dedication, and commitment to the work of God. The hours spent in sermon preparation, attending meetings, conducting, and attending meetings and seminars, visitations and travelling, at the cost of family life. Thank you for being faithful to your calling.
To our female pastors, I pay tribute to your tenacity and resilience. Thank you for being faithful to your calling when you feel battered and bruised by the challenges of the work. Thank you for continuing to serve when you are often dismissed due to your gender.
To our Bible Workers, we are blessed by the ways you study the Word of God to bring others to Christ. To our interns, you at the start of your pastoral journey, God has called on you because you are young and strong. Stay faithful. To our non-stipendiary pastors, we value your contribution to the work of God, while juggling a full-time career.
To the Conference, Mission Presidents and my fellow Administrators and Directors at the British Union Conference, your call to serve as senior church leaders, administrators and institutional heads, my sincere gratitude to you for leading the work of God in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Your articles, books, sermons, retreats, and training programmes are invaluable to the nurturing of our members.
To pastoral families, thank you so much for understanding the need of sacrifice as you graciously allow the pastor in your family to serve without reserve.
Dan Serb – Irish Mission President
Ministry is a privilege and a blessing. That doesn't mean that it is always rewarding (in human terms). Or easy. However, there are certain factors that make being a pastor a vocation like none other. Here are some that I witness in our Mission: mutual respect, collegial support and affirmation, a peaceful and empowering environment, prayerful planning, and empathetic relationships. I am not biased, I am blessed! We do indeed have a diverse and dynamic group of people who, together with the Bible Workers and Mission Sponsors work tirelessly to serve and build God's kingdom. So, I wish to express my deepest and sincerest appreciation to all the ministerial team members in the Irish Mission and to their spouses, families, and church members whose love, sacrifice, and support carries them on. Thank you and may the Lord's will and joy be fulfilled in you and us all!
"I thank my God…always in every prayer of mine for you all…because of your partnership in the gospel" (Philippians 1:3-5).
George Kumi – North England Conference President
The North England Conference (NEC) has a wealth of experienced pastors who devote their time to serve the needs of the members and preach the gospel. Our pastoral team are tireless in their devotion to the work of God. I know that they give long hours, often working in the early hours of the morning to prepare sermons and talk to members. My thanks to them, their spouses, and their children for their committed service.
Jimmy Botha – Scottish Mission President
The Scottish Mission is small, compared to the Conferences in England, and our small team of pastors are up for the job. In this true mission field in the north of the United Kingdom, 6 pastors have their work cut out for them. In a recent workshop that was attended by all the pastors and office staff, the team agreed to strengthen their resolve to work together and for one purpose. In each of the districts in Scotland, our pastors face their own contextualised challenges, but in Scotland, there is a drive to show people they matter to Jesus. Our pastoral families also know that this needs the efforts of all, and as has long been the habit, spouses and children play roles in various ways, to help the Mission fulfil its calling. Ministry is hard work to start with, but when one notices the effort, it takes to bring people to a place where they see how much they matter to Jesus, one can only be grateful for the commitment and dedication that our pastors and their families put into their work. Not only do they professionally do what is required, but all of them go above and beyond, so that folks in Scotland can know that they matter to Jesus.
Emmanuel Osei – South England Conference President
As I reflect on the many challenges our beloved members have to face daily, I am so thankful, that they have faithful ministers that they call upon for pastoral support. Our pastors, both male and female, go beyond the call of duty, sometimes at the expense of their own families to ensure that our members are taken care off not only spiritually but otherwise. We want to pause and express our appreciation to all our ministers for their dedication and commitment to the call of God as under-shepherds following the example of the Good Shepherd – Jesus Christ.
The immense stress and pressure that the pastor's children undergo is also noteworthy. Very often members expect so much of these children and put them through a lot of strain. The pastor's spouse must spend long hours waiting for their beloved pastor to finish attending to the needs of the members before giving the family attention. We honour these faithful servants and express our appreciation also to them. On behalf of my fellow officers, I want to personally thank all our pastors and their families on this special Pastor Appreciation Day.
Graham Allcock – Welsh Mission
I would like to express my appreciation for the pastoral team in the Welsh Mission. Their commitment and dedication to ministry, to their members and communities is inspirational. Although we are only a small team of eight, the diversity, skills and wisdom that come from a multi-generational, gender inclusive team, means the Welsh Mission is well served and it is a privilege to minister alongside others who wish to see God's kingdom expand in our territory. I would also like to acknowledge and express appreciation for the spouses and children who do much to support the pastors in their varied roles and responsibilities, often at the sacrifice of family time. You are an important and valued part of the Welsh Mission.