Dear pastor, this is why we appreciate you ...

On Pastor Appreciation Day (8 October 2023), some of the Eternity team and friends send some love to our pastors for who they are and all they do. Tell us why you appreciate your pastor on Eternity’s Facebook and Instagram.

Bec Abbott, head of Eternity – To a pastor close to my heart:

There are so many pastors in my church who are worthy of praise.

Our senior minister, David, is incredibly humble, yet infinitely wise. He guides our church with self-sacrificial, godly diligence and the patience of a saint!

The pastor of my congregation, Ed, is deeply thoughtful, achingly pastoral and one of the most Spirit-inspired preachers I have heard. He is wise beyond his years in so many ways, but particularly in his tender, self-examining approach to caring for his flock, and his meticulous handling of God’s word.

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There are several other good and godly ministers in my church who I am so grateful for. But none more so than my very own husband, Kym, our children’s minister. Living with a pastor gives you a front-row seat to the countless hours they devote to the body of Christ. Many of these are unpaid and largely unseen by the congregation.

As a part-time minister, with two other jobs, my husband squeezes mentoring meetings with young men into any spare chink of time he has. He is always phoning newcomers and visiting families. Beyond the doing, he prays constantly for families in and around our church, and spends countless hours agonising and strategising over ways to better help families put God front and centre in their lives.

To my amazing husband and to all the pastors in our church, thank you deeply and sincerely for all you do. May “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6: 24-26).

Anne Lim, deputy head of Eternity – To a gracious and courageous pastor:

My minister Rob is a high-fidelity pastor. A professional standard bassoonist, he switched from music to ministry, and has been singing sweet songs ever since. He leads our congregation of mixed theological convictions with extraordinary courage, humility, and fortitude. Slow to anger, quick to listen, he is gracious and caring to all. Yet he wavers not a jot from his biblical convictions despite hostility and opposition from some quarters. I am thankful to Rob for his steadfast, generous heart, his intellectual and spiritual curiosity, but most of all I admire the way he smiles so readily and makes everyone welcome even when speaking uncomfortable truths.

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…And when thhe Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:2-4) Patrick Schneider / Unsplash

Eliot Kern, content creator, Eternity – To a steady and steadying pastor and mentor:

Thank you, Richard, for your pastoral care and guidance over the years. Thank you for your listening ear, engagement with my incessant questions, and calm attentiveness whenever I’m in crisis, all of which have impacted me immeasurably. The way you’ve modelled openness, repentance, and peacefulness clearly stems from the way you have ‘held firmly to the trustworthy message’ of the gospel. I’m thankful for the way you steadily emphasise the gospel of grace and mercy in your preaching (and your friendship), demonstrating how to keep big things big and smaller things smaller.

Through high school, the HSC, university, engagement, entering the workforce, marriage and more than a few moments of existential angst, you have been a steady, Christ-like presence and encouragement.

Richard, Andrew, Dave T, Dave B, and others, thank you for your faithfulness, diligence and love. Without them, I wouldn’t be the man I am today (at least, not in all the good ways; I won’t blame you for the rest). Please keep doing what you’re doing!

Agnes Wilson, freelance writer in London – To a precious friend who guides me even across oceans:

There are many people I will always be grateful to God for placing in my life. Today on Pastor Appreciation Day, I’d like to remember Carmi, a good friend and mentor in Sydney. My family moved to London four years ago, yet we’ve still kept in touch. WhatsApp and social media can be great that way.

I respect her tremendously. She works hard for the women in her pastoral care. She supports her husband’s ministry, as well as looks after her family. I’ve been the recipient of her care, through some of the toughest moments of my life. Every time I’ve wavered or lost sight of the truth, she has been there to point me to the cross and what happened there. She is faithful to God’s word. And will, out of love, tell you the truth of what it says – even if what it says may be difficult to hear. There is something deeply moving and courageous about that. She will put her whole heart into praying for others, seeing women and children built up and standing with her worshipping Jesus on the last day.

If God ever puts someone in your path who is willing to love you by pointing you to the truth, even if it may risk your relationship, thank him for it. He has sent you a true friend. It is a gift.

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