‘Celebrate Our Pastors’ campaign aims to empower struggling church leaders

Group participating in Nehemiah Prayer Route which traverses Nelson Mandela Bay (PHOTO: File picture)

Hundreds of Nelson Mandela Bay church leaders who have not been able to open their churches or earn an income to sustain themselves and their families during the prolonged Covid-19 lockdown will be affirmed and appreciated by fellow local church leaders on September 11 and 12.

During the so-called Celebrating Our Pastors campaign, which was initiated by the Nelson Mandela Bay Church Leader Network, 500 to 600 food parcels will be given to struggling pastors during seven 1-hour sessions at Ebenezer International church.

But according to Apostle Neville Goldman, senior leader of the church in Algoa Park, Port Elizabeth and a member of the NMB Church Leader Network, the main focus of the two days will be on connecting with struggling pastors and showing them that they are not alone. Another campaign goal is to create a broad network of pastors across the metropole “who will understand the importance of depending on one another” and begin to “move in togetherness”, irrespective of denominational affiliations, he said.

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“We want to empower all of our pastors to finish what God has called them to finish,” said Goldman.

The Celebrate Our Pastors sessions will be limited to 50 attendees on a first-come-first-served basis to comply with Covid regulations. All 60 wards of NMB will be targeted during the sessions and the organisers are urging city pastors to be there to connect with their struggling colleagues.

In an email urging church leaders to participate in the campaign, Trevor Jennings says each 1-hour session will entail a short welcome, handouts about available ministries to share with each other, a message to encourage pastors on how to rebuild their churches and the collection of a food parcel to distribute as they see fit.

“To start rebuilding our communities we need to start rebuilding our own ‘Community of Local Pastors’. We would especially like to encourage our ‘White’ pastors to make a special effort to join us. During the last few years, we have noticed a disappointing deterioration in the healing and reconciliation initiatives in our country. This gettogether is an intentional effort to reverse the trend. If we believe that the Church is the key player in the healing and reconciliation of our country, then it is necessary for our Pastors to lead the way,” he says.

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