“I hope this book will help recalibrate our pastors’ perspectives and re-energise their vision and calling to lead and influence the church and society for the advancement of God’s kingdom,” says Dr Kayle de Waal of the launch of The Significant Pastor at the Empower Ministerial Convention at Avondale University on February 8. This new book from Signs Publishing collects chapters from 10 pastors and ministry leaders, edited by Dr de Waal and Dr Brendan Pratt, Secretary of the Ministerial Association for the Adventist Church in Australia.
According to Dr Pratt, who gave a copy of the new book to the more than 500 Australian pastors at its launch, The Significant Pastor offers perspectives on ministry areas that many pastors are focused on. “I hope this book stimulates the conversations and thinking that move the church more toward God’s ideal for us,” he says.
The book launch included a prayer of dedication by Pastor Anthony Kent, associate secretary of the Ministerial Association for the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide. Contributors to the book include ministry leaders in North and South America, Africa and Europe, as well as pastors in Australia and New Zealand. Two of the contributors—Pastors Alina van Rensburg and Sarah-Jane Riley—were students of Dr de Waal at Avondale University, before he moved to his current role as a ministry leader for the Adventist Church in Europe.
“From the outset, I wanted this project to engage scholars and practitioners, including men and women, from the global south and north, to wrestle with various facets of pastoral leadership in contemporary society,” he explains. “I also intentionally mostly chose a younger demographic of contributors so that their voices could be heard.”
The idea that became The Significant Pastor grew out of conversations between the co-editors. “Kayle was at Avondale University training our pastors, while part of my responsibility is their ongoing development,” Dr Pratt recalls. “Kayle suggested this book with a view to bringing together some of the best thinking in regard to the ministry areas our team is working through.”
Both Dr de Waal and Dr Pratt insist that pastors remain significant in the church and the world today. “Pastors and pastoring still matter because God remains in the business of calling women and men into His service to carry out the gospel commission,” urges Dr de Waal. “We need trained pastors to lead, empower and inspire God’s people to the greater works Jesus said we would do (see John 14:12). The church is people and because people still matter, pastors and pastoring still matters!”
With opportunities for the book to be used by pastors and local church leaders all around the Adventist world, The Significant Pastor will also make a practical difference, with royalties from this project being directed by the editors to The 10,000 Toes Campaign, led by Adventist Health in the South Pacific.
The Significant Pastor is available now from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand, and online.