Atlantic Caribbean Union

SBC Pastors Begin Operation Contact

SBC Pastors Begin Operation Contact
By John Garcia, ATCU

Operatioin Contact 2

"Time with God and family, solid Biblical preaching, and visitation are the things that I have learnt to prioritize in my ministry as a pastor," revealed Pastor Leonard Johnson, president and ministerial director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU). This statement was made as he conducted a pastoral training session, one of the components of Operation Contact, at the headquarters of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SBC) in Nassau. 

Operation Contact is an initiative of the ministerial department of the ATCU aimed at encouraging pastors to interact with each other, each other’s family, and each member as well as non-members within ATCU.

Operatioin Contact

Pastor Johnson presented a two-fold training session, focusing on the pastor's effectiveness and stewardship. The session reinforced the importance of various aspects of the pastoral ministry that positively impact pastoral camaraderie, the pastoral family, and, most certainly, the church members. He explained that when there is constant personal contact with the church members, it is easier to reach them with the gospel and equip them to reach out to others. “Simple gestures as shaking hands and returning calls show the members that we are concerned,” he said.

Pastor Johnson was accompanied by the treasurer of ATCU, Elder Roderick Sands, who led out in the discussion relating to stewardship. Pastors were told to continue to be exemplary stewards who model faithfulness in their daily lives. Recognizing that everyone in attendance had either attended or conducted stewardship and money management seminars and training, Elder Sands encouraged the pastors to continue to support each other in good money management. 

Operatioin Contact 3

He further noted that there was an abundance of available resources that can give guidance and counsel on being good stewards, including locally written literature such as the book “Twelve Baskets of Economic Survival” by Dr. Wendell McMillan and, most definitely, the Bible. 
Pastor Johnson ended the session with a discussion on the dynamics of pastoral ministry, highlighting topics such as personal devotion, family time, dress, relating to the opposite and same sex, and health. He encouraged pastors to be intentional in living a healthy lifestyle, to have regular medical visits, and to encourage members to do likewise. 

SBC presently has the largest pastoral staff in ATCU, with the majority serving on the main island of New Providence while the others minister to the members on some of the other islands of the archipelagic nation of The Bahamas.  Pastors who were unable to fly in to attend the sessions held on New Providence were able to participate remotely via video conferencing. 

Pastor Howard Barr, who pastors the district of Acklins and Crooked Island in the southern Bahamas, participated in the sessions using this medium. He congratulated the ATCU team for the timely training and discussion.  “I am encouraged by the presentations," said Pastor Barr who, accompanied by Pastor Johnson, recently visited a number of his members as a part of Operation Contact.

The pastors requested follow-up sessions to discuss additional issues that affect their ministry such as social media and pastoral etiquette. Pastor Johnson committed to additional sessions and expressed gratitude for the engaging participation of the SBC pastors.