As I was preparing for teaching the Senior Seminar – Ministerial course this semester I spent some time just reading, praying and meditating on Paul’s brief time with the Ephesian elders on his trip to Jerusalem (Acts 20.18-38). I like to jot down thoughts as they come at me and these are some of the pastoral thoughts I see and hear from the apostle that offer a reminder to me of my responsibility in pastoring and my call to pastors-in-training. While they are not intended as either comprehensive (or even necessarily belonging to the intent of the text from Luke) I believe they offer some bit of wisdom in considering this calling. And so I shared these words with my students last night as preparatory for their final ministerial course and the move toward pastoring.
- Work with humility for the Lord
- Offer your broken and costly service
- Preach the Lord Jesus boldly
- Be led by the Spirit
- Be faithful
- Guard yourselves and the flock committed to you – feeding and shepherding them for good and against false teachers
- Entrust yourself and the church to God
- Do not be greedy, but work hard in order to give
- Give yourself to prayer with (and for) the church
- Embrace the church as family
I pray that I indeed live up to such a high and holy calling and faithfully fulfill all the Lord has put into my hands to do. May he keep his Church. And may his Church know the fellowship of his sufferings and the joy of his life-giving victory.