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← A Church's Responsibility to Their Pastors - Chuck Vuolo

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Showing Revision 75 created 03/06/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. As you can imagine,
    it is an unspeakable joy
  2. for my wife Diana and myself
  3. to arrive at this day,
  4. when our son can be officially recognized
  5. as a shepherd
  6. in a church of the blood-
    bought people of God.
  7. It is also a sobering reality
  8. in light of what we have heard.
  9. And mine is to bring a charge to you,
  10. the congregation of Grace Community Church
  11. as to your responsibilities
  12. in receiving a pastor to be among you
  13. and as the Scriptures say,
  14. to be over you in the Lord.
  15. And I want to bring to
    you from God's Word,
  16. six areas of responsibility
  17. given to you by the Lord
  18. as you receive a new pastor.
  19. And I'll get right to it.
  20. The first one is this:

  21. Recognize him according to the gifts
  22. and graces God has given.
  23. Someone has said,
  24. "Only God can make a minister.
  25. Only God can make a pastor."
  26. And that's true isn't it.
  27. Because only God can furnish a man
  28. with the graces of character
  29. and the gifts of leadership and preaching
  30. that are needed to
    shepherd the flock of God.
  31. Only God can make a pastor.
  32. Now that doesn't mean
    that there are not people
  33. who run into the pastorate
  34. not having been called and sent by God.
  35. There are men who do that.
  36. In our day, sadly, there are even
    women who do that, wrongly.
  37. Why do they go?
  38. In some cases, they go to try to live up
  39. to the misguided expectations of others.
  40. Perhaps a father who says,
  41. "My son is going to be a pastor."
  42. In other cases, a man
    likes to study theology
  43. and he thinks, "Well,
    that would be a nice job.
  44. Being holed up in a room,
  45. reading theological books all day.
  46. I think that'll be a nice gig!"
  47. Others are very sociable,
    and they would say:
  48. "You know, I like
    to socialize with people
  49. and being a pastor I get
    to socialize with people.
  50. I think I'd like to be a pastor."
  51. More culpably, sadly, there are people
  52. who like to exercise control and power
  53. over other people.
  54. And they enter the ministry
    for that wrong reason.
  55. And others, because of a large ego,
  56. they like to be front and center
  57. and be the center of attention.
  58. There are people, there are men,
  59. sadly even women,
  60. who seek to run into pastoral ministry
  61. without having been
    called and sent by God.
  62. But only God can equip, and call,

  63. and send a true shepherd.
  64. And your job, church at Laredo,
  65. therefore is not to make a man a pastor.
  66. You can't do that.
  67. It is to recognize the man and men
  68. that God raises up among you
  69. to be in that calling.
  70. And that's what you are doing today.
  71. You are recognizing,
  72. based on the qualifications given by God
  73. in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9,
  74. you are recognizing a man
  75. whom you believe God has give you
  76. to shepherd your souls.
  77. Your work is the work of recognition.
  78. And may I say, that I heartily concur

  79. with what is being done today.
  80. If I might say some personal words
  81. as the father of this young man,
  82. I have marveled at the grace of God
  83. that has brought him to this day.
  84. I never groomed my son to be a pastor,
  85. because it was my conviction
  86. that I don't make men pastors.
  87. I never even imagined it.
  88. Quite frankly, for many years -
  89. and his brother and sister are here
  90. and can testify to it -
  91. Jeremy was our fun-loving,
  92. people-loving jock.
  93. Much more likely to have
    a soccer ball on his foot
  94. than a book in his hand.
  95. But it's been amazing to watch
  96. what God has done.
  97. Beginning midway through college,
  98. when he decided to
    plant his flag for Christ.
  99. Started a fellowship of
    Christian athletes on campus,
  100. and from there on after,
  101. every Sunday night at eight o'clock,
  102. he would be teaching his
    fellow college students
  103. from the Bible.
  104. And then there was the first
    professional contract in Finland
  105. where he had a premature mantel
  106. of leadership responsibilities
    thrust upon him;
  107. where he was looked to teach and lead
  108. a rather immature group of saints.
  109. And we did a lot of Skype-ing,
  110. across the Atlantic that year.
  111. But it was then that I
    began to see in him
  112. a shepherd's heart.
  113. He would review with me a letter
  114. that he was writing to
    someone twice his age
  115. giving counsel.
  116. And as I read that thing I said:
  117. "I could not do any better than that!"
  118. The truth-content,
  119. and the love and grace in that letter!
  120. And I began to see...
  121. I began to say to myself:
  122. "If I know anything of what a pastor is,
  123. of what a shepherd's heart is,
  124. I'm beginning to see it in my son."
  125. And then, two years spent
  126. in the Conway's home
  127. and in the church in San Antonio
  128. for which my wife and I
  129. are tremendously grateful
  130. for the influence, Tim and Ruby,
  131. of your home, your lives,
  132. the influence of the church.
  133. It has been hugely challenging
  134. and formative in our son's life.
  135. And we are forever grateful
  136. for God's usefulness of you in his life,
  137. bringing him to this day.
  138. So, church of Laredo.

  139. You can't make a pastor;
  140. now or in the future.
  141. But you are called to recognize
  142. those whom God has gifted and called.
  143. And you're doing that today.
  144. The second thing that
    is your responsibility

  145. is to receive him as a loving gift
  146. of the glorified Lord Jesus Christ.
  147. I turn briefly (or just listen)
    to Ephesians 4:9-11.
  148. You are to receive him
  149. as a loving gift of your glorified Savior.
  150. In Ephesians 4:9-11 we read:
  151. "Now this expression, 'He ascended',
  152. what does it mean except that He also
  153. had descended into the
    lower parts of the earth?
  154. He who descended is Himself also
  155. He who ascended far above all the heavens,
  156. so that He might fill all things."
  157. And notice verse 11
  158. "And He gave some as apostles,
  159. and some as prophets,
  160. and some as evangelists, and some as..."
  161. as the Greek would likely
    have it, "pastor-teachers."
  162. Jesus descended to live a perfect life
  163. that we could not live, and died a death
  164. in our place that we deserved to die!
  165. And then He was raised from the dead,
  166. He was ascended to the Father,
  167. and He's glorified at
    the Father's right hand
  168. and from that place of glorification,
  169. He has given gifts to His Church.
  170. Rather, He has given men
    as gifts to His Church!
  171. He gave apostles and prophets.
  172. Earlier in that letter it says
  173. the church is built upon the foundation
  174. of the apostles and New Testament prophets.
  175. He gave evangelists.
  176. Christians disagree as to
    what an evangelist is.
  177. I would take it to mean those who
  178. take the gospel into virgin territory.
  179. But he gave pastor-teachers.
  180. And church at Laredo.
  181. The point for you is this:
  182. Jesus Christ, your
    ascended, glorified Lord,
  183. is giving you a gift today!
  184. It's a gift of His love!
  185. It's a token of His grace and favor!
  186. Little flock in Laredo,
  187. Jesus has His eye on you.
  188. He has not forgotten you!
  189. He loves you
  190. and is giving you a gift.
  191. Someone has said:
  192. "Pastors are not needed
  193. for the being of the Church,
  194. but for its well-being."
  195. And I think that's true.
  196. Acts 14:23 says,
  197. "When they had appointed elders
  198. for them in every church..."
  199. The idea was they were already churches
  200. before they had elders.
  201. Elders are not needed for
    the being of the church,
  202. but for its well-being.
  203. If the church is to flourish
  204. and grow internally and spiritually,
  205. if it is to expand numerically
    and evangelistically,
  206. it needs shepherds.
  207. Jesus loves you.
  208. He has His eye on you.
  209. He is giving you a gift,
    today, of a pastor.
  210. Receive him as a gift
  211. of Christ's love for you.
  212. Thirdly, you are to respect him

  213. for the sake of his
    diligent labor among you.
  214. And for that I turn you
    to 1 Thessalonians 5,
  215. just two verses.
  216. Either turn there or just listen.
  217. "But we request of you, brethren,
  218. that you appreciate those who
  219. diligently labor among you
  220. and have charge over you in the Lord
  221. and give you instruction..."
  222. Now listen to this,
  223. "and that you esteem
    them very highly in love
  224. because of their work."
  225. Now let's unpack briefly,
  226. some of those words.
  227. The word "appreciate" is
    actually the word "to know",
  228. but it's understood in
    the Hebraistic sense
  229. of having regard for, cherishing,
  230. paying attention to.
  231. The word "esteem":
  232. consider, think, account,
  233. it means to have deliberate
  234. and careful judgment.
  235. "Esteem very highly."
  236. That's the word used in
    Ephesians 3:20 when it says:
  237. "God is able to do super abundantly
  238. beyond what we ask or think."
  239. You are to super abundantly esteem him,
  240. but for his work, his diligent labor.
  241. And that word "labor" means
  242. wearisome effort, intense labor,
  243. it actually comes from a verb that means
  244. to beat the breast in grief.
  245. He is to be a hard diligent worker,
  246. sometimes to weariness of body and soul.
  247. And he admonishes you,
  248. he puts in your mind truth
  249. that leads you back into the way.
  250. You put all this together
  251. and this is what you get:
  252. You are to know, pay attention to,
  253. have regard for the laborious work
  254. that your pastor is doing among you.
  255. What does that mean practically?
  256. Take some time to think
  257. about the many hours he takes
  258. to study the Word of God,
  259. in order to teach it
  260. and preach it and counsel it
  261. accurately and profitably for your soul.
  262. Give attention to the hours he spends
  263. in prayer over your souls.
  264. Men in the ministry are to give
  265. more time to prayer like the apostles:
  266. "We will give ourselves to prayer
  267. and the ministry of the Word."
  268. And he's gonna be laboring hours
  269. in prayer over you individually.
  270. And think about those hours
  271. he's spending in prayer for your needs,
  272. for your souls, for your struggles,
  273. for your hurts, for your sins.
  274. Take stock of the hours he will spend,
  275. and does spend,
  276. sitting down with you as families;
  277. giving you a spiritual check-up.
  278. Checking up in how you're doing
  279. in your devotional life.
  280. How are things in the marriage?
    How is your family life?
  281. How are you training your children?
  282. How are you using your gifts
  283. for the edification of the church?
  284. How can you be a better witness
  285. to the lost ones around you?
  286. And consider also the many hours
  287. that he spends counseling you one on one;
  288. listening patiently, and
    then seeking to give
  289. thoughtful, wise, and biblical advice.
  290. Think of the times that you
  291. or a loved one has a crisis,
  292. and maybe lands in the hospital.
  293. Who is likely to be the first one
  294. at your bedside to pray,
  295. to comfort, to minister?
  296. It's likely going to be your pastor.
  297. And as you think about these things,
  298. God is saying to you as a church:
  299. "Super-highly esteem him
  300. for that diligent work
  301. that he is doing among you."
  302. And may I make a logical
    deduction from this?
  303. As you super-highly esteem him,
  304. will you look for ways
    to express that to him?
  305. I've been a pastor for a lot of years,
  306. and one of the things
    I've noticed over the years
  307. is people tend to
    appreciate their pastors,
  308. but rarely tell them.
  309. You ask a man:
  310. Do you appreciate your pastor?
  311. "Oh, our pastor is wonderful!
  312. He feeds us so well on the Word of God,
  313. He's such a patient,
    loving counselor to us!"
  314. Have you ever told him that?
  315. "Well, I think there was
    a time a few years ago.
  316. I might have mentioned something."
  317. You know men, it doesn't work in marriage
  318. to be like the proverbial guy who
  319. said to his wife,
  320. "Look, I told her I loved
    her when I married her,
  321. and if I change my mind,
    I'll let her know."
  322. Now that doesn't work
    in marriage, does it?
  323. You can hardly tell your wife
  324. enough times in the day, "I love you!"
  325. Assuming it's sincere.
  326. People of God,
  327. express your appreciation
  328. for your pastor and his labor.
  329. "Oh, but I don't want
    him to get a big head!"
  330. Let me tell you, God knows how
  331. to keep a man's head small. Okay?
  332. God knows wonderfully
  333. how to balance encouragement
  334. with humbling.
  335. You leave that to God!
  336. And you just seek to encourage him,
  337. and there are many ways to do that.
  338. And church at Laredo,
  339. from what I know of you,
  340. I need to just commend you,
  341. because you have expressed
  342. your esteem and respect in so many ways.
  343. Material gifts,
  344. household furnishings for his apartment,
  345. money for books, books;
  346. you've already done much of that.
  347. You know the highest way
  348. that you can show respect for your pastor
  349. however is to allow the Word of God
  350. that he teaches, preaches, and counsels
  351. to take root in your life,
  352. and to let him see the fruit
  353. being born in your life
  354. from what he's laboring in.
  355. That's the greatest way
    to show him respect!
  356. Here's a fourth thing:

  357. Rejoice his heart by your obedience,
  358. and some of you know
    where I'm going with that.
  359. Hebrews 13:17
  360. Rejoice his heart by your obedience.
  361. The writer to the Hebrews says:
  362. "Obey your leaders, submit to them.
  363. they keep watch over your souls
  364. as those who will give an account.
  365. Let them do that with joy,
  366. and not with grief,
  367. for that would be unprofitable for you."
  368. We live in a moral universe,
  369. and God reigns over this universe,
  370. He is the absolute authority
  371. and King of this universe!
  372. By nature, we are in rebellion
  373. against His authority however.
  374. The Bible says,
  375. "we've all turned to our own way."
  376. But when we've become rightly related
  377. to God through faith in Jesus Christ,
  378. we become a submissive people.
  379. Submission becomes a watch-word
  380. for the child of God.
  381. We submit ultimately to God,
  382. but one of the ways we show
    our submission to God
  383. is by submitting to the human authorities
  384. that God has put over us.
  385. Wives, be submissive to husbands.
  386. Children, obey parents.
  387. We are to obey the governing authorities.
  388. Employees are to obey employers.
  389. And God has called His redeemed people
  390. to put themselves into local assemblies,
  391. churches, where there are elders,
  392. pastors, overseers,
  393. who are over them in the Lord.
  394. And this text of Scripture
    calls us to obey them.
  395. Literally "to be persuaded" by them.
  396. And to submit to them,
  397. literally "to give way to,
    to yield" to them.
  398. And let me point to a two-fold
    responsibility that this gives us.
  399. On the one hand,
  400. obey your leaders, submit to them...
  401. Brothers and sisters
    in the church of Laredo,
  402. when your pastor labors
    in the Word of God,
  403. to tell you what biblical words mean
  404. what biblical sentences mean, in context,
  405. near and far, consistent
    with systematic theology,
  406. the doctrine fitting in with the
    other doctrines of the Bible,
  407. consistent with biblical theology,
  408. consistent with the whole sweep
  409. and totality of God's revelation;
  410. when he is getting out of God's Word
  411. what is pretty clear the Holy Spirit
  412. put into God's Word,
  413. and he's giving it to you accurately,
  414. brothers and sisters, obey it!
  415. Do what it says!
  416. Believe what it says!
  417. Think the way you're supposed to think!
  418. In doing so, you won't so much be
  419. obeying a fallible man,
  420. but you'll be obeying God
  421. and that will be to the
    blessing of your soul!
  422. It will also bring him joy!
  423. Remember what the elder Apostle John said?
  424. "I have no greater joy than this,
  425. than to hear of my children
  426. walking in the truth."
  427. And a true shepherd has no greater joy
  428. than to hear of his spiritual children
  429. walking in the truth.
  430. Rejoice his heart by obeying,
  431. not what he says, but what God says!
  432. And there will be a wonderful circle
  433. of celebration and joy.
  434. You will be blessed for
    doing what God says,
  435. and he will have joy
  436. for seeing the people under his care
  437. walking in the truth.
  438. But I need to qualify that
  439. for the balance of truth.
  440. I had an old Amish bishop
    or minister once say to me:
  441. "For every mile of road,
  442. there's two miles of ditch."
  443. And I'm always concerned
    about balancing truth.
  444. The main duty people have got is:
  445. obey your leaders when they bring you
  446. the Word of God,
  447. but I need to say this
    for the balance of truth.
  448. All human authority is limited.
  449. All human authority has boundaries.
  450. Only God has absolute authority.
  451. And you are to obey your pastor,
  452. as long as he is bringing to you
  453. the Word of God.
  454. But when he goes outside of the bounds
  455. of the Word of God;
  456. when he misaligns himself
    with God and His Word,
  457. may I say that you are to
  458. conscientiously and respectfully disobey.
  459. We see that in the Scriptures,
  460. when the Hebrew midwives were commanded
  461. to kill the Hebrew baby boys.
  462. Exodus 1:17 says, "They feared God
  463. and did not do as the king of Egypt
  464. had commanded them,"
  465. but let the boys live.
  466. They defied the human authority
  467. and God blessed them for it.
  468. In the New Testament, the apostles
  469. are told by Jesus, "Go and preach!"
  470. The human authorities come and say,
  471. "Stop teaching in this name!"
  472. And they were put on the horns
    of a dilemma, weren't they?
  473. If you got two horses
  474. and they're going in opposite directions,
  475. you better jump on one,
    and let the other go.
  476. If the boat is moving,
  477. departing from the dock,
  478. you can't stay on the dock
  479. and jump on the ship at the same time.
  480. You gotta make a choice.
  481. And they said, "Whether it is right
  482. in the sight of God to listen to you
  483. human authorities or to God,
  484. you be the judge.
  485. We cannot stop speaking
  486. the things we've seen and heard."
  487. And a chapter later, they said:
  488. "We must obey God, rather than men."
  489. I have passion for this
  490. because for nearly eleven years,
  491. I have worked among one
    of the most legalistic groups
  492. claiming to be Christians
  493. anywhere on planet earth:
  494. the Old Order Amish.
  495. And I have seen what man-made rules
  496. and traditions do to
  497. sear the conscience of people
  498. and keep them from
    understanding the Gospel.
  499. And so I sound this as a balancing note.
  500. And friend, it's no small matter.
  501. It's a matter of Lordship.
  502. Who will be Lord?
  503. There's only one Person
  504. who has the right to be
  505. the Lord of your conscience,
  506. your soul, and your life.
  507. Romans 14:9 tells us:
  508. "For to this end, Christ died
  509. and lived again that He might be Lord
  510. both of the dead and the living.
  511. But you, why do you judge your brother?"
  512. It's the context of Christian
    liberty of conscience
  513. where it's not a moral issue.
  514. Christian, don't judge one another.
  515. Let Christ be the Lord of
    your brother's conscience.
  516. You never want to sacrifice
    the Lordship of Christ
  517. over your conscience.
  518. Now, am I saying that because I think
  519. there's any realistic danger
  520. that my son, your pastor,
    will lord it over you?
  521. I don't have that concern in the least.
  522. And as I know, the
    pastors represented here,
  523. they are not those who lord it over.
  524. They are humble servant-leaders.
  525. But some of you have been
    under abusive leadership.
  526. And you need to be warned.
  527. Human authority is to be obeyed,
  528. only insofar as it obeys God and His Word.
  529. So, submit to your pastor.
  530. When he's bringing you the Word of God
  531. publicly or privately, do what it says!
  532. Submit, but make sure he's giving you
  533. the Word of God, not his own opinions
  534. because he has no warrant from heaven
  535. for giving you anything other than
  536. what God says in His Word.
  537. Fifthly of six: Imitate him
    insofar as he imitates Christ!

  538. Now you notice they all
    start with "R" don't they?
  539. And if you like alliteration
    as I do, you can say:
  540. "Resemble him as he resembles Christ!"
  541. In Hebrews 13:7, we are told:
  542. "Remember those who lead you,
  543. who spoke the Word of God to you
  544. and considering the result of their conduct,
  545. imitate their faith."
  546. I'm thankful that my
    son has practiced that.
  547. He has learned a lot of faith
  548. at Grace Community Church in San Antonio,
  549. the kind of faith we've
    heard powerfully proclaimed.
  550. And he's walking in
    the path of that faith,
  551. and I'm grateful - grateful to God;
  552. grateful for the human
    instruments that He uses.
  553. Paul said, "Imitate me
    as I imitate Christ."
  554. And Paul said to Timothy,
  555. "Don't let them despise your youthfulness,
  556. but set the believers an example
  557. in speech, conduct,
    love, faith, and purity."
  558. Examples are meant to be imitated.
  559. Now make no mistake about it,
  560. Jesus is our exemplar.
  561. He is our example par excellence.
  562. But Jesus has gone to Heaven,
  563. and Jesus has given us human role-models
  564. that we are intended to imitate.
  565. That's one of the things pastors do.
  566. Peter said, "Don't lord it over."
  567. To elders, "Don't lord it over
  568. those committed to your charge,
  569. but be examples to them."
  570. You see, the reason overseers
  571. in 1 Timothy 3 must be -
  572. and there's a little Greek
    participle of necessity -
  573. "An overseer must be (dot dot dot)!"
  574. The reason they must be
    those things is because
  575. all the people of God
    ought to be those things.
  576. We all ought to be above reproach.
  577. We all ought to manage
    our households well.
  578. We all ought to be gentle and considerate
  579. and have our children under control
  580. with all dignity.
  581. We all ought to have good reputations.
  582. Pastors must be those things,
  583. because all people
    ought to be those things.
  584. Here's another reason
    to study your pastor,

  585. to know him, to consider him
  586. not only that you might esteem him,
  587. but that you might imitate him
  588. in so far as he is imitating Christ.
  589. And then finally, remunerate him

  590. according to his merit.
  591. Remunerate him - that means pay him -
  592. according to his merit.
  593. 1 Timothy 5:17 says,
  594. "The elders that rule well are to be
  595. considered worthy of double honor,
  596. especially those who work hard
  597. at preaching and teaching.
  598. For the Scripture says,
    'You shall not muzzle
  599. the ox while he is threshing' ."
  600. Here's a biblical basis
    for paying pastors.
  601. Now that doesn't mean that
    all pastors need to be paid.
  602. You have some from San Antonio
    who are bi-vocational,
  603. they're not paid by the church.
  604. But the Bible says there are some men
  605. who work especially hard
    in preaching and teaching,
  606. who ought to be given double honor.
  607. In the context of that chapter,
  608. it means monetary pay.
  609. Widows were to be honored
  610. in the sense that they were
  611. to be put on the roles of the church.
  612. They were to be financially supported.
  613. And the statement about the ox
  614. really seals it, doesn't it.
  615. Don't muzzle the poor beast,
  616. he's treading out the grain.
  617. Take the muzzle off, let him
    nibble on some grain.
  618. Well, God cares about animals.
  619. The righteous man has regard
    for the life of the beast.
  620. But He cares far more about
  621. those who labor in
    His spiritual vineyard.
  622. There's a place for paying pastors.
  623. So.
  624. And here again, church of Laredo,
  625. I commend you.
  626. You have taken good care
    of your pastor so far,
  627. according to the means
    that God has given you.
  628. Beyond the salary you have given him,
  629. you have given him household furnishings,
  630. money for books, books,
  631. extra-monetary gifts,
  632. bonuses, loaning him a car
  633. when his car is in repair in the shop.
  634. And here's something very creative.
  635. More than once, somebody
    at the church in Laredo has,
  636. at a social event,
  637. stolen his keys,
  638. taken his car out to the gas station,
  639. filled it with gas, brought it back,
  640. put the keys back in the same place.
  641. Leaving him wondering:
  642. "I thought it was half empty.
  643. How did it get filled?"
  644. Many have been the expressions of love
  645. that you have given
    to my son, your pastor.
  646. We as parents are
    deeply grateful for that,
  647. but above all, God is going
    to bless you for that.
  648. Because in doing it -
  649. since he is a gift of
    the glorified Christ to you -
  650. to do it for him, you're
    doing it for Christ.
  651. Have you noticed that Jesus
  652. takes very personally, first of all,
  653. the things done against His people.
  654. "Saul, Saul, why are you
    persecuting Me?" [Acts 9:4]
  655. He also takes very personally the things
  656. that are done for His people.
  657. "Insofar as you have done it
    to the least of these My brethren,
  658. you've done it unto Me." [Matthew 25:40]
  659. In taking care of your shepherd,
    your under-shepherd,
  660. you're doing it for Christ.
  661. And the Lord Jesus will bless you for it.
  662. So, people of God in Laredo,
  663. but also in San Antonio, Corpus, Austin,
  664. or whatever church you represent,
  665. take these things to heart.
  666. Look to the Lord Jesus for the grace
  667. to carry out these
    privileges and responsibilities.
  668. Recognize the men among you
  669. who display the gifts and graces
  670. that fit them to be a pastor.
  671. Receive him as a loving gift
    of the glorified Christ.
  672. Respect him for the sake of
    his diligent labor among you.
  673. Rejoice his heart by obeying the truth
  674. that he brings to you,
    publicly and privately.
  675. Imitate, or resemble him,
  676. insofar as he imitates Christ.
  677. And take care of him materially,
  678. as he sows spiritually among you.
  679. Take care of his material needs.
  680. That is God's pattern.
  681. Well, may God richly bless you
  682. with growth in grace internally,
  683. with additions of souls
    saved from the community,
  684. and may your loving,
  685. victorious Lord Jesus Christ,
  686. in the days ahead,
  687. give you additional elders -
  688. because plurality is His norm -
  689. and even deacons. Amen.