Paul's ministry model

In his farewell/commencement speech to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:18-38, Paul lays out some of the aspects of his pastoral ministry:

Humility: "serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials"

Boldness: "I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable"

Public preaching: "teaching you in public," testifying "of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ...to the gospel of the grace of God," "proclaiming the kingdom," "declaring the whole counsel of God"

Soul care: "teaching...from house to house," "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God," "for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears,"

Hard work: "I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak"

Aim: "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus"

Trust in God's word: "And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified"

Affection: "And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again"

Paul's grand missionary efforts often overshadow his on-the-ground pastoral ministry. Acts 20 gives us some insight into how he spent three years as a church planter in Ephesus.

May the church be blessed to have more pastors who follow this model; hardworking pastors who trust God's word and love God's people and preach, teach, and work for their good.