Pastor Paul Martin’s Exhortation for Pastor Steve Ma’s Installation Service

Steve Ma Installation Video.MOV: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

Steve Ma Installation Video.MOV: this MOV video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Speaker1:
Well, it's a great delight to be joining you today in this fashion, my greetings to Pastor

Speaker1:
Lau, Pastor Ma, all the members of Christ Church of China, how I wish I could be with

Speaker1:
you today, how my family wishes they could be with you today.

Speaker1:
That would be our great joy, because we want to celebrate a great day.

Speaker1:
And this is indeed a great day.

Speaker1:
It would be our delight to be rejoicing in God's grace to you.

Speaker1:
And pastors are a gift from the Lord.

Speaker1:
And therefore, that's why we want to be there, because we like these celebratory

Speaker1:
things. We wish we could rejoice with you.

Speaker1:
I want to be concise, which you know me well enough to know that's going to be a

Speaker1:
challenge. There's a lot of praise the Lord for today.

Speaker1:
So I want you.

Speaker1:
What I'd like to do is read one little verse and I'm not wanting so much to exegete the verse

Speaker1:
as kind of launch out from there and give you some very practical suggestions on what it

Speaker1:
means, what your responsibility is as the members of Christ Church of China to your new

Speaker1:
senior pastor, Pastor Steve Ma.

Speaker1:
So I'm going to read from Philippians, chapter two, verse twenty nine.

Speaker1:
Paul writes this, So receive him in the Lord with all joy and honor such men.

Speaker1:
For He nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking

Speaker1:
in your service to me, receive him in the Lord with all joy, honour.

Speaker1:
Such men very nearly died for the work of Christ.

Speaker1:
It sounds when you read that verse like this guy must have been one of those, you know,

Speaker1:
preach Jesus in the face of a Roman soldier kind of dudes.

Speaker1:
But he wasn't.

Speaker1:
This is actually in reference to Epaphroditus who was a courier.

Speaker1:
He was bringing information back and forth to Paul and to the Philippines.

Speaker1:
And as he's returning with this letter to the Christians in Phillipi, Paul instructs the

Speaker1:
members of the church to honour this man, to honour him, a man who wasn't some great

Speaker1:
radical. He was just faithful.

Speaker1:
And that shows me that when I see that the level of honour is not based on the size of

Speaker1:
his audience or the supposed results to his ministry, it's just based on one thing his

Speaker1:
faithfulness, honour, Epaphroditus because of his faithfulness.

Speaker1:
And I think I know why Paul says to honour him, to honour him is really the full

Speaker1:
expression of love.

Speaker1:
And the older I get, the more the Bible seems to be telling me about the love of God.

Speaker1:
God, our father acted in love when he sent his son Christ in order to save us in love

Speaker1:
for God and for us.

Speaker1:
Christ gave his life in our place.

Speaker1:
Love is the primary fruit or evidence of God's Holy Spirit.

Speaker1:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love.

Speaker1:
The Apostle John, the Apostle Paul writes so much about the Christians love Paul would say

Speaker1:
in Romans twelve nine.

Speaker1:
Do you remember this?

Speaker1:
Let love be genuine.

Speaker1:
Abhor what is evil.

Speaker1:
Cling to what is good.

Speaker1:
Hold fast to what is good.

Speaker1:
Love one another with brotherly affection.

Speaker1:
Outdo one another in showing honour.

Speaker1:
Now you may read your Bible and think I need to love my husband or my wife.

Speaker1:
Check. I need to love my kids. Check.

Speaker1:
I need to love my church mostly. Check. But love my pastor?

Speaker1:
I need to love my pastor?

Speaker1:
Isn't it my pastor supposed to love me?

Speaker1:
Members of Christ Church of China.

Speaker1:
Can I give you one job?

Speaker1:
And it is this: Love your pastor.

Speaker1:
I can think of a lot of things to tell you.

Speaker1:
I have very strong opinions about how people should listen to sermons or give their money

Speaker1:
or support the decisions of their pastors, because I get lots of opinions about a lot of

Speaker1:
things. But I want to tell you one thing and that one thing should guide all those other

Speaker1:
things. Love your pastor.

Speaker1:
I'll give you seven ways to love him, because as we all know, seven is the biblical number.

Speaker1:
So, Number 1.

Speaker1:
Number One: love is preaching.

Speaker1:
Love is preaching.

Speaker1:
Now, your pastor may not end up being the most remarkable preacher you ever hear, but I

Speaker1:
can't..I can't find a single Bible text that tells me you must only love the supreme

Speaker1:
preachers. I see a lot of texts that tell me that your pastor needs to be faithful.

Speaker1:
And I can tell you that nothing is going to encourage his faithful, deep, prolonged

Speaker1:
study of God's word and his pulpit ministry, than your love for his preaching, if you love

Speaker1:
his preaching, tell him so you don't need to worry about puffing him up.

Speaker1:
There's enough things in pastoral ministry that'll pop that bubble, but you will help

Speaker1:
him and you will strengthen him.

Speaker1:
If you tell him regularly how God is using his preaching of God's word in your own life.

Speaker1:
What's more, if you love his preaching, you will pray for his preaching.

Speaker1:
And if you're praying every week for the preaching of God's word, then you better hang

Speaker1:
on to see what the Lord is going to do.

Speaker1:
Number 2, don't just love his preaching, love his wife.

Speaker1:
This is an easy thing to do in your case, but it's not always so.

Speaker1:
In Jane Austen's book, Emma, there's a character of Mrs Elton, the pastor's wife.

Speaker1:
She has described this way, Augusta Elton.

Speaker1:
She is a boasting, domineering, pretentious woman who likes to be the center of

Speaker1:
attention and is generally disliked by everyone.

Speaker1:
That's something else.

Speaker1:
Perhaps you have been sometime in your life.

Speaker1:
It wasn't in this church, but in the church where a good pastor married poorly.

Speaker1:
I've been in one of those churches.

Speaker1:
It's no picnic for anybody.

Speaker1:
More men have lost churches due to unruly wives than I care to mention.

Speaker1:
So how blessed you are to have a pastor who can look at you and say, hey, I may not have

Speaker1:
done a lot of things right, but I know I did one thing right when I married Debbie, says

Speaker1:
Pastor Steve.

Speaker1:
I did one thing right.

Speaker1:
And everybody says, amen.

Speaker1:
Let me tell you a big secret for pastors.

Speaker1:
One great way to have a happy pastor is to have a happy pastor's wife.

Speaker1:
Few things are going to encourage your pastor more than when you love his wife.

Speaker1:
You got to remember she helps to carry the load of pastoral ministry, but she's not paid

Speaker1:
for it.

Speaker1:
Now she enables him to be hospitable, which he has to be in order to be a pastor.

Speaker1:
She carries the brunt of raising faithful children, which he must have in order to be a

Speaker1:
pastor. So honor, love, Debbie.

Speaker1:
You don't deserve her, but you got her and she is a blessing.

Speaker1:
Don't take her.

Speaker1:
Don't take advantage of her and God's great gift to you in giving her to you.

Speaker1:
Love his wife.

Speaker1:
Thirdly, love his children.

Speaker1:
There is a silent pressure on every single pastor.

Speaker1:
It can weigh on him like a bag of wet cement, and that is his children.

Speaker1:
He knows that he's called to prioritize these children and teach them the ways of God.

Speaker1:
But like you, he has to learn all this stuff on the fly.

Speaker1:
And so here he is trying to learn how to be a dad while he's trying to teach you how to be

Speaker1:
a dad.

Speaker1:
I've been in some churches where things are not going all that well with the children of

Speaker1:
a pastor.

Speaker1:
Why churches know just what to do in those situations.

Speaker1:
They play the long game.

Speaker1:
They realize that there are seasons in any family's life where things are difficult.

Speaker1:
And so they come alongside that pastor with encouraging words and they actually get down

Speaker1:
on their knees and they pray for the children of that pastor.

Speaker1:
If you're going to love Steve and Debbie, if you're going to love Steve as your pastor,

Speaker1:
then you will really, really love his children.

Speaker1:
You're not going to judge Andy and Davy.

Speaker1:
You're going to hold them to some kind of higher standard.

Speaker1:
You're going to expect them to be just like all the other kids in this church who hear

Speaker1:
the gospel.

Speaker1:
And you're going to pray that they respond to the gospel.

Speaker1:
You're not going to be fooled by their Sunday school answers to questions, and you're not

Speaker1:
going to demand of them that they all become pastors and deacons.

Speaker1:
You will love them for who they are.

Speaker1:
Let Andy and Davy be sons of the church like all the other sons of the church that you

Speaker1:
pray for and you love and you encourage. Number 4: for love him with all your complaints,

Speaker1:
Christians have a really, really hard time with this.

Speaker1:
But I want to call you to it.

Speaker1:
We have lost the art of disagreement.

Speaker1:
We've become numb to Bible texts that teach us to speak the truth in love.

Speaker1:
We're more discipled in our methodology, sometimes by cable news than we are by the

Speaker1:
Apostle Paul.

Speaker1:
But if you love this man, you will learn to come to him in all humility and speak

Speaker1:
privately to him with in gentle tones of your concerns about the church or issues in church

Speaker1:
life. You're not going to be one of those people who make snide remarks or gossips or

Speaker1:
spreads disunity or holds

Speaker1:
Resentments that spread into gangerous bitterness, when you truly love someone, you

Speaker1:
can really come to them quietly submissively with honest questions, not presuming or

Speaker1:
assuming, just coming and saying, this is how I'm seeing it.

Speaker1:
Am I right?

Speaker1:
Am I wrong?

Speaker1:
You'll come and you'll learn to have these disagreements in Romans 14 kind of way where

Speaker1:
you can maybe walk out the door and say, well, I think it should be otherwise, but I

Speaker1:
love you, brother, and I'm with you.

Speaker1:
And I'm 100 percent unified with you.

Speaker1:
Paul, again, if we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Speaker1:
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Speaker1:
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual

Speaker1:
Should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

Speaker1:
Keep watch on yourself, lest you to be tempted, bear one another's burdens and so

Speaker1:
fulfill the law of Christ. Five: love them when you don't understand them.

Speaker1:
It is an odd thing to be a pastor.

Speaker1:
You need to love him when you don't understand him.

Speaker1:
Pastors, elders become involved in all the intricacies of other people's lives.

Speaker1:
Sometimes we know things about other people and their situations that we simply cannot

Speaker1:
divulge. That would not be loving to give all the information.

Speaker1:
And sometimes it's in these situations where misunderstandings grow.

Speaker1:
Why weren't, you know, why aren't you doing this or putting a stop to that?

Speaker1:
Where were you when this happened?

Speaker1:
Why didn't you come when we asked how come I have to wait so long to meet with you?

Speaker1:
These are the kinds of questions that easily grow.

Speaker1:
But brothers and sisters, if you love your new senior pastor, then you will remember

Speaker1:
that love hope's all things.

Speaker1:
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes, all things endures.

Speaker1:
All things.

Speaker1:
You're going if you have that kind of love, then you will assume that your pastor is

Speaker1:
using his time wisely.

Speaker1:
You will expect there's things he knows that you don't know and you don't need to know.

Speaker1:
And you will bless him even when he seems to be going in a direction that you find less

Speaker1:
than compelling.

Speaker1:
Love him when you don't understand him.

Speaker1:
Six: Love him for a long time.

Speaker1:
Love never ends.

Speaker1:
There is a curse on the pulpits in Canada.

Speaker1:
Men are afraid to stay in one place for a long time or they stay long that they stop

Speaker1:
growing in Christ.

Speaker1:
Both of these things are a scourge.

Speaker1:
But a wise church will set her heart on loving her pastors for a very long time, not

Speaker1:
just putting up with them, but loving them.

Speaker1:
I'm a big fan of Wendell Berry, the author, and he has one novel called Jayber Crow.

Speaker1:
But I'm not a Christian.

Speaker1:
But he makes this very astute observation about churches and pastors.

Speaker1:
The preachers were always young students from the seminary who were, you might say, the

Speaker1:
mantle of power, but not the mantle of knowledge.

Speaker1:
They wouldn't stay long enough to know where they were.

Speaker1:
Now, this is not the case for you.

Speaker1:
You have a young man who's come to you from the seminary and who is staying long.

Speaker1:
And this is a blessing.

Speaker1:
You want a pastor who's going to be there long enough to bless your babies and baptize

Speaker1:
your believers and bury your dead.

Speaker1:
You don't want a stranger to do that.

Speaker1:
And if that's so, then you must commit to so much more than tolerating this man.

Speaker1:
You must love him, love him, love him so much that on his worst days he's going to think I

Speaker1:
would be nuts to leave this church.

Speaker1:
Finally, Number 7: love him because God has loved you.

Speaker1:
The final and great motivation to our love is never what it gets us.

Speaker1:
True love is seen in Christ.

Speaker1:
Therefore, this is Paul in Ephesians chapter five.

Speaker1:
Verse one. Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love as Christ

Speaker1:
loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Speaker1:
Did you catch that?

Speaker1:
Be imitators of God. Copy God.

Speaker1:
Be a God copycat.

Speaker1:
Do what he does be like him.

Speaker1:
What does that mean?

Speaker1:
He goes on, walk in love.

Speaker1:
You want to be like God.

Speaker1:
You will walk in love. Love one another by all means.

Speaker1:
But remember to love your pastor too.

Speaker1:
And as you do this, your church will continue to be a beacon of the gospel on the other

Speaker1:
side of our great country, For the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and

Speaker1:
the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Speaker1:
Be with you all.

Speaker1:
We love you all from Toronto.

Speaker1:
Can't wait to see you again.

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your MOV files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you’d love including share transcripts, powerful integrations and APIs, automated translation, automated transcription, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.