You have depended on me in many ways over our years working together and I think you for your trust. You should only continue to follow me as I have followed Christ. Now that I will soon be gone you need to sort out what parts of our shared ministry should be kept and which discarded. Many things will have to change to keep your ministry on track
The principles that have guided me should still guide you through your continued years of ministry. The Scriptures are our final authority and source of truth. If the Bible teaches it, you should try to do it. If the Bible forbids it, you should never consider it. Most issues are not obvious and must be sorted out based on biblical principles. The greatest of these is love. That should be the final filter of all gray areas.
In ministry, always take the hard jobs and give the easy ones away. Be willing to die hourly to yourself so that Jesus may be glorified. You do not have to protect your career. Remember that you are running a super-marathon not a short sprint. Keep your eyes on the final goal, keep a Sabbath, love your wife and children, study the scriptures. They are your first ministry and will bring glory or disgrace to your life of work. Don’t get anxious and rush to fast, but keep moving toward the goal, even if you can only crawl.
The only person you have to please is Jesus. When everything else is swirling, listen for his voice. He will speak to you through the members of his body, especially your fellow elders and family. Listen to many, but learn to hear and follow his voice. When you do have to stand alone, remember the great men of God who stood there before. Remember our secret struggles.
You are not fit for this ministry. Neither was I. But you are witness of what God was willing to do through me. Believe that his calling comes with the resources to complete your task. He is able to do more than you imagine. I set out to test his promises many decades ago. You have seen how he dealt with me. Believe that he will do he same or even more with you.
I will be waiting to celebrate your victories in the great day when everything will be made clear. You will make mistakes. Get up and keep on going. The race is not over until you stand before Jesus. Look around for me on that day. I plan to be there with a big grin on my face.
Yours in the grace of God, the truth of Jesus and the love of the Holy Spirit