It just so happens that the antiquities exhibit at the Getty Villa affords an opportunity to give a photo-by-photo commentary on Apostle Paul’s use of precious materials to describe the building blocks of pastoral ministry. The text I’m thinking about is 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (my own translation below): 

11 For no one can lay a foundation beyond what has been laid, which is Christ Jesus. 12 And if anyone on this foundation builds with gold (χρυσόν), silver (ἄργυρον), precious stones (λίθους τιμίους), wood (ξύλα), grass (χόρτον), stubble (καλάμην), 13 the work of each person will become apparent, for the day will make it clear, since it will be revealed by fire and fire will test (τὸ πῦρ δοκιμάσει) one’s work, the quality of each (ἑκάστου τὸ ἔργον ὁποῖόν). 14 If the work which someone built remains (μενεῖ), the person will receive a reward. 15 If one’s work is burnt up, the person will experience loss (or “will be punished,” depending on how you translate ζημιωθήσεται), but he himself will be saved, but in the same way as [one gets] through fire.  (1 Cor 3:11-15)

The Getty Villa had a special Roman silver exhibit they procured from France (the Berthouville Treasure discovered in 1830) back in summer 2015, but unfortunately, the museum was very strict about not allowing any photos. I was tempted to sneak a few pic’s but chickened out. 
    Much more modest but still helpful was the Villa’s own precious metals artefacts exhibit (mostly focusing on silver items but some gold) with a fair sampling of ancient jewelry, and these I could take photos of. They provide a nice way to illustrate the first three items mentioned in Paul’s list of building materials. I’ve included these below with identifying tags from my visit to the Villa last summer.

Roman gold cup (gold weight = 2 libras; ca. AD 1-100)
from Knidos (Turkey)
Photo by Max Lee © 2015 Getty Villa
Greek silver wine cups (ca. 100-50 BC)
Photo by Max Lee © 2015 Getty Villa
Parthian necklace with detached pieces of
sardonyx stones as jewelry (ca. 100BC)
Photo by Max Lee © 2015 Getty Villa
Mummy Mask of a wealthy woman in Roman Egypt (ca. AD. 100)
(more on mummy masks here). Look closely around her neck and
you can see the bottom necklace composed of precious stones
Photo by Max Lee © 2015 Getty Villa

Paul in this text appears to highlight two points of comparision between the first group of gold, silver, and precious stones versus the second group of inferior building materials such as wood, grass, and stubble. He charges the church in its ministerial practices, what kind of building or body of believers are they constructing? 
    If fire here stands for divine judgment, or a metonymy for the eschatological judgment of God at our Lord’s return, God tests our ministry both for 1) the quality or kind (ὁποῖόν) of work we do, and 2) whether the work remains or lasts (μενεῖ). The museum exhibits are a nice reminder that articles of gold, silver, and precious stones stand the test of time and endured to be discovered later. While there are unusual exceptions where articles of wood have been preserved (e.g., the 2000-year old fishing boat found on the bottom of the Sea of Galilee during a drought), for the most part, things built of wood, grass/hay, and stubble do not stand the test of time. They do not remain (μενεῖ) or last. 
    Pastorally, Paul’s injunctions in 1 Cor 3 remind me never to present the gospel cheaply. If a preacher waters down the gospel and reduces Jesus’ demand for complete surrender to something less, and this is what a person commits him- or herself to, then how watered down can the gospel be before it is no longer salvation to the one who receives it? Will such a person’s salvation stand the test of present trials and persecution, let alone God’s own judgment at the end of time? 
    Or, on another note, will the church I pastor stand strong until the Lord’s return? What kind of disciples am I raising so that they can take the baton of faith and pass it on to a new and vibrant generation of Christian followers rising amongst our ranks? 
    The exhortations by Paul are sobering both theologically and pastorally. And the vividness of what lasts became even more colorfully illustrated by the artefacts at Getty.