The Apostle Paul reminded the Thessalonians of how he ministered among them (“You know…” [1 Thessalonians 2:1]). This gives all of us pastors now an example of how to minister.
(1) “With the help of God we dared to tell you His gospel” (v. 2). I cannot minister out of my own strength; everything must flow from God’s strength.
(2) The message “does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you” (v. 3). I must constantly allow the Holy Spirit to check my motives and check my theology.
(3) “We speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel”( v. 4a). I am merely a vessel that God chooses to use to share His gospel. This must keep me humble.
(4) “We are not trying to please men but God, Who tests our hearts” (v. 4b). I minister only for God’s approval, only for the applause of Nail-Scarred hands. “We were not looking for praise from men” (v. 6).
(5) “We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children … We dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God” (vv. 7, 11, 12).
(6) “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (v. 8). Paul didn’t just show up to preach, but he was in day-to-day interaction with the saints.
(7) “We worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you” (v. 9). My salary should not be too much of a burden for my congregation.
May all of us who are pastors live and minister like this!