We can learn a lot from 1 Thessalonians 3, the heart that Paul had for the people and his commitment to them. As we will see, this was not just Paul, but the leadership, or in other words those that had responsibility for the Thessalonian’s.
I Thessalonians 3: 1-3
Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
Paul here is saying, that he sent Timotheus to check on the people to see how they were doing. He wanted Timotheus to establish and comfort them concerning their faith. He also wanted to make sure that the people were not moved by what they were going through. This shows care for the people.
I Thessalonians 3: 5- 7
For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
Verse 6 shows that the people had a relationship with their leaders “desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you” this phrase implies that the relationship was mutual.
Verse 7 also shows that the leadership were vulnerable to the people they led. They let the brethren know how they felt about them. Paul and the leadership team were also approachable. The leadership were comforted by the faith of the brethren. What a beautiful statement.
Verse 8 reads
“ For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord”.
This is an outstanding statement.
Paul is saying (he and the leadership) now live, if the brethren stand fast in the Lord. This shows how much responsibility Paul and the leadership had for the brethren. Their lives were tied to their assignment. The statement also shows how much Paul and the leadership cared for the brethren. Notice the statement says “for we now live”, not l, so all leadership shared the same heart towards the people.
I Thessalonians 3: 9- 10 reads
“For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith”?
Paul and the leadership rejoiced before God for the brethren. Verse 10 also shows Paul's and the leaderships love and commitment to the brethren. It’s also shows that Paul and the leadership took responsibility for the spiritual state of the flock.
Now let’s look at Paul's prayer for the saints:
I Thessalonians 3: 11- 13 reads
“ Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints”.
Verse 12 shows that Paul was so confident of his love for the brethren that he said “that their love may abound as we do towards you”. This measuring stick of love was prayed for themselves, one toward another and toward all men. This shows that Paul and the leadership loved the people.
The last verse 13 prayer focused on what was really important at the end “that their hearts might be unblameable in holiness before God, even our father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints”.
This was a heavenly perspective prayer for the brethren.
The above is a sign of true leadership.
Taking care of the flock of God or any form of ministry is a honour not to be taken lightly.
Heavens agenda in any situation is several steps up higher than what we are thinking. Kevin Zadai.