Paul’s heart towards the Thessalonians comes out in chapter 2. He starts off by telling the church that he preached boldly, even though there was conflict and hardships. Acts 17:1-11 recounts Paul’s stay in Thessalonica. It was a very short stay as the believers sent Paul and Silas away at night due to persecution. The reason for Paul’s boldness was due to his conviction that he has been entrusted with the gospel. Moreover, more than anything else, he wanted to please God rather than man. Paul did nothing from self-glory or greed; he even calls God as his witness.
At this point, we would expect Paul to come to the Thessalonians with great authority and perhaps a domineering spirit, but he used his authority to serve and love. He remarkably states the following words:
“But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God by also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8)
In light of these points, we can say that Paul’s method of missions was love. He really loved these new converts and the people there. Herein lies the crux of the matter. Where there is deep love, there will be success. Love cannot be faked; people can see through rhetoric, cunning, and other worldly things. However, when God pours forth love, there is great power. In light of this, we can say that a simple but profound measure of the success of a ministry is genuine love. If ministers love their congregations – even during hard time, can we say that the Spirit of God is working and present? I think so. Love is the most important element in any ministry.Tags: 1 Thessalonians, love, Missions