From my reading in 1 Thessalonians 1 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Paul sets a great example of four practices for those of us in ministry.
1. Pray constantly for those you serve.
“We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2
Paul was constantly praying for the people he had ministered to. Most of us don’t pray for our people enough. Often we are too busy doing public ministry that we fail to fulfill the private ministry of prayer. I am challenged to pray more intentionally for those in my flock.
2. Preach with the power of the Holy Spirit.
“For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5a
The Holy Spirit is the one who empowers the preacher. Preaching should be done in reliance on the Holy Spirit. He is the one who will speak to people through you and will facilitate change in people’s lives.
As preachers, it is important for us to stay in step with the Spirit so that we can speak his words instead of relying on our own intellect and human wisdom.
3. Show your love through your life.
“And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5b
It has been said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Leaders should make it obvious to those they are leading that they genuinely love them. If you are using your followers then people will see through that. If you sincerely love them then people will follow you with joy.
4. Set an example by suffering well.
“So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6
Suffering with joy sets a powerful example for your flock. Paul set an example for them in how to deal with hard times. He endured. He never gave up. Paul imitated Jesus as well. Jesus suffered the ultimate price for the sake of the gospel and did it with joy looking forward to his reward.
It has been said, “people would rather see a sermon that hear one any day.” I pray that I can be a good example to my people especially in times of suffering.
Which of these ministry principles is relevant to your life right now?
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