Summary: We see in this passage what real ministry is all about as Paul encourages this new church in Thessalonica.
A Picture of Real Ministry
I Thes. 2:1-12
I. The Boldness of Paul’s Ministry (v. 1-2)
A. Paul was confident of his ministry to the Thessalonians for several reasons. (v. 1)
1. It was a fruitful ministry because people had been saved. (1:5b-6)
2. They were a vibrant church that influenced other churches (1:7-8)
3. They were a church that grew and flourished even after Paul left. (1:8b)
B. Paul was bold even though many opposed him.
1. He was opposed at Philippi, but refused to go away quietly. (Acts 16)
2. He came to Thessalonica and for three weeks proclaimed Christ in the local synagogue. (Acts 17)
3. He was opposed and finally run out of town, but only after many had come to Christ especially from among the pagan Greeks and many of the women.
II. The Integrity of Paul’s Ministry (v. 3-6)
A. Paul addresses three important areas of importance where integrity and ministry must go hand in hand. (v. 3)
1. His message preached was not in error, but was the truth.
2. His life was one of pureness (not perfection). He did preach one thing and live another life. His life was one of holiness.
3. His ministry was not deceptive in its practices. Paul preached a simply preached Jesus. His methods of ministry was authentic.
B. Paul was accountable to god (v. 4-6)
1. Paul denied being a “smooth talker” who tried to gain influence by impressing man, but rather was worried about pleasing God.
2. He was not consumed with greed and did not demand payment. Another church supported Paul while he was in Thessalonica. (Philippians 4:16)
3. He was not caught up in gaining glory for himself from his apostleship.
III. The Hard Work of Paul’s Ministry (v. 7-9)
A. Paul was gentle and cherished these people just as a mother would cherish a newborn. It takes patience to do real ministry especially to those that are new converts or are unchurched ( v. 7)
B. Paul was sold out to ministering to these people that he was willing to not only give them the gospel, but also his own life if that was what would be required. It takes real commitment to have a real ministry. The problem with so many is they talk about doing a lot, but they have the commitment of a kamikaze pilot just back from his 10th mission. No matter what your ministry is, be committed to it because you are the one that god has placed in that ministry so it is important.
C. Real ministry takes time. Paul labored night and day. Many times a commitment to ministry requires that rearrange our priorities. Many times the things that hinder us from fulfilling our ministry commitments are things that in eternity will not matter, but your ministry will have effects for all eternity.
IV. The Challenge From Paul’s Ministry (v. 10-12)
A. They watched Paul model through his ministry.. He provided a good example for them to follow. Who are willing to influence through our ministry. (v. 10)
B. Paul through his ministry charged or challenged them to carry on. (ex. I have challenge or charge the graduates at Whitesburg and the other students in attendance on the 24th)