Paul praises the work of the church in Thessalonica for their ‘”work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 1:3).
Paul, Timothy and Silas moved into this city and spent time concentrating on pouring their lives into the Thessalonian church. Paul describes their mentoring plan in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12.
“We never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren’t aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did.
You remember us in those days, friends, working our fingers to the bone, up half the night, moonlighting so you wouldn’t have the burden of supporting us while we proclaimed God’s Message to you. You saw with your own eyes how discreet and courteous we were among you, with keen sensitivity to you as fellow believers. And God knows we weren’t freeloaders! You experienced it all firsthand. With each of you we were like a father with his child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well before God, who called us into his own kingdom, into this delightful life.” (The Message).
The Bible illustrates time and time again the need for this sort of relationship. David and Jonathan had a committed friendship. Moses shared a close relationship with Aaron, took good advice from his father-in-law and mentored Joshua. We can see that Naomi counselled and advised Ruth. Paul was also close to the elders of the churches he helped for this same reason. We as people need other people. God didn’t design us to be independent but to be part of a body. Relationship is essential.