One of the joys of ministry is running into someone you ministered to years ago. It’s great catching up and seeing what God has done in their lives. You walk away, thankful that He used you for a brief time to guide them. Wherever Paul ministered, the people became dear to him because he invested his whole life in them. To minister, you have to be willing to give your life away.
“Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”
Nothing Held Back
Paul was more than an evangelist and missionary. He was a pastor at heart. In the Greek, the word used for pastor can also be used for elder and shepherd. Paul was a shepherd. He loved his people above all and did so at great expense. He refused to accept money from the churches he was planting but instead worked as a tent-maker. Nothing was held back as he ministered to them because he gave his whole heart. You have to be “all in” to minister.
Most people have little understanding of what many pastors go through. Yes, some pastors are in it for their advancement and use people, but they are the minority. Most pastors pour their heart and soul into the church and community they are serving. The people are dear to them, and they want to see them grow in the grace of Jesus Christ. Sure, they are flawed and frequently make mistakes, but their heart is in the right place.
Give Your Life Away
If you want to serve Jesus, you have to love the people He sends you. You do that by sharing the Gospel of Jesus. Tell them that He came to forgive their sins and give them new life. Then stick around and minister to their needs, share a meal, and experience life with them. What you will discover is that these people will become very dear to you.