" We ... sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto..."
-I Thessalonians 3:1-3
When Paul could not go back to the people he had ministered to, he sent Timothy to them.
Why? Because he was concerned with their faith - their walk with God. He wanted to send reinforcement of the love and care he had poured into them previously.
He sent Timothy...
• To ESTABLISH them...
• To COMFORT them...
• To STABILIZE them in afflictions that they would hold fast.
How encouraging it must have been to have these appointed ministers who cared for their souls!
How encouraging it must have been to Paul to have someone he could trust to go in his place to care for those those he loved!
How encouraging for Timothy to return to Paul with "GOOD TIDINGS of your FAITH and CHARITY, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also desire to see you: THEREFORE, BRETHREN, we were COMFORTED over you all..."
A reciprocal, loving relationship between Paul, Timothy, and the church people in Thessalonica - surely, this is what God desires of His church.
Who wouldn't want to be established, comforted, and stabilized in their faith by their church family and their appointed church leaders?
[As a church member, have you had such a church leader?]
If we are church leaders, are we establishing, comforting, and stabilizing those in our care?
[As a church leader, what characterizes your ministry?]