1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8



Over the last several years, the media has highlighted the scandalous fall of high-profile evangelical pastors and ministries. Through chart-topping podcasts and well-produced documentaries, stories of pastoral narcissism, heart-breaking abuse, and ministerial immorality have been broadcast to the world. When you hear stories that reveal corruption among those claiming to be gospel ministers, what effect does that have on you?

Boldness, confidence, a Godward orientation, and parental love mark genuine gospel ministry.


Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 aloud.


  • The first mark of Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians was boldness (vv 1-2). Acts 17 recounts that people stirred up mobs in Thessalonica to oppose Paul and other gospel ministers as they boldly preached the gospel.  
    • In our current cultural climate, where do you think Christians face the most opposition? 
    • Where do we need to speak more clearly and boldly?

  • The second mark of Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians was confidence (vv 3-4). Paul recognized that God had entrusted him with the message of the gospel, and, therefore, he ministered confidently, knowing that his message was free from error, impurity, or deception.
    • Do you currently struggle to believe any part(s) of the Christian message? What are they, and why do you strive to believe them? (e.g., creation, resurrection, judgment, etc).
    • How can we be confident in our message without being arrogant? What does that look like in practice?

  • The third mark of Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians is a Godward orientation (vv 4-6). In verse 4, Paul declares three things about his ministry: (1) it has been entrusted to him by God, (2) it is conducted under the approval of God, and (3) he will ultimately answer to God. In verses 5-6, he says he ministers not for any approval, glory, or monetary gain from man but only to please God. What are some of the most common ways Christians in Denver are tempted to “fear man” instead of God?

  • The final mark of Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians is a parental love (vv 7-8). Paul gave them the gospel message and, like a nursing mother, was gentle, affectionate, and gave his very life to them.
    • Paul mentions boldness and gentleness as marks of his ministry. How do we know when it’s time for boldness and when it’s time for gentleness? Can both happen at the same time?
    • How does Paul’s metaphor of a nursing mother challenge you as someone entrusted with the gospel?