We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.
This chapter has been a big eye opener for me in the light of building relationships to share the gospel and make disciples. Reading this chapter, I saw how Paul described his time with them during his visit and how he cared for them and was not a burden on them. He shared his life with them, then he was able to share the truth with them - and they accepted it as God's Word (vs. 13)
These people became people who continued in the faith or, better said, they became disciples. This led me to ask myself, who am I sharing my life with? I share the Good News with people all of the time, but who am I sharing my life with. Discipleship, not just conversion, is made in relationships.
Honestly, I wasn't really interested in sharing my life with people. They gossip to much, they take take take and never give back. They use you for what they want and then just leave without a thank you. In fact, they leave and talk about you negatively. Sharing my life wasn't high on my priorty list - its DRAINING to share my life. But that's where we make disciples. Isn't that what Jesus asked His followers to do - make disciples? I've done a bang-up job at making converts. I could tell you probably 10 different ways to evangelize people. Friendship evangelism, prayer evangelism, the "SHARE" technique and many others. But what about making disciples? I have been TERRIBLE at making disciples. Mainly because I've tried to make disciples from the front of the church with the lights and video screen. Instead, I should be making disciples in the gritty uncomfortableness of life. Its easy for me to put together a message series and pray and share the truth, but who am I sharing my life with? I can honestly say, outside of my wife, I only have 1 person I am sharing my life with. I think that needs to change.
Messages don't make disciples nor do small groups make disciples - disciples make disciples. Disciples are made by sharing the truth AND our lives with people, even when its not convenient.
So I challenge you to ask yourself the same question, "who am I sharing my life with?" Someone is counting on you to share your life with them.