“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thessalonians 2:8).
Life-to-life discipleship: Even though the term hadn’t been coined when Paul, Silas, and Timothy were around, they were modeling it. In this verse, Paul reminds the Thessalonians of how they were discipled. They did more than teach them with words, they shared their very lives. First Thessalonians 5 talks about how they lived among them for their sakes. Their objective was clear: that the Thessalonians would learn from them and become imitators of Christ.
Paul uses three words to describe how they were discipled. They were encouraged, comforted, and urged to make their lives worthy of God.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy were modeling the life of Christ. As they shared their lives with others, they were teaching lessons on discipleship. As they lived among them, they got to know them. As they got to know them, they knew how to help them take the next step spiritually.
Yes, life-to-life discipleship is a commitment of self and time, but oh so worth it. Paul expressed it well when he called it “a delight” to share your life with someone, encouraging them to become imitators of Christ.