When I was young in the ministry, I remember one of the first messages I gave was on this text, “Like a nursing mother and like an encouraging father.”  The Apostle Paul’s example gripped my life. I was raised in an evangelical culture that boasted about powerful, successful men, a culture that loved victorious generals and winning athletes. When it came to pastoral models, I didn't hear much about being like a tender, nursing mother with her newborn, but this is the image Paul used to remind the Thessalonians about the way he lived among them. In a church culture where women have been abused and treated with disrespect, it's time to leave the prideful power models of ministry behind and return to Paul's humble, gentile model of influence.


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