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D.6: Spiritual Parenting and being with the Lost [1Thessalonians 2:1-11]

What have been your most meaningful relationships with those who have not decided to follow Jesus?

What have been your prayers for that person?

A Story

As someone wants to grow in competence in spiritual parenting, a great example of this is in the life of the Apostle Paul. He parented these Thessalonian believers like a  mom and dad.  At a conference on disciple-making, a workshop was made available. The training was for people to study the 2nd chapter of I Thessalonians and look for the qualities of a spiritual parent. This study lays the foundation of how a maturing believer can think about parenting new believers and more mature believers. Let’s look at this section of the Bible.

Digging Into The Bible

I Thessalonians 2:1-11:

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Discussion & Discovery

  1. What did you observe about the actions of the apostle Paul or the spiritual parent?
  1. What did you see as his motivation?
  1. What metaphor did he use in his writings?
  1. What comes to your mind as you think of a nursing mother?
  1. What comes to your mind as you think of a father…imploring and encouraging?
  1. From Verse 8, what is at the core of spiritual parenting?
  1. In Verse 8, how do we position ourselves with people who do not know Christ?

Application & Accountability

  1. What would be an area that you would desire to grow in Spiritual parenting?
  1. How would you take steps to make this growth?
  1. What can you pray for?
  1. Who will start providing parenting for?
  1. What would be your first step?

Digging In Deeper

  1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
  1. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
  1. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
  1. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

Similar Verses In The Bible

List similar verses in the Bible: