In most of the towns where Paul established churches, he remained only for a few days. He declared the gospel (Godís message about Christ) in public, and some people accepted it. They joined together to form the new church. Paul advised them, then he left for the next town. He could only promise to return if God so directed him*.
Sometimes Paul sent his companions to work in those churches, or sometimes other Christians went to help them. However, the Christians in those churches loved Paul, and they continued to respect him as their leader*. Often, the churches would send people to visit Paul, and especially if they needed his advice.
Paul saw that God had given him responsibility for those churches. Paul considered their troubles to be his own troubles*. He prayed much for them; he very much wanted to help them*.
Many people would love to be important like that. However, people who love to be important care more about themselves, than about other people. Especially, they do not care about the poorest and weakest people.
Paul felt very great strain, because he really did care about all those people. For Paul, that pressure felt very much like the pain that his other troubles caused him*.
Church leaders today often think more about the organisation of the churches than the people. Paul recognised that good organisation is important (see the Books of 1 Timothy and Titus). However, verse 29 shows that he cared about each person. He actually felt the weakness of a Christian who was weak. It upset Paul if something tempted a Christian to do wrong things.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.