“For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ESV)

Making disciples is a relational endeavor. The apostle Paul illustrated this by how he related to his flock in Thessalonica as a “father with his children.” Depending on the Spirit’s guidance, he used all manner of relational approaches according to their need. Some he “exhorted,” coming beside them to call them out for correction. Some he “encouraged,” using a personal touch to comfort and console those who were weak. Others he “charged,” reminding them of their identity in Christ and bearing witness to them of God’s upward calling. Making disciples is our calling too. Not in an institutional way, but life on life, like a mother or a father with their children.