And, knowing this, we need to face that these Christian communities are often not very Christian.
Paul stresses the need to please God, not mortals. Then he describes how he declared the Gospel to them: no flattery, no motive of greed, not seeking praise; rather, gentleness and self-giving.
Boring and Craddock, in their The People's New Testament Commentary, sum it up well:
For Paul, joining the church was not adding on another worthy cause to our list of obligations, but incorporation into the family of God....Paul is not only the father as head of the household, but mother and nurse, baby, brother and orphan...Paul's understanding of church leadership is mutuality rather than hierarchy.
Look over this list that Paul suggests to the Thessalonians. How many of these characteristics does the Nominating Committee of a church today consider when choosing officers? when considering pastors?
Lectio Divina: 1 Thessalonians 2:4, 8