So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. (1 Thess. 2:8 ESV, bold added)
More than ever I’m beginning to realize that Paul is not just a model for missionaries and church planters but a model for pastors as well. On this verse Leon Morris adds, “Paul had come to see the Thessalonians as the objects of God’s love, and therefore as the objects of the love of God’s servants too” (1& 2 Thessalonians, p. 72).
This kind of affection is only seen in the giving of ourselves to the people God has entrusted to our pastoral care.