Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. (1 Thessalonians 3:1-3 NKJV)
As I set reading this past Sunday, I came across this passage in my OSB. Their comment stayed with me.
Let’s analyze two words:
From διάκονος, daikonos, which we derived the word ‘deacon.’ It means servant.
From συνεργός, sunergos, from which we get the word synergy.
(Note, the latter word is not found in Western MSS traditions)
Who was Timothy? He was a servant of God, a minister. We know by Paul’s pen that Timothy was an overseer of his own congregation sometime after Paul has been removed from the mission field. During this time, however, the young man was still a companion of Paul.
Timothy was something else as well – he was part of Paul’s ministry, creating a synergy for the Gospel. He was Paul to those that he could not reach. He was sent Timothy to Thessalonica to establish the doctrine when Athens called. This is part of the ‘all things’ that work together for the good.
And we know that all things work together (συνεργέω) for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJVA)
The ministry is not made up of solitary people, pastors, deacons, evangelists, but it is one body of workers. It is a synergy were all work together to lead the Church. No one minister can stand alone, but must rest with the others, past and present, to grow the Church.