“…so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure…“
Because of the Thessalonian’s two abounding earmarks of faith and love (1:3), Paul boasts of them to other churches.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
It is legitimate to use other churches as our model for building a local church.
It is legitimate to use other churches as models for your church. This is the New Testament truth. First, Paul used the Macedonians as a model to the Corinthians, and then he used the Corinthians as an example to the Macedonians.
“Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
Although the Macedonians were poor, they gave to the Lord liberally even in trial.
“Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority. Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready; lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting” (2 Corinthians 9:1-4).
If Paul can use a church in northern Greece as an example for a church in southern Greece and vice versa, should we not look to churches that God blesses as examples for our church? Some churches inspire us to greater things. They cut new ground because they are led by visionary people who look to God to work in unusual ways in their churches.
It amazes me that a church can cut off their nose to spite their face because they are jealous of the church down the street.