The apostle Paul had many burdens but the care of all the churches was his greatest one. After listing his many trials and sufferings he endured for the gospel’s sake Paul added this:
…besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:28)
The Young’s Literal translation, which I understand is closer to the Greek than most translations, reads this way:
…Apart from the things without—the crowding upon me that is daily—the care of all the assemblies.
I find it so interesting and awe-inspiring that the one who made so much trouble for the churches before he met the Lord was now the one who had the greatest daily care and concern for them.
One of his greatest burdens for the churches, as witnessed especially in his letters to the Corinthians, was the immaturity of the churches — not only their carnality, but also in their ignorance of spiritual things.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant…(1 Corinthians 12:1)
Over the past few years this same burden has come upon me in a far greater measure than I’ve ever had before. One of the consuming passions I’ve had is the setting in order of churches and ministries in the body of Christ. This can only be done through true apostolic ministry and the governing leadership or eldership that is already established in these churches or ministries.
No apostle or ministry gift can go into another man’s field and sow or water it if permission, access, and liberty is not granted. For instance, there are many things I could do to help so many younger churches and ministers, but they must be open and teachable. There’s an old adage that says it all: “When the student is ready the teacher appears.”