In seeking to kindle a passion for the Scriptures, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and the pure gospel, there will be situations that require intense labor, even severe pain. Paul felt this regarding the believers in Corinth (2 Corinthians 2:1). He knew there were outstanding issues that he must confront them with. This would cause another visit to be painful.
There was another cause for painful labor to Paul. Where the church, specifically Galatia, was not growing in the truth of the gospel, he was willing to labor with them as a woman would labor in child birth so that “Christ is formed in” them (Galatians 4:19). He had already gone through the pain of facing them about false teachers who propagated a false gospel. But it was not enough for them to KNOW the pure gospel, he wanted the Author of the gospel characteristically in their DNA.
Let me speak to each of you in leadership. Evangelizing (with the pure gospel) and discipling (establishing) are two foundational functions that every leader must maintain as essential to effective ministry. The formation of Christ in believers can be most difficult, but it is also very rewarding because it produces a multiplication factor. True disciples make other disciples even if it brings pain in the process!