I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?
2 Corinthians 12:15
Ministry will demand a constant cost upon us. It is the observation of Paul that a life of bringing the gospel to bear in the lives of sinners will require much of the ones who minister that gospel. In the case of the Corinthian church, Paul was spending and being spent for their sakes.
There was still a lot of room for the church to grow in sanctification. They were still divisiveness after two visits by Paul. And most recently false apostles had established a firmly entrenched group who now questioned the ministry and credentials of Paul, whom God used to start the church in Corinth.
The church still had issues with infighting as a result (see 2 Corinthians 12:20). This was mixed with a contingent of unrepentant sexual immorality still active there as well (2 Corinthians 12:21). This was a church still needing the gospel (we always do) and still struggling with sin's damage. This was where Paul was willing to spend and be spent. And in this busy and loving ministry of counsel, confrontation, and reconciliation, the gospel would be found. And so it is even today. Whatever it takes, the church always needs the ministry of the gospel!