I Thessalonians 1:5: This is where it all starts. They heard the Gospel, and they believed it for salvation. Everyone starts out by getting saved (Romans 10:13 and 14). Sadly, some just stay here. They have no desire to grow (I Peter 2:2). Tragically, they remain babes in Christ (I Corinthians 3:2 and 3). Some merely rejoice in the simple Gospel message, but never go on to serve the Lord in a meaningful way.
I Thessalonians 1:6: This should always happen next. Once you are saved, you become a disciple. A Disciple is one who is being taught (Matthew 5:1 and 2). Discipleship is severally lacking in most churches today! Most want to go from salvation to praise and worship and then right on to leadership with no thought or desire of discipleship. No one can effectively serve without first being taught (Ephesians 4:11 and 12). New believers must be perfected or equipped for the work of the ministry.
I Thessalonians 1:7 and 8: Here is the final stage of a proper Christian life. The Thessalonians became an example to others by sounding out the Word of the Lord. They willingly began to evangelize the lost to faith in Christ. If you are saved and grounded in God’s Word, you should be actively winning the lost to Christ (II Corinthians 5:18-20). If we fail to share the Gospel, it will not produce fruit (Romans 10:9-13). We must have a heart for the lost. A heart like Christ’s (Luke 5:27-32), not like Jonah’s (Jonah 1:1-3 and 4:1-3). We are saved to go to work (Ephesians 2:8-10).
People are to get saved, get grounded, and then get to work.