Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Financial Support of Gospel-Ministers

How should ministers of the Gospel be supported financially?

Paul said the Lord ordained that those who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. 

As a general rule, a minister's support should come from the people to whom he is ministering at the time - just like a tradesman has the right to be paid by the person for whom he has done some trades work: he wouldn't ordinarily expect to be paid from any different source.

The Law of Moses also illustrated that principle (illustrated by the Law which stated that the ox that treads the corn should not be muzzled; and by the Law which instituted that a portion of the meats offered on the altar should be for the priests who serve around the altar to eat). 

So a pastor can expect to be supported by his church, because he's serving his church. 

An Apostle, prophet, evangelist or teacher may also accept support from the local church in which he is ministering, while he is ministering in it. 

A prophet's support sometimes comes from extraordinary sources too - and sometimes supernatural sources -  because a prophet is often sent on extraordinary errands to people who might not support him financially. 

Any minister can also accept support from a different source besides the group he is ministering to at the time. Paul mentioned a church's partnership in the Gospel with him. He mentioned giving and receiving from a church. He accepted it joyfully. However all such offerings were accepted as a gracious gift, not as a right to expect. In fact, Paul described accepting such offerings in this way, "...I robbed other churches to do you service".

It wasn't literally robbery, for the givers had offered it voluntarily. Paul was merely pointing out that the church he had been ministering in at the time were really the ones whose duty it was to support him while he had been there, it wasn't some other church's duty.

Aside from supporting a minister while he was ministering to them, churches did well to also pay a minister's needs and travel to his next location. Not support him the whole time he's in his next location - but support him enough to get there comfortably.

Sometimes Paul even worked to support himself and his team, rather than accept support from the people he was ministering amongst. But he said he would have been within his rights to forego working and to accept support. It was just that he wanted to go beyond the call of duty, so as to further enhance the acceptability of his message.


1. Step out with assurance that it's okay...
2. ...for you to accept support offered by the people amongst whom you shall be ministering...
3. ...once you get there...
4. ...and for as long as you are still ministering there.
5. When the time comes to leave, if they offer you something to help you arrive comfortably at your next ministry-destination, good.
6. While you're still there you may also accept voluntary partnership and gifts from others elsewhere.
7. Should the need arise, you might receive extraordinary and even supernatural support which God Himself may arrange...
8. ...but if not, you know that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, whether that means being hungry or full.
9. Sometimes it may be possible for you to be self-supporting through doing non-ministry work while also fulfilling your ministry-work, but even when it is possible it is not a requirement that you do so. You have the right to be supported from your ministry-work.

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