The Support of the Ministry
I. It is a godly duty to financially support the minister of God. 1CO 9:7-14.
A. Benefactors of spiritual things are properly rewarded with carnal things by
the beneficiaries. ROM 15:27 c/w LUK 8:2-3.
B. Special consideration should be given to able elders whose life's work is in the word of God. 1TI 5:17; GAL 6:6.
1. Communicate: "To give to another as a partaker; to give a share of..."
2. This communication speaks of ministerial support in context.
3. Such communication is a God-pleasing sacrifice.
PHIL 4:18; HEB 13:16.
C. Ministerial support serves as incentive for the minister.
2CH 31:4; 1CO 9:10.
II. Consider that the ministry is work. EPH 4:12; 1TH 5:12.
A. It is preeminently labour in the word and doctrine. 1TI 5:17; 2TI 2:15.
B. It is in the best interests of the kingdom that ministers not be unnecessarily
distracted from this. ACT 6:2; 2TI 2:4.
C. "...much study is a weariness of the flesh" (ECC 12:12).
D. It is work to study the word, know the word, expound the word and keep people in the word! GAL 4:11; HEB 5:12.
E. Do not think that the minister only works on Sundays.
III. Consider the unique nature of the work of your minister. Would you work in your secular vocations on the same terms?
A. The minister has no negotiated wage or salary. He is dependent upon the mercies of God and the willing offerings of his hearers. 2CO 9:7.
1. There is no N.T. example of a contractual arrangement between church
and minister for the minister's support.
2. The minister sets no fee for his services in the word of God. He is not
to preach "...for filthy lucre's sake" (TIT 1:11).
3. PRO 23:23. The truth may be bought but not sold: neither sold out nor sold as a commodity.
a. Ministers who sell out the truth for personal gain are nothing but despised hirelings.
JDG 17:10; 18:19-20; REV 2:14 c/w JUD 1:11.
b. Ministers who market the truth as a commodity to high bidders
invite the "woes" of EZE 34:2 and 1CO 9:16.
c. Ministers must flee such notions. 1TI 6:10-11.
4. Ministerial support is basically after the manner of LUK 10:1-8. Compare this with 1TI 5:17-18.
B. The minister has no guarantee of profit or even income. He is bound, when necessary, to be satisfied with life's basics. 1TI 6:8.
C. The minister must provide his own health insurance and retirement savings. He has no such accompanying fringe benefits.
D. The minister must perform his duties without regard to the calling's inherently offensive nature, even though people have a tendency to fight back through the wallet. JUD 1:16 c/w JER 48:10.
IV. The minister of God should be willing to work with his hands when necessary. LUK 16:9; ACT 18:3; 20:32-34.
A. It should be remembered that, though Paul is the pattern for gospel ministers, Paul had no family for whom he was duty bound to provide time for their comfort and training.
B. Sometimes, for the sake of the gospel, a minister may forego remuneration for his duties. 1CO 9:15; 1TH 2:6.
C. However, it is not in a church's best overall interests to be relieved of their duty to support the minister. 2CO 11:7-10.
D. The church that unnecessarily forces the minister into secular work is on shaky ground. NEH 13:10-14.
E. Christians are obliged to DO good AS THEY ARE ABLE. Good wishes are insufficient substitutes for duty. PRO 3:27; ACT 11:29; 1JO 3:17.
F. The church that liberally supports the minister when able to do so is a church to be praised. PHIL 4:14-18.
G. Those who give liberally to godly causes shall merit a proportionate recompense. PRO 3:9-10; LUK 6:38; 2CO 9:6.