Church

 

 

4. Is it right that a pastor should not work but be supported financially and materially by the Church he shepherds?

 

 

Yes, it is, because the pastor has this right in the Lord, that is to say, he has the right to refrain from working in order to be given full time to the care of the sheep entrusted to him. Thus he has the right to be supported financially by the Church of which he takes care. When I say that the pastor has this right I mean implicitly that the church has the duty (that is, is bound) to meet all his needs, as it is written in the epistle to the Galatians: “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor” (Galatians 6:6 – NIV. The NKJV reads: “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches”). The wages the Church gives to the pastor is nothing but the wages of which the worker of the Lord is worthy, as Jesus Christ said: “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (Luke 10:7 - NKJV. The NIV reads: “The worker deserves his wages”). The apostle Paul confirms this right of the worker of the Lord by saying: “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. … Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:7-10, 13-14). As you can see, in order to confirm this right that the ministers of God have, the apostle Paul quotes the law, for he says that we must not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain (Deuteronomy 25:4) and he reminds us that the priests who served at the altar shared in what was offered on the altar, that is, they lived on what was offered upon the altar; and that those who worked in the temple lived on the things which were offered in the temple, which were the tithes and offerings that the Jews had to bring into the house of God that there might be food in it (Malachi 3:10) and thus those who worked in the temple could get their food from the temple. Obviously, since now we are no longer under the law but we are under grace, and the ministers of the Lord must receive their living from the Gospel and not from the law of Moses, tithing is no longer valid. Nevertheless, the Old Testament principle of support for the ministers of the Lord, based upon the Old Testament pattern of the temple, is still valid. Thus believers must share their material things with those who have been set apart to preach the Gospel and teach the sound doctrine.

So, if your pastor is not able to fulfil the ministry God gave to him in the manner prescribed by the Scripture – that is, full time – he must be enabled to work full time for the Lord. Thus both he and the Church he shepherds will prosper.

 

 

 

 

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