Giving to Ministers of the Gospel

). Give to the ministers of the Gospel.

The main purpose of this giving is to provide for the needs of those God calls into full-time ministry.  Galatians 6:6. “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. “ “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of
double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves  his wages.”  [1 Timothy 5:17-18]

Paul deals with the issue of giving to the servants of God so that they benefit from the fruit of their labours. 1 Cor 9:7-18  “[Consider this:] What soldier at any time serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat any of the fruit of it? Who tends a flock and does not partake of the milk of the flock? Do I say this only on human authority and as a man reasons? Does not the Law endorse the same principle? For in the Law of Moses it is written, You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn. Is it [only] for oxen that God cares? [Deut 25:4.]  Or does He speak certainly and entirely for our sakes? [Assuredly] it is written for our sakes, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher ought to thresh in expectation of partaking of the harvest. If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits? If others share in this rightful claim upon you, do not we [have a still better and greater claim]? However, we have never exercised this right, but we endure everything rather than put a hindrance in the way [of the spread] of the good news (the Gospel) of Christ.  Do you not know that those men who are employed in the services of the temple get their food from the temple? And that those who tend the altar share with the altar [in the offerings brought]? [Deut 18:1.] [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the
good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel. But I have not made use of any of these privileges, nor am I writing this [to suggest] that any such provision be made for me [now]. For it would be better for me to die than to have anyone make void and deprive me of my [ground for] glorifying [in this matter]. For if I [merely] preach the Gospel, that gives me no reason to boast, for I feel compelled of necessity to do it. Woe is me if I do not preach the glad tidings (the Gospel)!  For if I do this work of my own free will, then I have my pay (my reward); but if it is not of my own will, but is done reluctantly and under compulsion, I am [still] entrusted with a [sacred] trusteeship and commission.   What
then is the [actual] reward that I get? Just this: that in my preaching the good news (the Gospel), I may offer it [absolutely] free of expense [to
anybody], not taking advantage of my rights and privileges [as a preacher] of the Gospel.” AMP

From this scripture Paul clearly indicates that he chose not to burden the saints through support although it is legitimate. I love Paul’s spirit.
Unfortunately stories abound of preachers who will blackmail saints to give to them in their personal capacity. Peter wrote to the elders and told them in 1 Peter 5 that they should shepherd the flock willingly and not grudgingly or for filthy lucre’s sake. My philosophy when it comes to preachers is that I give to them as I feel led by the Holy Spirit. If any preacher throws “faith hints” at me, he immediately disqualifies himself from receiving financial blessings from me. My pastor always boasts that he never asks for money for his own benefit but is not ashamed to ask the church to sow for the purposes of expanding the vision.

Sometimes in the late 1980s I made a commitment to pay schools fees for my pastor’s child who was then going to crèche. We kept the promise all the way till the child completed her high school. We diligently kept that promise for more than fourteen years. It was seed worth sowing because as a man of God he sowed his life into ours by teaching us the word of God. But this was an unsolicited seed that we sowed. Out of that seed we have been able to send our children to any school we wanted and have the fees paid.

Pastors should never demand, coerce or manipulate people to give to them in their personal capacities as men of God. People give as they feel led by God to bless them in return for laying down their lives for the flock.

As a side-thought it is important for pastors in their own personal capacity to also learn to give so that they receive a harvest. Many pastors are
not givers. That is why they tend to manipulate the saints to giving them. What happened to faith and believing God for their own finances?  I remember one pastor who was reportedly heard to say that he does not give because he is the founder of the work and so it would be equivalent to God giving to himself. How audacious?

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