The Cost of Ministry
“Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.” 3 John 1:5-8 NLT
The traveling teachers were apparently going to the churches to help establish them in the truth. These men depended upon the financial support of the churches for their livelihood. John commends this church for their faithfulness in this matter. Although these teachers were strangers to them, this church was respectful, responsible, and obedient in caring for them. There is no greater cause to support than the furtherance of the gospel. It is vitally important to establish the churches in the truth. Those who are called and anointed by God to preach and teach the Word of God should be supported by those who are recipients of the teaching. The preaching and teaching of God's Word is a holy calling. Those who have this responsibility should recognize the sacred charge they have and strive to fulfill their duties with absolute devotion and dedication. Likewise, those who benefit from it should equally respond in the most honorable and appropriate manner. Salvation is free. Jesus paid for that on the cross. Thank God, we are redeemed!! Salvation is free and we can never pay for it. However, we must remember that there is cost involved in carrying this message to the world. The day to day needs of those who dedicate their lives to the propagation of the gospel should be supported by those who are the body of Christ. All of us have need for clothes, food, shelter, etc.. Those who are anointed and appointed by God to the ministry are dependent upon those who are fellow believers to financially sustain them in their call. Let's look at a few scriptures on the matter. “Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!””
1 Timothy 5:17-18 NLT Paul cites two scriptures to validate his statement. (see Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7). Jesus, when speaking to His disciples about their traveling ministry, said this: “Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.” Luke 10:7 NLT Listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians: “What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” Was God thinking only about oxen when he said this? Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest. Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ.” “Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.”
1 Corinthians 9:7-14 NLT Ministers and ministries who are preaching and teaching the truth are to be well supported!
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Rev. Curtis Norris