27. Churches and Ministers

In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: 1 Timothy 5:17-18

Memorise This Verse: 1 Corinthians 9:14 'The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel'

Afterwards Talk About This:  Should we give all of our money to the church we regularly attend.

Something To Do Before Next Time:  Do something to bless the person who ministers the word of God to you the most.

Written Diploma Work:  Write one side on what areas should a church spend it's money on

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse:  Galatians 6:6

The third area to consider is that the bible instructs believers to give to the church that they attend regularly at for example, Malachi 3:10 exhorted the Old Covenant people of God to, 'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse'. There would appear scripturally be a twofold reason for giving to the local assembly

  1. Those who have faithfully ministered the gospel and work full time for God receive payment which is a principle that God has laid down (this can be seen in the Old Testament commands to give financially to support the priests and Levites e.g. Deut. 14:27-29, 18:1-2, 2 Chronicles 31:4-20)
  2. The money given will contribute for the up-keep and any extensions to the church which is a visible contact place for non-Christians to come into contact with believers and (hopefully) the gospel.

So the first reason to give to the local assembly is to provide financially for those who share the word of God with us (Usually the Pastor)  for example, Galatians 6:6 says,

'Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor'.

The application of this verse being that we should be in a church which is regularly giving instruction in the word of God and through our giving to the local assembly this money is then distributed to the Pastor / Elder who has taught the word of God. In the context of elders ministering the word of God in a church setting, Paul very much brings this principle to light and speaks particularly of the elders who teach the word of God.

1 Timothy 5:17-18 says, 'The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages"

1 Corinthians 9:7-14 is a portion of scripture where Paul again speaks of this principle of giving where you are fed when speaking of his own ministry for example, in verse 11 he says, 'If we have sown spiritual seeds among you is it too much if we reap a material harvest'.

Whilst Paul recognised that he had the right to expect such financial support due to the fact he spiritually ministered to them, he chose not to receive it in order not to hinder the gospel (however, he did put this principle into operation with the Philippian churches e.g. Philippians 4:10-19).

Moreover, Paul also emphasises the point that full time ministers of the gospel should receive financial aid from believers when he says in verse 14

'The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel'

A lot of churches simply aren't feeding people, the most that the church members can expect is a twenty minute sermon a week which contains more jokes than scriptures. If every Christian followed this rule it would eliminate unfruitful Pastors who aren't faithfully ministering the word and it would eliminate unfruitful Churches that are depriving their people the word of God.

Perhaps it is due to the fact that so many churches aren't feeding their members that there are so many large teaching ministries around that are obviously being blessed of God?

The second reason to give is for the up-keep and expansion of churches as they provide a visible and identifiable witness to the unsaved. The first record of this in scripture is the building of the temple of Exodus 25:1-8 where the Lord instructed Moses to take an offering from amongst the Israelites for the building of the temple a further example is the building of the temple of David and Solomon in 1 Chronicles 29:6-9.

Some modern day examples of this would be a church that sees a great number of people saved needs to expand and so an appeal is made that the people who attend that church give to fund the expansion.

Sadly, a poverty ridden church that is always appealing for money can be a hindrance to non-Christians and can leave the impression that Christians aren't prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations 

Pray for Cote d'Ivoire

14,785,832 people, 38% Muslim

Both church and Islam have seen growth and are competing for supremacy.

This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.

The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.


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