Totally Free Of Charge
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyones food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’” 2 Thessalonians 3: 6-10
This passage says a whole lot about being a true leader in the Body of Christ. It tells me that for the sake of the Gospel even Paul thought it was vital to work hard with his own hands among (and not over) the people rather than taking any pay for his ministry. Paul thought that being a role model and an example was far better than taking any right of pay or compensation. In fact in First Corinthians chapter 9 verse 12 Paul says flat out that taking pay for ministry actually “hinders” The Gospel of Christ.
“Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.” 1 Corinthians 9: 16-18
The example that Paul gave us makes it quite clear that being paid salary in any way for ministry is dead wrong and in fact hinders the gospel. According to these passages there should be no such thing as paid ministers in the Body of Christ. The Gospel was always intended to be made available totally free of charge or fee. Paul worked hard with his own hands to support himself when he was not in chains. In fact he even paid for all of his own food when he visited a community for any length of time.
Jesus never asked for pay either when he ministered. In fact the only recorded time that Jesus passed an offering plate it had food for others on it and it was NOT for the purpose of collecting money for ministry or anything else. Walking the walk and being an example and a role model is far more important than taking any right of pay for ministry or service.
For these reasons I am a tent making addictions counselor by trade and I never take ANY pay for ministering the Gospel to others. This is the example that Jesus and Paul gave us in the New Testament and I want to follow their lead in these and all other matters. Taking all this under consideration I really do not understand why any Pastors or church Leaders can accept pay of any kind for ministering the gospel. I do not want to put myself in any situation where my sincerity can be brought into question because of money issues. Truth and Love are always supposed to be offered totally free of charge.
Kirk Out !