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Totally Free Of Charge

September 24, 2016

Greetings,

“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.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

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23 Comments
  1. Others have asked the same question. Why do they think they have the “right” to fleece the flock? It’s because of the very fact they are hirelings and that’s what a hireling does….for the money in it. So, do we suppose that the majority would continue in their posts if their salaries were withdrawn and they had to get a job?
    Son House, the great old Southern musician wrote a song, and in it were the words, “I wanna be a Baptist preacher so I don’t have to work”.
    I actually heard similar words coming out of a so-called pastors mouth long ago…he said, “I wish we’d get a lot more tithers in here so I could quit my job and be a full time pastor”.

    And so it goes…..

    Thanks brother…the Lord takes care of our needs anyway when we are faithful and obedient.

    • Scarlett, thanks for confirming my blog post with many excellent points. Just think of all the orphans and widows and the poor and homeless we could help if Clergy gave up their salaries and we sold all the buildings and property belonging to the “churches”? How much suffering could we effectively eliminate? It’s mind boggling.

      • I have thought of that, brother, many times over. It would change the entire face of Christendom and perhaps even restore it to the original intent of our Lord.
        I truly dislike and oppose this entire “clergy/laity divide. It can not be found in any portion of scripture, except perhaps the Old Testament under the Temple and Priesthood order and that was made passe 2,000 yrs ago.

      • I hear you Scarlett. Heck, if the “church” just had to pay tax on it’s property it would change the face of our nation and be enough to feed the hungry for sure.

  2. "BK" permalink

    I can remember when I was in high school and they gave us a list of ‘occupations’ we could go to college for and one of them was ‘minister’. I was shocked! Go to college and learn the occupation of minister???? I had no clue people did that. Freely we receive, freely we give. One other memory was of when Ken & I were visiting a cell group from a HUGE mega church in New York. The subject was giving and when asked about tithing I honestly told them I didn’t believe in it. I believed ALL of what we earned belonged to the Lord to use for anything He wished and I was glad He allowed us to take care of expenses in the process. Shocked, they asked how did I think then that $300,000 could be raised for a new church building? I tell you, Jesus completely wiped out my memory banks that they were speaking of THEIR building project and I responded, “I think that is the biggest WASTE of God’s money I’ve ever heard of!!!” Needless to say we weren’t invited back…….sigh. Good words, Christopher, love, “BK”

  3. Roger Varland permalink

    Appreciate your thoughts. Also in the the cross hairs would be the mission community and I’m one of them at the moment. We’re living on support here in Kenya while teaching missionary kids from 200+ families scattered across East Africa. I assume most of them are also also living on support or drawing a salary from a denomination.

    A change in your direction would certainly change world missions and maybe it’s time, although I need some time to ponder. However, if this concept would have been in place from the beginning, global evangelism would be in a much different place today, much less, I believe.

    Blessings on your days,

    Roger

    • Roger, thank you for sharing your perspective and portion here today. Also thanks for serving Jesus on the field. I feel there is a difference between getting a salary and receiving love gifts. Paul did get help when he was in chains or unable to work to support himself.

    • "BK" permalink

      Roger, I have thought a lot about what you said here. While I realize it is a more secure feeling to have the backing of an organized denomination or group, I don’t really believe it is. If you don’t produce you can be ‘removed’ or ‘replaced’….and the pressure of those numbers creates ungodly reports out of necessity. My husband and I have had dealings with African’s through personal contact (the first time we broke down in the same parking lot a church bus was broke down in and to keep it short and simple, met a brother from Africa). We all learned alot both of what to do and what not to do. Doors from that meeting and interaction (we went to Siaya and Nakuru) led to the meeting of a brother (again just ‘bumping into him) that began years of support….directly to him and his mother who lived in a village. We were able to get them started with chickens, goats, cows and most importantly dig a well on her land that all the community still uses. Our first meeting was during a drought in Kenya and we sent the money for a trip over there directly to them instead to rent a truck and deliver LOTS of feed to the villagers and surrounding community. The believers in the village helped the elderly and disabled be sure to get their portion also. A year later our two daughters & son-in-law visited this brother who took them to the surrounding villages to give out Bibles and fellowship (not ‘build a church’ but build fellowship). The people realized these were the ones who had sent them food when all around were hungry and it was quite a tearful, joyful, thankful gathering! We also put two of the young people there that I know of through secondary school and both were accepted in universities. This is just one example that came to mind that I can share with you of how it can work. There is also a couple near Nakuru, Johnny and Katie Brooks, who went with hopes of ‘being missionaries’ but when they found all the ‘numbers’ pressure, opted out and are living in Kenya helping orphans on their own, trusting God to supply their needs as they come up. My point is not of bragging, but to say if there are two of us there has to be others….we just haven’t come across them. In doing it this way we were able to be sure ALL the monies we sent (and others) went straight to the need….not the majority for administration and clergy. I hope I am coming across in the encouragement I mean to be giving you; I am in NO WAY criticizing your heart or work. I admire you and will be praying now that I know you are there. May God bless you abundantly, “BK” PS I sure hope you read this as the blog as moved on since this was first posted.

  4. Roger Varland permalink

    I understand the difference, particularly between individual gifts and budgets with salaries. We’re somewhere in between. Free Methodist World Missions collects our gifts and we draw upon them as needed. However, in the mix are monthly payments from a couple of churches that are part of their missions budgets. (Come the end of the year, we will have to report it all as income and try to argue some expenses against the tax bill.)

    Some of the challenge comes with anything that gets large; at some point objectives and goals are better achieved with some kind of organization of tasks and responsibilities. (this starts another discussion about what the church is supposed to look like, agreed) Yes, the tail can wag the dog and that’s where I think you’re coming from.

    • Thank you for that explanation Roger. I feel orphans and widows should always come first in how we give, then real hands on missions. However, in my experience and study I have found that most “churches” spend 97% of it’s resources on Clergy salaries, buildings and institutional maintanence instead of real needs.

  5. Tom Ball permalink

    Does not Paul’s teaching say …

    1. he has a RIGHT to be supported by the church to which he is ministering,

    but…

    2. he , personally, CHOOSES not to be?

    • Yes Tom Ball, but Paul chose not to take pay for VERY important reasons. 1. That taking pay “hinders” or “discredits” the Gospel. 2. So that he could truly be a model and example to the rest of the church by working hard with his own hands among them and paying his own way. To me these very fine reasons totally outweigh any perceived “right” to pay. Paul also wrote, “follow me as I follow Christ”, So I wholeheartedly follow Paul’s example of tentmaking. Because what Christ follower would ever want to hinder or discredit the Gospel? When I chose to follow Jesus I surrendered all of my rights so I could best serve HIM and others.

  6. Tom Ball permalink

    Good response, Chris.

  7. peterhorvatin3gmailcom permalink

    Yeah, it’s interesting that the men that are leaders would think that this would be compromising the Gospel.

  8. peterhorvatin3gmailcom permalink

    I meant to say that why would they not think that this would be compromising the Gospel?

    • I hear you Peter. To me and you it is pretty black and white obvious that getting paid for ministry creates a conflict of interest and compromise, but those blinded by the lure of the system of power and dead religion either just can’t see it or have learned to look the other way for self interest’s sake.

  9. Mercy fulgencio permalink

    Doing ministry has been professionalized with the coming of bible schools, colleges and seminaries. The implication is quite obvious., to make even with the world system.
    So, don’t be surprised anymore with the system going on inside the institutional church…

    • Mercy, that terrible system sucks the life out of everyone involved in it. So I pray a lot for the folks trapped inside the systems invisible walls of control. “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

  10. "BK" permalink

    In my coming out of Babylon beginnings I pastored a church in the conventional sense. I thought home meetings were ‘cute’, but immature. So we found a place with a poll barn for meeting in that would handle many or few; a duplex and potential for a small dormitory and a few bachelor-type apartments + 4 RV sites. We applied for a grant but before it came through the seller decided he didn’t want to sell his home & life’s work (not a church). We didn’t have good conscience ‘forcing’ him to continue with a ‘too late to turn back’ deal so we released him from it. BUT I went to the Lord in prayer as to why??? We had prayed and felt we followed Him in the whole thing. What went wrong???? This would be the first time He ever spoke to me, “Where in the New Testement did I EVER tell anyone to own property? Once you own something you are in bondage to maintain it….utility expenses, upkeep expenses, etc. Now you HAVE to have income just to maintain it. Financial pressure begins to come to the forefront…..”. Wow, this was an entirely new concept to me but I had to admit He was right (chuckle…of course He was right! He’s GOD!!!). I realize this is a bit of a turn from a salaried pastor (which I wasn’t) but in principal it paints the same picture of ‘what’s wrong with the picture’. That was decades ago and my journey out has continued…and I am thankful for all the ‘pruning’ He has done and the eye opening experiences He has brought me through. Your point in valid, Christopher. And, Roger, I join Christopher in thanking you for your overseas service to our Lord, and can appreciate your points, both pro and con. I’m sure things would look ‘different’ without the framework of organization, but I honestly don’t believe it would have stopped God’s outreach, even there. But, again, let me say I appreciate your views alot.
    Love, “BK”

    • Thanks for sharing that BK. Faith and growth is a process that goes at different speeds for different people at times. Sometimes I forget that others had to grow out of the system because it was all they ever knew or grew up in……while I was born and raised totally outside of Babylon. Nevertheless we all need Grace in our individual journeys to the real Truth in Love. I am thankful to everyone who shared here today.

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