1. Ministry as Our Sole Calling
Despite being in some sort of ministry for over thirty years, I worked full time to support my family until I suddenly became disabled in 2015. That freed up my wife and myself to dedicate ourselves to the sole focus of ministry. When I say ministry, I’m being very specific in the use of the word ministry. We never set out to make an income, but to minister.
I need to be very deliberate here to not sound like I’m bashing ministers that charge for what they do or those that collect a salary. I’m not. I just know what we were called to do. I’m often reminded of the scriptures that say that a laborer is worth his wages. And that holds true today!
2.The Scriptural Foundation of Ministry
Luke chapter 9 begins with Jesus giving the twelve authority over demons and the ability to heal diseases. Then he sent them out with strict instructions to take nothing extra. They were to stay with whoever would host them. Then in the beginning of Chapter 10, he sent 70 more out very similarly. He instructs them to stay in one place in each town, eat and drink what they are given for the laborer is worth his wages.
The implication in this verse is that those that are being ministered to will voluntarily provide for those that minister. Admittedly, this is a struggle in our culture. The norm is to trade goods or services for money. The Christian culture, including churches, have adopted a very similar mindset. Most pastors have a set salary in exchange for an agreed upon list of obligations. Churches still rely on the parishioners to donate, which has its roots in the Old Testament. Nehemiah outlined the tithe approximately 450 years before Christ. And hopefully, if people feel that they have been ministered to, they will donate, not too dissimilar to the workman deserving his wages.
3. Challenges in Modern Ministry
Again, our culture tugs us back to trading money for goods or services. And that’s where I want to touch on the concept of blessing. In the years that we have been focused on ministry, our focus was on blessing people. People have in return chosen to bless us. God promises to provide for our every need and He uses people to do that. He doesn’t need us, but he chooses to use us. More so, He allows us to be used. He allows us to be part of His blessings.
4. Embracing Your Gifts
This is where each of us has a role. We all have things to offer. We all have ways to bless others. It’s good to know what your gifts are. What has God made you to be good at? If you don’t know, then maybe taking a Spiritual Gifts assessment would be a good place to start.
I said earlier that God allows us to be used. Those that have blessed us in big ways often seemed to get more out of it than we did! So, join me in blessing others.