I have based most of my ministry on Paul’s verse from Eph. 4. God has gifted people to lead in the church and in the Kingdom. But we have decided that this means certain individuals are gifted to do the work of the Kingdom and the church, people like pastors, evangelists, theologians. Paul says that this is not right. Instead, God has gifted leaders to equip the church for the works of service that God desires. It is the job of pastors, evangelists, and teachers not to do the work of God but to equip the church to do these tasks.
Rather than thinking like Americans who believe that we pay people to do work for us, we need to begin thinking like a community of Christians. We do not pay pastors, teachers, and evangelists to do our work for us. Rather, we pay their expenses so that they can devote their time to equipping the saints, the army of the Lord, the church. Fro Paul, this meant staying with other Christians, being fed by his followers, and when the church couldn’t or wouldn’t, he worked as a tentmaker to earn enough to cover his expenses.
Today, many pastors, teachers, and evangelists are bi-vocational, holding other jobs to pay the bills so they can work equipping the church with the rest of their time. But this means less time to serve. So the ideal for the church and the kingdom is to give pastors enough to allow them to give their full time equipping the church. But we must remember that this is not payment to do the work for us.
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