What does the Bible Say About Taking care of our Pastors
Is it Biblical to financialy support your Pastor?
I have to admit I may have a little prejudice in my thoughts on the answer to this controversial question. Growing up as a daughter of a minister who had no choice but to support his family by working outside of the church I experienced the literal sweat blood and tears of what a pastor goes through to take care of his flock in his "spare" time.
Because of my bias I dug into the scriptures for my answer as that is what it is all about ....what God says about it through his Holy Spirit led writers. The first scripture I came across is Matthew 10:10-14 in the New American Standard Bible. This is where Jesus is telling the disciples that they need not take extra clothes, money etc. as it is expected they are worthy of support. My understanding of this scripture is Jesus wants the disciples to walk in faith that God will support them in their endeavors and they will be provided for. God typically, although not always, uses man to bless others. I interpret this scripture to say that they are worthy of pay and support.
I Timothy 5:17-18 NASV says " The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the scripture says, you shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing, and The laborer is worthy of his wages."
Of course some of you jumped right on this one and say, " this is talking about the elders not the minister ". Well, you are partly right. It is speaking of the elders and the minister. The minister of the church is over the sheep which makes him the "head" elder so to speak. Seriously, that is the way I interpret these verses. God is saying through the disciple Luke that if you labor delivering the Word then you should be paid for your work. Now the biggest controversy here is the amount they should be paid. I don't believe there is proper amount that one can put on the books and say well this is what a pastor gets paid period. No I believe this will be Holy Spirit led. The sheep will be led by the Spirit as to how much they should give in the offering.
One more scripture that discusses wages is Luke 10: 7 where Jesus once again says the laborer is worthy of his wages. The disciples were to stay in one home not house hop and receive whatever the household was to share with them to eat or to drink. This is not to say that the laborer has the right to say " this is what I want to be paid ". No I can't agree with that one. I know there are many out there that dictate how much they want to be paid in order to minister to others although I do not believe this is supported in the Word anywhere I have found so far. God willing if that is what He wants then I pray that He corrects me on this and I know He will if it is different than what I have found to be so at this time. The joy of studying the Word is finding out the many facets to it. You can read the same scripture day in a day out for a month and every day the Holy Spirit can reveal a new meaning or a new way of seeing, comprehending and understanding it. This is marvelous to me. No other book have I read can boast of this.
In I Corinthians 9:14 NASV Paul proclaims the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. This basically refers back to the scripture in Matthew 10:10 where the disciples were taught to expect to be taken care of and not to pack extra " just in case" but to walk in 'faith' knowing they would be taken care of.
If you read on down through this chapter Paul goes on to explain himself in that he refuses to take pay for his ministry which is 'his choice' as he doesn't want his ministry to come across as someone more worthy or important due to the extravagant pay he is receiving. Now, don't take this statement and run with it and say " see I knew it all these ministers that are filthy rich are not living the way God wants them to live". No that is not it at all. This is Paul's choice as he simply chose to be simple and humble in his ministry.
At this time I want to point out there are many followers of God throughout the Old Testament and God 'richly' blessed them and their households for their righteousness and their faithfulness to Him. This would leave me to believe that God wants to bless us and especially those who give their lives up to the ministry.