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   Should The Pastor Be Paid?

"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." --- (SofS 2:4)
Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher          Northgate Baptist Church          F.E.A.S.T Ministries



And If So, How Much?

Or, Should He Work At Secular Labor

Like Any Other Man?

 

Introduction:

Many churches are Spiritual Sweatshops. You know, the kind of place where you get workers on the Cheap, pay them as little as you can, and force them to work long hours overtime without any compensation, just to keep their job. Of course, this would be Repulsive To Most of Us. Laborers must be paid fairly, justly, and on-time. God is watching>

Colossians 4:1, "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven."

Malachi 3:5, "So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty."

1 Timothy 5:17-18, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour (honorarium), especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."

 

I. In The Old Testament Times:

A. Priests and Prophets did Not Choose their ministry for Themselves --- God Called Them To It.

(We have already covered this subject in detail)

B. God not only appointed these workers --- He Established A Way for them to Make A Living and support their families.

1. When a person brought a Sacrifice or brought their First-Fruits Offerings to the temple --- the Priest Received A Designated Portion.

2. God also instituted The Tithe as a Means To Support the Priests and Other specially-called temple Workers.

Leviticus 27:30-32, "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD. 31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD."

a. The Tithe was considered so Holy that if part of it was not given on time --- 20% Interest was charged --- A fifth part ...

b. If a person Kept The Tithe and used it for himself, it was considered Robbery of God Himself.

Malachi 3:6-12, "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

(1) The People Brought A Tenth of the wheat or barley if they were farmers ---

Animals (for meat) if they were shepherds or ranchers ---

Cash, if they were shopkeepers ---

which would be stored in special Storerooms in the temple so the priests and their families would have Meat to eat and other Supplies during the winter months.

(2) Without food to feed their families and money for other supplies, the priests --- no matter how dedicated --- could not fully serve the Lord.

(3) Their best Time Would Be Consumed With Making A Living --- the Work of God Would Be Neglected.

3. Numbers 18:21, "And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation."

4. Numbers 18:25-26, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe."

C. Not One Person Ever Complained, "I Didn’t Give It To The Preacher, I Gave It To The Lord --- or To The Church.

Let's Examine Both These Statements:

D. First, we need to be Careful that the Church Does Not Become Our God.

1. Many time when you give to the church, You Give To Yourself.

a. You Are The Church ...

b. You Keep Control of the money (even after you have given it), and vote on where and on what the money is spent.

c. Many times, this is What You Want, not what God's wants.

d. Many churches Rarely Pray About How To Spend God's Money, or even How To Vote in business meetings.

e. It is Their Church and it is Their Money and they will Do As They Please.

2. I have even know of Missionaries That Gave To Themselves. --- (xxxxxx xxxxxxx) Visitation --- Reports ----- Tithes .....

3. I have know of some Churches that:

a. Go into Big Building Program with a lot of debt and put the Sinking Fund Payments Before Paying The Pastor's Salary.

(1) If you could only afford to support a pastor or to build a building --- which would you choose?

(2) How you answer that question will tell you a whole lot about your spiritual condition and your relationship with God.

b. Give lots of Money To Missions and Not Even Support Their Own Pastor.

(1) No church can Honestly Support Missions Until they are Supporting Their Own Pastor Full Time.

(2) They may Claim they are, but in reality they are only Forcing Their Pastor To Support Missions With What Should Be His Salary.

(3) They are taking what God Commands them to give to Their pastor and giving it to Other pastors --- this seems to them to be More Spiritual.

(4) It as though Their Own Pastor Is Not God's Man --- if he's not, then Get Rid of Him and get God's Man on the job so you can support him.

(5) By the way, if your pastor is not Stationed in Jerusalem, he Is a Foreign Missionary (the utter most parts of the earth).

(6) But Our Pastor is a Native of this land --- So Are Many of Our "Missionaries" In Other Lands.

4. But, You Say, "The Church Is More Important Than The Pastor" --- Not Unless You Are Into Paganism or Catholicism.

a. Question? --- Remember --- "If finances were bad, would you rather lose the Church Building or the Pastor?

To answer this question should reveal to you where you are Spiritually.

b. Has the Church Building Become Your God?

c. Wait, but the church building is not the church --- the people make up the church ....

d. That's right --- Question? --- "Who are the people, that make up the church?" --- Ans. - You Are! .....

e. Neither is the N.T. Church A Corporation that you give your tithes and free will offerings to.

5. Why do some Church Member Get Upset when you Emphasize the Spiritual rather than the Material?

a. Experiencing God,

b. Walking with God,

c. Having a Personal Relationship with God,

d. Fellowshipping with God

6. Why is it that many Church Leaders can Talk At Length About The Church (Corporation, Building, etc), but if you start Talking About The Lord, They Change The Subject.

E. Saints In The Bible Times Recognized that when they gave to God’s Man they Were Giving Unto The Lord.

Numbers 18:21, "And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation." --- V. 24, "But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites ..."

Matthew 10:40, "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me."

Luke 10:16, "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me."

(( There were times when the Work of God Was Neglected. ))

F. During the reign of King Hezekiah.

1. Worship had fallen into Neglect all over the land,

2. People worshipped False Gods,

3. The Temple building was in Disrepair --- roofs leaked --- doors sagged --- plaster crumbling --- etc.

4. Only a Few Priests in the whole nation were able to serve because the people had stopped tithing.

5. But, Hezekiah had a Heart For God --- he would Not Accept things as they had been for generations --- He began to Restore ...

2 Chronicles 31:1-21, "Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities. 2 And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD. 3 He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD. 4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD. 5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. 6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps. 7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. 8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel. 9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store." --- V. 20, "And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered."

G. It happened again in Nehemiah’s day --- the People Had Stopped Giving --- Worship had again fallen into Disarray.

Nehemiah 13:10-12, "And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. 11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. 12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries."

H. Now, you should be able to See The Pattern:

1. When people Tithe, there are enough resources that God’s Men can give their time to serve as Leaders in Worship and Faith.

2. The Whole Nation Prospers As A Result.

3. When people Make Excuses for themselves and Don’t Tithe --- they invite:

a. A Curse on Themselves and their Land,

b. God’s Judgment For Theft.

4. Now wonder, Paul said what he did:

Philippians 4:17, "Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account."

5. Do you suppose that the statement, "Some Church Do Not Deserve A Pastor" is True?

I. God Promises To Supply Our Need After We Take Care of His Ministers.

Philippians 4:15-19, "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

1. In the olden days, when something went Wrong, people would say, "You must Not be paying the preacher".

2. There is more Truth than poetry to that statement --- the Older generation has Studied The Bible --- to the younger generation, this is a Joke.

 

II. In The New Testament Times:

A. Things Haven’t Changed a great deal in our day.

1. Many Christians today bring a $20 bill every Sunday, place it in the offering plate, and Call It Tithing --- When They Actually Make ..... $ $ $ $ $

2. "How dare you! What do you mean I’m robbing God? I can’t afford any more! Don’t you know I have bills to pay? Don’t you know that the interest on our mortgage and credit cards and car payment is eating up any money we have left? Don’t you know that this tithing stuff is an Old Testament law! We’re in an age of grace, not of law. Don’t be legalistic! Show me one place in the New Testament which say I ought to tithe!"

B. For starters, the Only thing Jesus Commended The Pharisees For was that They Tithed.

Matthew 23:23, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

C. Pastors today are clearly the Spiritual Descendents of the Old Testament Priests.

1 Corinthians 9:7-14, "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel"

(Before someone ask, "Why Did You Skip Over V. 12 where Paul said, 'we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.' Let me explain:")

1. Paul was talking to Babes In Christ who still worshipped the dollar and were Offended when he Preached on Money.

2. Paul was trying to be Tactful and not offend Young Christians.

3. Paul also realized that He Was Wrong in this and in his next letter wrote and Apologized to them for Not Teaching Them To Support Their Pastor.

4. 2 Corinthians 12:13, "For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong."

Galatians 6:6, "Let him that is taught in the word communicate (share with) unto him that teacheth in all good things.

1 Timothy 5:17-18, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour (honorarium), especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward (support, salary, pay)."

a. Just as the Tithe was practiced in the O.T., Paul instructed the Corinthian church to Give To Support Their Leaders.

b. 1 Corinthians 16:2, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."

D. Now, the Big Question? --- What? is the portion, amount or percentage that We Should Give?

1. A Better Question? --- What do you need? --- A New Revelation From God?

2. Throughout The Bible The Standard of Giving Has Always Been The Same! --- The Tithe --- 10% of Gross --- Firstfruits ...

3. The Old --- "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse," (Malachi 3:10)

The New --- "Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store," --- (I Corinthians 16:2)

4. The Old --- "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house," --- (Malachi 3:10)

The New --- "... that there be no gatherings when I come." --- (I Corinthians 16:2)

5. The Old --- "...and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts," --- (Malachi 3:10)

The New --- "Give, and it shall be given unto you;" - (Luke 6:38)

6. The Old --- "... pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it]." - (Malachi 3:10)

The New --- "... it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over," --- (Luke 6:38)

7.The Old --- "Bring ye all the tithes ..." --- (Malachi 3:10)

The New --- "Bring the measure ..." (Luke 6:38)

E. It might be well to study the History of Tithing:

1. Abraham started it --- Genesis 14:20

2. Jacob continued it --- Genesis 28:22

3. Moses incorporated it --- Leviticus 27:30

4. Nehemiah restored it --- Nehemiah 13:11-12

5. Malachi commanded it --- Malachi 3:10

6. Jesus commended it --- Matthew 23:23

7. Paul explained it --- I Corinthians 16:2

F. But, we believe in Grace Not Law!

1. You Better Be Careful What You Say, God Might Hold You To It

2. To Give Less Under Grace than under law is a Disgrace!

3. Love Is Always A Greater Motivator Than Law.

2 Corinthians 5:14, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:"

(If God’s love for you does not constrain you to serve and give unto the Lord --- check up on your relationship with Him.)

Romans 6:1, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin (robbing God), that grace may abound? 2 God forbid ..."

G. However, If you want to Drag Tithing Under The Law, then I will go under it with you.

1. Christ did fulfill it --- but how? --- He raised it!

a. Murder --- Mat 5:21-22, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: {22} But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:"

b. Adultery --- Mat 5:27-28, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: {28} But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

c. Divorce --- Mat 5:31-32, "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: {32} But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

d. Revenge --- Mat 5:38-39, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: {39} But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."

e. Love --- Mat 5:43-44, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. {44} But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, ... etc."

2. Christ RAISED the standard on everything he touched --- He never lowered the standard on anything.

3. If you put tithing (10%) under the law --- the standard has now been raised.

H. I have been pastoring churches for over 40 years and been Blessed with Churches which Believed and Practiced Supporting Their Pastor.

1. However, I also been Painfully Aware of many Pastors who fit into the description of :

Nehemiah 13:10, "And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field."

2. Romans 10:14-15, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

3. Many Pastors and their Wives have had to get Outside Jobs in order to:

a. Stay in God’s ministry,

b. Put food on the table,

c. Buy clothes for their sons and daughters,

d. Makes repairs on their old car, etc.

4. Many pastors have to Work At Two Jobs (in addition to pastoring the church) in order to make ends meet --- but they Continue To Serve God Anyway ...

5. Well, you say, I Don’t Believe That Preachers Ought To Be Too Good To Work, like the rest of us --- after all, Paul made tents.

a. Yes, And I Have (since I have been in the ministry) worked as a butcher in a meat market, salesman in a furniture story, sold insurance, cemetery lots, investments, health foots, etc. --- but, I Never Was Able To Do Two Things At The Same Time.

b. If I did what my flesh wants to do, I would Not Waste My Time answering such an Un-Christian and Carnal Statement.

However, for the Benefit of Young Christians, let me explain:

6. It was God Himself, that said that His Chosen Men Should Not Waste Their Time Doing What God Commanded The Church To Do.

(Before you inform me, let me assure you that I am fully aware that there are some preachers who Do Not Want the church to Support Them Full-Time, as God commanded. They have always worked outside the church and desire to continue to do so. They do Not Want the Responsibility of a God-Called-Preacher to minister to their people spiritually. They are little preacherettes preaching little sermonettes and growing little christianettes. Their Ministry Is A Hobby to them, Not A Divine Call From God. This message is not about them. Again, I am not talking about preachers who Have To Work but rather those who Want To Work rather than accept the responsibility of Full-Time Service To God.)

(( With that having been said, Let See What God’s Plan Is:)

a. God established the Tithe specifically so that His Preachers Could give themselves fully to God’s Ministry --- which is for Your Benefit.

b. God established Deacons so that His Preachers Could given themselves continually to Prayer and the Ministry of His Word.

c. Many of God’s Churches Today Are Spiritually Anemic because they have made God’s Man into a Glorified Errand Boy or a Sheep Dog Instead of A Shepherd.

(1) The Pastor is so busy doing What Others Should Be Doing that he Does Not Have Time to do what God called him to do.

(2) Let the Deacons do what God Called Them To Do,

(3) Let the Pastors do what God Called Them To Do,

(4) And, You Will See

Acts 6:7, "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith."

(The Pastors should not be so busy doing what the deacons ought to be doing so that he doesn’t have time to be Obedient To What God Called Him To Do. With the ordination of deacons, the pastors were then free of do what God called them to do, and you can see the results.)

Conclusion:

A. As it was in Hezekiah’s day, so it can be in our day --- Revival Can Begin When God’s People Take Heed To His Word.

B. What Can I Do?

1. Realize that a Lack of Tithing Cripples God’s Work.

2. Honestly Examine Your Own Giving Pattern.

3. Allow Every Member of your church to abide in and do the Work That God Called Them To Do.

1 Corinthians 7:24, "Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God."

1 Thessalonians 4:11, "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;"

C. There’s an old song, "Not the preacher, not the deacon, but it’s me, O Lord, standin’ in the need of prayer."





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