Ministry finances part 2
Acts 20:34 “You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.”
Chemists, taxi drivers, farmers, shop-keepers, teachers, fishermen, carpenters and musicians. This is the list that I have just reeled off quickly from memory of the jobs that the National heads of Elim Global have as they lead thousands of churches across the world. They need jobs in order to have the money for their families but also for their ministries.
They do not rely on hand-outs and they do not beg from the other nations.
There are beggars in this world but they do not work, they do not use their hands to supply their own needs. It wouldn’t be as bad if they totally relied on God who supplies all our needs, they don’t. They rely on others to give. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not get a begging letter. I am often left wondering how instead of giving a fish I can give a fishing-net and teach them to fish.
I know some Pastors in the UK who are bi-vocational and as a result their churches are thriving because they can use finances for evangelism. In fact John works for me 2 days a week and the rest of the time he is leading a growing church. Some are Pastors on teams and it means the Church has the benefit of extra leadership gifts simply because of the bi-vocational model.
Before my time at bible college many years ago I heard how in the ‘old days’ they would teach car mechanics in the college! What a great idea! The apostle Paul had the skill of tent-making. Maybe we do need more Pastors with a skill of mechanics or tent-making or perhaps as with one of our National heads when he commissions his church planters they are given a wheelbarrow or some supplies to start a craft or soap-making business?
Paul paid his own way in ministry and not only of himself but of others too. It is an interesting and sometimes uncomfortable thought for those of us who are paid by the ‘Church’.