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Are All Elders to be Paid for Their Work as an Elder?

July 14, 2007

The relevant biblical passages are; Romans 15:22-27; 1 Corinthians 9:1-23; 2 Corinthians 11:7-9; Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:10-18; 1 Thessalonians 2:5-9; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-11; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; 2 Timothy 2:4-6

Church leaders;

1) may be aided in their ministry by gifts from the congregation, Rom. 15:22-27

2) have the right to live a conventional life comparable with the rest of believers, 1 Cor. 9:1-23

3) have the right to refrain from ‘secular’ work, 1 Cor. 9:1-23

4) have the right to be materially supported by the congregation, 1 Cor. 9:1-23, 2 Thess. 3:7-11

5) have the option not to take advantage of their right of material support if taking advantage will limit the gospel ministry, 1 Cor. 9:1-23

6) who proclaim the gospel have the right to make their living by the gospel, 1 Cor. 9:1-23

7) may make limited use of the right of financial support by the congregation, 1 Cor. 9:1-23

8) must do what is best for the furtherance of the gospel and the congregation, 1 Cor. 9:1-23

9) are not wrong in refusing the material support due them, 2 Cor. 11:7-9

10) should not be a material burden on those they minister to, 2 Cor. 11:7-9, 12:13-16, 1 Thess. 2:5-9, 2 Thess. 3:7-11

11) must not be greedy and seek after the material things of the congregation, 2 Cor. 12:13-16

12) must be willing to be expended and expendable, 2 Cor. 12:13-16

13) must be content in whatever financial circumstances they find themselves in, Phil. 4:10-18

14) must not be greedy for what is rightly due them, 1 Thess. 2:5-9

15) may assert their right for material support from the congregation, 1 Thess. 2:5-9

16) must do what is best for the congregation when it comes to material support, 1 Thess. 2:5-9

17) must be an example of how to take care of material things, 2 Thess. 3:7-11

18) who perform their duties well may be materially supported to a greater degree than those leaders who do not serve as well, 1 Tim. 5:17-18

19) who work hard at preaching and teaching are to be considered for greater material support over those who do not preach and teach as well, 1 Tim. 5:17-18

20) are to receive material support for their work, 1 Tim. 5:17-18

21) should be the first to receive material support from the congregation, 2 Tim. 2:4-6

Congregations;

1) are materially indebted to those who minister spiritual things to them, Rom. 15:22-27

2) are obligated to materially support those who minister to them spiritually, 1 Cor. 9:1-23

3) must not limit spiritual ministers by restricting their material support, 1 Cor. 9:1-23

4) are obligated to help needy leaders who minister in other congregations, 2 Cor. 11:7-9

5) are to share all of their good things with those who teach them the Word of God, Gal. 6:6, Phil. 4:10-18

6) must be disciplined in material matters just like the leadership, 2 Thess. 3:7-11

7) must materially support their own leadership before helping others, 2 Tim. 2:4-6

SUMMARY

Congregations are indebted to their leadership and obligated to materially support those who minister to them spiritually. They are to share all things with those who teach them the Word of God. The congregation must not limit spiritual ministers by restricting their material support.

Church leadership has the right to refrain from ‘secular’ work and be materially supported by the congregation. Those who proclaim the gospel have the right to make their living by the gospel and receive material support for their work. Those who work hard at preaching and teaching and who perform their duties well may be supported to a greater degree than those leaders who do not serve as well. Not all leaders need to receive the same amount of material support.

Church leaders may assert their right for material support from the congregation, but this is a right, not a command. Each church leader can decide not to take advantage of material support by the congregation, depending on the circumstances. If accepting material support will limit the gospel ministry of the leader or the congregation then the leader must not take it, though they may make limited use of the right. The leadership must do what is best for the gospel and the congregation and they are not wrong in refusing the material support that is their due. The church leadership must not be a material burden on those they minister to.

1) The congregation is obligated to materially support the leadership.

2) The leadership has a right to be materially supported by the congregation.

3) The leadership may assert or decline their right to material support.

4) The leadership must not assert this right if it hinders the gospel or is a burden to the congregation.

5) The leadership may make limited use of material support.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2009 3:23 am

    I tend to think that the best way to further the message of Christ is to make it where people can do that fulltime instead of worrying about what their family will eat. That’s life but if we can make it where missionaries and ministers don’t have to worry with that they can put more of their effort to spreading the gospel.

  2. Jim permalink
    April 6, 2013 4:08 pm

    The verses being used to support that elders should receive compensation are not written about elders.
    Paul writes about himself and his companions doing the work of apostles.
    The verses dealing with elders or teachers.
    Giving double honor is not money.
    Sharing with a teacher is not payment.
    Its the word for sharing is fellowship.(Stott)

    Elders are always plural in the bible when dealing with local assemblies.

    Apostles getting paid ….yes
    Elders …… No

    Church is supposed to look like 1Cor 11-14 without the divisions.
    Every member a participant . I.E. singing, prophesying, teaching and so on… not a few paid professionals doing what the whole church should be doing.
    This is why we have so many weak “note takers” ever learning and only a few world changers experiencing God and being Jesus to a hurting world. John 14 …..doing the works that Jesus did.

    Things have to change.
    The reformation brought about solid teaching but falls short in early church practice. Instead we have replaced the pope with the preacher.
    Everything hinges on a preacher and not Jesus, very sad.
    Let me make my point.
    If your pastor left the church this Sunday and you couldnt replace him for the next two years. What would happen?
    Paul planted 23 churches (I think) and appointed elders within those churches
    after men in those assemblies showed the traits of being caring protectors that where able to teach.
    This took years, that is why Paul “the sent one” sent Timothy to appoint elders in the churches.
    He wasn’t sent to training someone to care and protect and to teach. He was sent to recognize the ones already doing it.
    Think of it… Thriving churches with no recoginized leadership. No hierarchy.
    Jesus was the head of these assemblies and he spoke through all his members!
    Now that is having church!

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