Why is the church left without pastors due to financial shortages?
The church of the Lord Jesus is led by ministers who have been entrusted to shepherd the flock of Christ willingly and according to the will of God, following the example of the flock. The Church has always had a great need for dedicated servants of Christ, but we must note with sadness that today the Church is in great need of faithful leaders who are obedient to Christ.
One of the reasons why servants give up pastoral work is lack of finances. Some pastors, while in the church ministry, have to go to work to support their family financially. They do this because they are not paid by the church. The Bible tells us that the Church must pay the pastor. However, I believe that no servant should give up his ministry due to lack of finances. The apostle Paul was not always financially supported in the work of preaching the Gospel. When he had money, he devoted himself entirely to the work of teaching the Word of God (Philippians 4:16). And when he had no money, he made tents and sold them, and with the money he earned he continued to serve churches (Acts 18:3). Here is what the apostle Paul wrote when he planted the church in Thessalonica.
“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.”(2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 NASB)
But perhaps someone will tell you that the apostle Paul had no family, children, school, taxes, etc. It is known that the apostle Paul was accompanied on all his missionary journeys by his disciples, whom he took care not to miss. The apostle Paul’s priority was the gospel, but not the financial part. Because he had an attitude of gratitude in all the circumstances of his life, the financial part he needed so much is in the shadow of the work of preaching the Word of Christ.
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. ” (Philippians 4:10-18 NASB)
Another reason why the church is left without pastors is that it does not understand the importance of financially supporting the pastor. In the Epistle to the Galatians, the apostle Paul says:
The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.(Galatians 6: 6-8 NASB)
Money management is a test for every Christian. The way we manage money shows us what our heart’s priorities are. Based on the principle of sowing and reaping, the apostle Paul’s exhortation is to share in all our possessions with the pastor or teacher who teaches us from God’s Word. No one can avoid the law of sowing and reaping, so Paul emphasizes, “God does not allow himself to be mocked.” The word “mocked” means “to fool, to treat with contempt.” God will not allow His worker to be despised and mistreated by those whom he either teaches or shepherds. Jesus told His disciples, “He is worthy to be paid” (Luke 10:7).
Not supporting the church pastor financially is a mockery of God. It happens that the church supports the minister, but wants to control him by providing financial support. The church may blackmail and tyrannize the pastor into preaching what they want to hear, and if the minister preaches something that bothers him, he threatens to stop giving him financial support. Of course, this is the wrong way to treat the servant.
Another opinion is “Why should I give the servant when he has?” This view comes from envy, not from an attitude of gratitude and appreciation for the teaching received and the fact that he was instructed in God’s Word.
Another misconception is “Don’t we give him too much?” It is never too much for the one who sows spiritual seed. Paul says, “And what if we shall reap your temporary goods in exchange for your own that we plant in your heart?”
The relationship between the teacher and the learned is that of “koinonia” “fellowship” or “partnership”. Thus, Paul writes: “He that is instructed in the Word is partaker of all his goods, and of him that teacheth him. The teacher shares the spiritual goods with them, and they share the material goods with him. Sharing material possessions with the teacher should not be seen as a payment, but as a fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
May God help us to have a proper attitude toward the ministers of Christ’s church.
Translated by Olya Trikolich