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Just a little bit confused ; is it okay to preach for money or not?
Hello Keith. I'm unsure whether you mean that the preacher should request payment for his services or whether he should accept it as a gift?
For the former option, my understanding is there should not be a request for payment or salary. I also understand that the role of today's pastors/teachers within a Fellowship is generally a paid position, as those serving in such a capacity also need to pay bills & have their needs met, but in the NT Church this wasn't the case. At that time, elders were appointed to lead, direct & teach their congregations from the Word & they also had their own jobs to attend to. In the case of the Apostle Paul, he worked for a living as well ministered to others (
1 Corinthians 4:11-13
1 Corinthians 9:6
). As far as I know, the Brethren Assemblies & maybe some very small house Churches only follow that principle today.
Whether a preacher should accept payment as a gift: I think that would be in order to do, as the Fellowship has set aside this 'gift of thanks & appreciation' to the one who has taken the trouble to prepare & deliver God's Word to them. What the preacher does with that gift (i.e. to use it for his needs or to return it back via the offering plate) would be his choice. Again, to use Paul's example, he often received such gifts, most likely in 'kind' rather than monetary, & he saw no problem in doing so.
1 Corinthians 9:11-14
2 Corinthians 11:7-9
("wages" (v8) allows for both a 'payment, provisions, support').
I always maintain the position, that the preacher should share the Gospel/God's Word free of charge. If he is placed in a full-time position within a Fellowship, then he can receive whatever the eldership determines, even a nominal amount. If he is an itinerant preacher, he either supports himself from his own resources or by doing other work, and fully trusts the Lord to meet his needs. And many have gone to serve overseas based on that dependence on the Lord.
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