Church Staffers, Know Your Biblical Role
The Bible places a clear choice for all who ‘serve at the altar’, all who serve at today’s churches. Pastors and staff have a similar choice. Let’s take a look at this section. Fist we are told that we do have a right to accept pay for our labor, but soon after we see the cost of exercising that right.
CEV 1 Cor 9;5 We each have the right to marry one of the Lord’s followers and to take her along with us, just as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Peter do. 6 Are we the only ones who have to support ourselves by working at another job? 7 Do soldiers pay their own salaries? Don’t people who raise grapes eat some of what they grow? Don’t shepherds get milk from their own goats? 8-9 I am not saying this on my own authority. The Law of Moses tells us not to muzzle an ox when it is grinding grain. But was God concerned only about an ox? 10 No, he wasn’t! He was talking about us. This was written in the Scriptures so that all who plow and all who grind the grain will look forward to sharing in the harvest. 11 When we told the message to you, it was like planting spiritual seed. So we have the right to accept material things as our harvest from you. 12 If others have the right to do this, we have an even greater right. But we haven’t used this right of ours. We are willing to put up with anything to keep from causing trouble for the message about Christ. 13 Don’t you know that people who work in the temple make their living from what is brought to the temple? Don’t you know that a person who serves at the altar is given part of what is offered? 14 In the same way, the Lord wants everyone who preaches the good news to make a living from preaching this message. 15 But I have never used these privileges of mine, and I am not writing this because I want to start now. I would rather die than have someone rob me of the right to take pride in this. 16 I don’t have any reason to brag about preaching the good news. Preaching is something God told me to do, and if I don’t do it, I am doomed. 17 If I preach because I want to, I will be paid. But even if I don’t want to, it is still something God has sent me to do. 18 What pay am I given? It is the chance to preach the good news free of charge and not to use the privileges that are mine because I am a preacher. 19 I am not anyone’s slave. But I have become a slave to everyone, so that I can win as many people as possible.
The call to Prophesy;
NIV 1 Cor 14;39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
This spells out a preacher’s call, but what about the other staff? The same principle applies. If we accept pay for our service we can no longer claim our work as God’s call on our life. It can no longer correctly be viewed as our ministry, now it is a just a job.
NIV Rom 6;6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
With this assignment in mind, all service that we offer can be considered our call so long as we are doing what God [not men] asks us.
Today’s churches erroneously give staff more authority than the servants. The Bible clearly gives the authority to servant.
CEV Mat 20;25 But Jesus called the disciples together and said: You know that foreign rulers like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over everyone they rule. 26 But don’t act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. 27 And if you want to be first, you must be the slave of the rest. 28 The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue many people.
Servant Leadership issues are more fully developed here;
The church staffer who takes authority from any servant, especially from a servant leader is guilty of stealing. God does not excuse ignorance.
‘No reward for doing our duty’
MSG Luke 17:7 “Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, ‘Sit down and eat’? Wouldn’t you be more likely to say, ‘Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I’ve finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper’? Does the servant get special thanks for doing what’s expected of him? It’s the same with you. When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.'”
Staff members do have the choice. They can continue to receive a salary, but if hey do, they must relinquish their call to that ministry & their authority. They are essentially the employee of the servant leaders. Servant Leadership Spiritual Maturity
May all paid staff who are able to work as tent makers choose that option. May those in today’s churches begin to follow the Biblical giving model; giving primarily to the poor, the weak, the foreigner, the prisoner and to mission work; no longer wasting over 75% on staff salaries, buidlings & elaborate un-biblical substitutes for authentic worship gatherings. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.