By Festus Ndukwe.
A minister or pastor or missionary can make demands on church members or brethren to give for the Lord’s work or project in church or in the mission field. They can also challenge the brethren to give towards a brother’s or family’s need. But he will hesitate to do it for himself. He must trust God to meet his legitimate needs.
Blessedness of Faith
The minister must not talk about himself. If he walks with God and trusts Him to meet his needs, the members will never forget him. They will so much bless him that he will be the one to tell them, ‘it is enough.’ But if he makes the mistake to think it is his right for the church or one well-to-do member to care for him, he will be making a great mistake. God will do it that the members will not look his way at all.
If the minister is in gainful employment or business, he should realise that the care he receives from his members will not be the same with the care a minister receives who is in full time ministry work. They will give the latter more care than the former. This is how it works in God’s economy.
If need be, a minister should not accept payment of salary or allowance. The people can take responsibility for his accommodation and bills if they have the means. For his other needs, he should trust God. If he collects salary he has limited the source of his income. Until a committee meets to review his income, he will receive only what has been fixed for him. If they do not meet on time or give a reasonable increase, he will be murmuring and grumbling, forgetting that they are not the one that employed him but God. But if he does not collect salary and looks unto God to meet his needs, he will not be limited. A time may come when the economy of the country is down, God will send a raven to bring his allocation from one brother in Europe or America or even Benin Republic.
An invitation to pot-belly
Again, if the minister collects salary and the church bank rolls all his needs, he will begin to eat so much that he begins to have pot belly, and live in affluence. He will begin to experience spiritual famine as the grace of the Spirit that God often pours on His servants that live by faith will no longer come to him. He will not only be spiritually poor, his church will be poor spiritually. He will keep turning his messages in different ways every Sunday. Actually, he has no new messages. New messages often come from deprivation, lack, necessities and suffering affliction.
You rarely hear people speak against ministers who live in the way of faith and contentment. This is what gives ministers authority over men. They can rebuke and correct people. You can give your tithe, prophet or first fruit offering to the church, but a minister that is free from filthy lucre will not ask you to give them to him. He has faith that all that the Father has given him will come to him, even from outside his congregation. May God raise ministers that will live this way!
●●Ndukwe, a Lagos-based minister, can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.