Supporting ‘WORK IN THE LORD’

The support of Servant Leaders by those they serve is God’s design!

A healthy Body supports their leaders at a level where they are not poor, but also not at a level where they are not required to depend on God.

1st Corinthians 9:1-14

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

  • Paul is establishing his ‘Bonafides’…Leaders should have a track record
  • The community should be able to see God working through leaders
  • The recognition that we all have benefited from someone’s ‘Work in The Lord’

This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?

  • There appears to have been a group complaining about supporting them
  • His peers are supported but he and Barnabas are held to a different standard

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing?

  • Anyone works for the benefit of others should share in the benefits as well
  • Not only is this common sense, it is God’s way (God of Justice)

For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.

  • The principal is illustrated by the Ox example, but applies to us
  • God designed us to work based on our directly sharing in ‘The fruit of our labor’
  • This is why Socialism doesn’t work: work is detached from result of it
  • The book of Proverbs is where God fully explains his ‘Work Ethic’

If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.

  • Exchange of ‘Spiritual Seed’ for ‘Material Harvest’…is this mutually beneficial?
  • It is a good thing to support ‘Missionaries & Para Churches’…
  • As long as you fulfill your immediate commitments as a member of a ‘Body’
  • Leaders must not leverage power for support… trust God & ‘Work in The Lord’
  • We aspire to lead not for the support, but because we are called to it…

Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

  • O.T. TheTemple was place of worship, those who facilitated were supported
  • Those who made the sacrifices were material supported by the community
  • The preaching of the Gospel equates to making sacrifices
  • Command of Scripture: The Body must materially support it’s Servant Leaders

Application Questions:

Who’s ‘Work in The Lord’ has benefited you? How might you support them?

How should christian professionals be compensated compared to their peers?

How might you intentionally act to better support leaders in Jesus’ Church?

When you consider vocational ministry, do the economics of it discourage you?