September 12, 2022

Acts 18:1-4 After Athens, Paul went to Corinth. That is where he discovered Aquila, a Jew born in Pontus, and his wife, Priscilla. They had just arrived from Italy, part of the general expulsion of Jews from Rome ordered by Claudius. Paul moved in with them, and they worked together at their common trade of tentmaking.

Should Christian churches have full time pastors? Some groups say “no.” states, “A somewhat common belief in modern days is that if salvation is by grace, ministry should be free. After all, the pastor only works two hours a week.” Leaders in the synagogues of the 1st century had other means of support. In the passage above we find Paul working at tentmaking to support himself. However, just a few verses later we find “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was able to give all his time to preaching and teaching” (5). It seems they brought a financial gift for Paul that allowed him to devote all his time to his spiritual work. But, apparently the question was not totally settled in Corinth as Paul will later write back to that congregation, “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:13, 14). In many parts of the world and in many congregations in the U.S. today there are not enough resources to support a full time pastor. New models need to be established and some have taken on the term “Tentmaking ministries” from the passage above. It is a wonderful blessing for a congregation to have a full time pastor; just ask a congregation who can no longer afford one! But those called by God to ministry will do whatever it takes to fulfill their calling. Will you?


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