Should A Minister Charge For His Ministry?

A few months ago, as we attended the funeral of my sister in law’s husband’s father, a renowned gospel musician was invited. She ministered gloriously. But a few weeks after the funeral, as I visited my sister in law and her husband, we got discussing about the funeral and the expenses…

As we chatted along, we talked about the gospel musician that was invited to the funeral. And my sister in law’s husband disclosed to me that the gospel musician actually charged over a million to come and minister. On hearing that, I was very infuriated and bewildered. And right there and then, I expressed my disappointment and indignation.

Then as I looked up to God for a topic to post for discussion this week, the Lord impressed strongly in my Spirit to post about the erroneous ministration charges by his ministers.

The Unscriptural Charges of Ministers

Over the years, I have heard it said that some ministers of the gospel, including: Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists and Christian musicians charge huge amounts of money in order to go and minister where they are invited to. I didn’t take it much seriously until I have been able to confirm the validity of this particular report.

I have been able to confirm that ministry charges are not only the practice of travelling ministers, but also non-travelling ministers. Many a gospel ministers, including music ministers, don’t move to anywhere for ministry invitation, except a specified amount of money is credited into their accounts.

Then for some, they don’t accept invitations to small congregations knowing they won’t be well paid or given a large honorarium. Then on the other hand, in most local churches, to be able to access the ministers for personal ministration-such as counselling—you must have to obtain a form with good amount of money.

If you don’t have money to obtain the form, you won’t be allowed to see the ministers. And in some cases, during normal meetings, those members who do not have money are excluded from certain ministrations. Then recently, I also hear that people now charge to minister as Choristers in Churches, especially in a starting up local Church. All these stated cases above, are just to name but a few…

And as it is, these practices are increasing on daily basis, both in big and small churches. And of course, these practices do not have any scriptural basis. Hence, they are absolutely unscriptural. And any minister, indulging in such practices with eternity-with Christ—in view should quickly desist.

And any Christian patronizing such ministers and ministries should be wise enough to quickly desist as well. Even if the minister or ministry is valid, we do have a right and spiritual responsibility to reject their ministries; because the ministry gifts of God are not for sale. It is pervasion to charge for any ministry gift.

The Scriptural Due of a Christian Minister

“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

These twelve Jesus sent forth into the way of the Gentiles, and into any City of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely you  have received, freely give.Provide neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat”—Matthew 10:1,5-10

And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you”—Luke 10:8.

From the above scriptures we can clearly see the biblical prototype of a travelling minister, and what is expected of him or her. And also what is expected to be provided for him or her.

Translating the above scripture to modern time, we see that the basic things a travelling minister is due for his ministration are: a shelter (any kind of shelter), Meal(any manageable Meal), and then the minister’s fare should also be provided.

And it is not still out of place for the local church to raise an offering for the minister’s honorarium. But that should be left to the prerogative of the local church. Apart from the basic needs, such as transportation, shelter and food, a minister need not demand for other thing.

After providing for at least the basic needs, the minister should be content. If an honorarium is also added above his basic needs, it is not a sin to accept it. But on the other hand, if it is not given, the minister should also be content to have had the privilege to have ministered to the people of God. And not be offended, and decide not to go and minister there again because he was not given honorarium. That’s a wrong spiritual attitude; because he is a minister of God…

It is true the scripture just quoted says, a workman is worthy of his meat, but his meat giver is his employer, God. Not man. Even though God most of the time uses men…

Then for the local Church minister, he is to minister to all and sundry, with no discrepancies.

He is to minister freely to the poor as well as the rich. He is to minister without charging anyone a dime. Freely he has received and freely he is to give. But then he can receive honorarium from the tithe and offerings as a labourer in the word (1Timothy 5:17-18). And if someone is led of his own free will to sow monetary or material seed to him, of course, he can also receive it.

After all these, and the minister sees that what he receives is not enough income to meet all his or her responsibility, then let him set up a business. A minister setting up a business is not a sin. He can engage in a business that does not encroach into his ministry time (There are many of them these days).

Then eventually, as the business grows, he can employ people to manage the business, while he just plays a supervisory role…

All these are the scriptural ways for a minister to earn his due for a living.

If you have any question, reply or comment, you can post it below for discussion.

Emeke Odili

Emeke Odili