WHY SHOULD MINISTERS BE GIVEN HONORARIUM?

(The Sentiments. The Extreme. And The Scriptural Balance)

– Pastor Bimbo Animashaun

A man or woman of God must be very firm and strong on BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES but tempered by LOVE.
It is a proof of internal strength and spiritual maturity to be able to separate your PERSONAL OR PRIVATE POLICY from BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES.

Sometimes inability to draw that chasm has done more damage to the Body of Christ than good.
There are matters that the Scripture is very clear on, and we can’t bring in EMOTIONS and SENTIMENTS to look good on the outside.

Those who know what their calling is worth will never do that. We need to be FIRM ON BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES but TEMPERED WITH THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
One issue that has unnecessarily heated up the landscape of the Body of Christ over the years is the issue of HONORARIUM FOR MINISTERS, or if you like, you may expand it by tagging it MINISTERS’ WELFARE.

And to be very frank and candid, many folks have not been very fair to God’s ministers.
Some ministers are afraid to talk about it because they have the fear of being perceived wrongly or being labelled ministers of mammon.

Well, a man or woman of God who is ready to move with God into higher dimensions of the calling must be dead to what people say and uphold the teaching of God’s Word without wavering.

If you think you want to look good or look acceptable to people while stylishly or systematically brushing aside Bible teachings, then you have technically betrayed the sacred trust of Heaven in your calling to uphold the integrity, infallibility and finality of God’s Word with wavering.
Ministers’ Welfare is an issue to talk about because it has a way of dividing the Body of Christ if not presented with Scriptural balance.

Over the course of my ministry, I’ve been privileged of God to preach in several places, and sometimes people inviting me would ask, “Sir, what kind of honorarium should we package for you?”.
Did I say “5 million naira?”. No! Did I say “Ah, don’t worry; I’m only doing God’s work. He will reward me?”. No! Did I say “Oh let me think about it and I will get back to you?”. No!

Personally to me, that question in the first place was unnecessary but I also have a grasp of events in the Body of Christ especially those who charge to preach hence I wouldn’t blame my hosts too much.
What was my response to the honorarium question? I always said, “Do as the Lord has enabled you”.

Somebody might say, “Ah Pastor, you mean you said that. I thought you should have rejected the offer?”.
Yes I said that because I believe in the Word of God without prejudice. You see, I don’t have an opinion when God’s Word has already stated its position on a matter.

I need to say that I can PERSONALLY reject an honorarium offer based on God’s dealing in my heart on a personal level (and I have done that before) but I would never impose that as the standard practice.

The issue here with some ministers is to turn PERSONAL INSTRUCTION into NEW TESTAMENT DOCTRINE for the Church. No, it doesn’t work that way Sir and Ma!
You have a right to accept or reject any honorarium given to you but please don’t impose that on everyone. The Bible already has a position on that.

You see, two wrongs cannot make a right. One extreme is to CHARGE the people certain amounts of money. No, that is merchandising the Gospel of Christ.

Jesus said, freely you have received, freely give – Matt. 10:8. It is therefore wrong to charge people money for preaching; it’s not in the Spirit of Christ.
Another extreme is also to treat ministers shabbily on the pretext that they’re working for God and so God will pay them.
No, that is an act of dishonour and it’s frustrating the Grace of God and muzzling the ox that treads the corn.

I know that many ministers can relay their experiences of being treated shabbily in the past by their host ministries and churches, and I personally have been a victim of it too several times.
From experience, I discovered that those who don’t take care of ministers are sincerely ignorant while in few cases some just appear to be deliberately mischievous by having a misplacement of priorities in their planning.

A very senior minister once told me that he went to preach in a church for some days and they treated him shabbily, having benefited heavily and immensely from the Grace of God upon his life.

They didn’t give the man of God anything and he left sorrowfully. The man of God told me that when he got home, he spoke these words, “I hereby withdraw all the blessings that have been released on the people”.
Did I buy into that? Never! I believe in WALKING IN LOVE! To avoid such extremes, I believe in TEACHING, not CHARGING money.

Even though I didn’t flow with the action of the man of God, on the other hand I also knew that setting forth the truth of God’s Word without prejudice in that direction would minimize such reactions.

Let me say this Beloved; I know a couple of Pastors’ children who would never like to smell ministry not to talk of doing ministry.
Upon interrogation, some of them talk about how their parents suffered financially and materially in the course of their ministerial journey.

They pastored churches that did not take care of them and that formed a negative image in the minds of their children.
So, why do we have to keep mute about matters of ministers’ welfare?
We can look into the Word and see what the Word has said on the matter instead of whipping up EMOTIONS and SENTIMENTS.
We have a couple of scriptures that support the fact that ministers of the Gospel should be well taken care of.

Let’s look at a few of them:
1 CORINTHIANS 9:11
If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your CARNAL THINGS?
GALATIANS 6:6
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in ALL GOOD THINGS.

1 TIMOTHY 5:17
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of DOUBLE HONOUR, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
1 CORINTHIANS 9:14
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

MATTHEW 10:10
…for the workman is worthy of his meat.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-13
And we beseech you brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
And to ESTEEM THEM VERY HIGHLY in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

PHILIPPIANS 4:15-18
Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning GIVING and RECEIVING, but ye only.

For even in Thessalonica YE SENT ONCE AND AGAIN UNTO MY NECESSITY.
Not because I desire a GIFT: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
But I have all, and abound: I am full, HAVING RECEIVED OF EPAPHRODITUS THE THINGS WHICH WERE SENT FROM YOU, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.

1 TIMOTHY 5:18
For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Now these are NOT the OPINIONS of Pastor Bimbo Animashaun; they’re purely Bible POSITION, and I believe in the full counsel of God.

By God’s Grace in our ministry we have never invited any minister and we treated him shabbily. We always give the best and go the extra mile AT OUR LEVEL.
We lodge them in one of the best hotels in town, give them standard welfare package and give them a good honorarium.
I’ve been practicing this principle as far back as year 2003 when I started direct pastoring.

I would rather not invite anyone to speak for me if I know that resources on ground cannot take care of them.
It is called HONOUR. It is “wicked” to invite a minister to a meeting and after he’s done, he’s treated shabbily.
Don’t forget that he has a wife too; he has children too; he has associate pastors too; he has bills to settle too, plus other expenses to make; and he won’t get home and be telling his family “stories”.

His young children run to him to welcome Daddy from his ministerial trip and they ask, “Daddy, what did you bring for us?”. And Daddy just said, “I brought prayers for you”.
Now tell me how such children will perceive ministry work when they grow up.
Let’s stop the maltreatment of ministers – IT IS UNSCRIPTURAL!!!

In the light of the foregoing therefore, we conclude with these thoughts:
(1) No minister should charge any fee or money for preaching the Gospel.
(2) A minister is free to follow the dealings of God in his heart with respect to welfare at any point in time but the Bible has set the standard procedure.
(3) No minister should make honorarium his goal of preaching but how to be a blessing to the people.
(4) In any given situation where a minister is treated shabbily, he should WALK IN LOVE, keep away from offences and God will surely reward him exceedingly.
(5) Inviting ministries and churches should endeavour and do ALL THEIR BEST to take good care of their guest ministers in terms of welfare and honorarium (AT THEIR LEVEL) and stop treating God’s servants shabbily or blackmailing them on welfare issues because there’s a lot of blessing in honouring Grace.

And in all, Christ will be GLORIFIED, the Church will be EDIFIED and God’s mighty move in this end-time will become more FORTIFIED to the praise and Glory of His Name alone.
I trust this made little sense Sirs and Mas?
BLESSINGS!!!

Source: Bimbo Animashaun Teaching Ministries |Published with permission.

Jesus loves you, accept Him today, tomorrow might be too late.

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