For many us, our church tradition, has relied entirely on the principle of voluntary work, and we may not be familiar with (or even be “against”) the idea of paid church workers. However, the New testament teaches and illustrates a variety of ways in which servants of God serve a local church and in mission. Paul taught quite clearly on this matter based on both a direct statement of Jesus and ancient precedent set from the Old Testament.

“The labourer is worthy of his hire” or as it is more plainly put in contemporary English “The worker deserves his wages”! (1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 Cor. 9:3-14). These passages make it clear that as far as the Body of Christ should be concerned (local and universal church perspectives), those who devote their whole time to serve the Lord should be paid well, regularly and in proportion to what the church recognises that they are doing. This should be the normal practice and the concern of each local church, whether the workers be resident in a local congregation (such aa in the per 1 Tim. 5 situation) or itinerant (1 Cor. 9). Galatians 6:6 seems to extend the principle down to personal levels so that we each should support materially (where there is need) those who have helped us spiritually. The New Testament presents this as the general model to be followed in normal circumstances. The sharing with one another what each has (little or great) creates a sense of mutual dependence which is healthy and aids towards the development of the right relationship between full time workers and those they serve amongst.