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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Plumber and the Preacher

Picture it—you call a plumber to your house to fix a broken pipe. He repairs the pipe, and you pay him for his time and whatever parts he installs. It is a normal transaction.
Now picture this—your church calls a supply preacher to fill the pulpit because your pastor is on vacation or sick. The supply preacher drives a considerable distance to minister to your congregation, preaches, and returns home without having received any compensation. Incredible? Perhaps. Uncommon? Not as uncommon as you might think.
I have supply preached often without knowing what compensation I would receive. Sometimes the compensation has been a big fat zero. Nevertheless, I would rather preach without pay than be paid not to preach.
Churches ought to be businesslike, offering fair compensation for ministry. Jesus said, “the worker deserves his wages” (Luke 10:7), and the apostle Paul instructed the Corinthian church to do everything “in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
Maybe we need to elect more plumbers to serve as church treasurers!