Jesus and welfare of ministers
Incontestably, Jesus did not only send out His disciples to the mission field, but He also had their welfare in mind. Yes, He said they should not take any purse or sandals or staff, yet the worker deserved his wages. This implies that those who labour in the mission field as ministers deserve to be taken care of by the different ministries they represent or work for. This should be the attitude.
Nevertheless, we must commend those ministers who see their work as a priority: teaching, visiting and healing where necessary. Such ministers serve sacrificially and efficiently, too. That is why their congregations do take note, as they go all out in turn to support and encourage them. It is to be noted that the type of care given to such ministers have ended up boosting their morale in the service of God. However, there are a few, who may not have been living up to expectations in the mission field and such persons always complain, antagonise and sometimes meddle with Church funds, but should this be so?
The scripture is very clear on its stand for ministers: “Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?” (1 Cor. 9: 13). This writer was and still is a beneficiary of such benevolence from people of God at different times. We must acknowledge that a recipient of such benevolence should be cool headed and more committed to the work God has called him to do.
The ministerial maxim is still correct: “whoever He calls, He equips.” If truly Jesus called one into His Kingdom business, naturally such a person would not be stranded or suffer. Elder John long ago recognised God’s mind about His workers, as he said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers,” (3 John 1: 2). One truly called and equipped by the Master cannot, therefore, misbehave on the mission field.
It is sad to observe today that “all manner of persons” have invaded the Church. We now have false teachers and false prophets, who are on the mission field to confuse and confound gullible members of the congregation. On the surface, it would seem as though they are working for the Lord, but a closer look would reveal that they are not working with the Lord. However, we should be encouraged, as long ago, Jesus has taken care of these categories of people. What did He do about them? “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of iniquity!” (Matt. 7: 23).
Therefore, ministers called by Jesus should be rest assured that things pertaining to their welfare would be taken care of. Provisions are to be made for them through different Church congregations and ministries they serve. However, we are glad to announce to somebody this morning that those who partner with Jesus on this provision to His ministers shall never lose their reward. St. Matthew was right, when he noted thus: “and whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” (Matt. 10: 42). Amen.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.