A letter to my fellow ministers: 'the example of the Tent maker.'

“After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.”

                                                                                                                              (Acts 18:1-4)

In the above passage, the Bible states that Paul was working as a tentmaker and he would minister on Sabbath to the Jews and Greeks.

Notice that I am talking about the man who wrote a quarter of the New Testament. Paul was working to support himself and his ministry. Since he was working, he was also able to avoid financial hindrances linked to the ministry.

Most of the doctrinal Church knowledge comes from Paul and yet he was working. I say this because, there are many ministers who struggle daily due to the fact that they only minister and do nothing else.

It is one thing to be ministering for a well established ministry or Church that can pay a salary. It is another thing to serve in a ministry that constantly lacks finances.

There will be cases where ministries or churches will not be able to pay a salary to their full-time servants.In such case, I recommend that the servant or minister finds a job or runs a business to finance himself/herself.

Many ministers (especially five-fold ministers) put themselves and their families under pressure for no valid reason. If Paul (the one who worked more than all the Apostles) worked at making tents, then what stops you (the minister) from running a business or from having a job?

Nowhere in the Bible it is written that a minister shall go to hell for running an honest business or for having an honest job in order to sustain himself/herself while serving God. You will not find such verse in the Bible.

There is another thing I have to mention as a piece of advice: ‘simply because you are a minister, it does not mean that you are not supposed to give and financially support the work of God.’

Many ministers make the mistake of exempting themselves from financially supporting the work of God. In Numbers 18:26, even the Levites were told to Tithe whatever Tithe they would receive. In Luke 6:38, Jesus said:

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Being a minister does not exempt you from being a giver. Unfortunately, certain ministers exempt themselves from being givers and they miss on the blessing attached to Luke 6:38.

As a minister of the Word, you must also set an example when it comes to giving. As you give into the ministry, you will also see the increase from God in your personal life. The increase will not necessarily come through the ministry but it may come through an activity you will run (e.g: a business, a job…).

I run a teaching ministry and I won’t refuse a donation or an offering coming my way because:

  • I am not allowed to refuse a donation except in specific cases where God would reject the donation.
  • I will want the donor to receive the blessing attached to his/her gift.

Having said that, I will not wait on a donation to operate in my ministry. At the example of Paul, I finance 99,9% of my ministry expenses (at this point in time) and God blesses me in my activities (I run a business while ministering to over 50 000 people with my writings). Yet, while running a business, I still influence thousands of people daily,weekly and monthly.

If your ministry or church allows you to have a decent salary that can support your family, then Praise be given to God. You will be able to minister full time and it is glorious.

However, if you are struggling to see your needs met as a minister, then explore ways of finding an income through an activity. There are so many ideas to explore and it is not compulsory to limit yourself.

Here is a question for you before I end this post:

The Apostle Paul is the one servant who had brought some of the key revelations and doctrines. Because of him, we know about the apostasy, the Antichrist, the Judgement seat, the structure of the Salvation prayer, the basic rules of ministry and so many other revelations. Yet, Paul was working at making tents and his ministry still has influence on us 2000 years later.

As a financially struggling minister, why would you think that a job or running a business would stop you from serving God? Making tents did not stop Paul.

Why do you impose limitations on yourself to the point of making your family suffer? It is not necessary. Trust me, it is not necessary.

I say this in love.