I read an account from a church pastor who recently had some work done at his home by an electrician. The electrician asked him, as the homeowner, “What do you do for a living?” To which he replied, “I am a church pastor.”
The electrician, while still working with the wires in the man’s ceiling said, “So you are a professional pastor?” “Yes,” said the home owner, “I guess you can say that. I guess I am a professional pastor because it is my paid job.”
The electrician blurted out, “There’s no professional pastor in the Bible, as far as I know” and he added “Don’t you think that if we’re going to be biblical we ought not to have professional pastors and we ought to be meeting in homes and not separate buildings?”
The pastor home owner quickly replied, “There’s no electricians in the Bible, don’t you think you ought not to be doing electrical work on people’s homes?” According to the account that I read, the conversation ended when the electrician replied back to the pastor, “Touché.”
I’m sharing this story about the pastor and the electrician because I read it the same day that I was studying through 1 Corinthians 9 for the CrossHope Chapel Bible teaching series.
In 1 Corinthians 9 the Apostle Paul shares that not only are men called of God to the position of church pastors, but the church is called of God pay them.
Professional pastors are biblical.
1 Corinthians 9:13-14 says, “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel” (ESV).
As you read and study the full passage, Paul makes the point that he did not use his “right to be paid” because he was ministering to the Gentiles and he did not want to throw a perceived roadblock in front of the believers. We also read from the chapter that at some point they did pay a minister in their group. The other Apostles were paid ministers in their ministerial endeavors, and that was likely because they were ministering among Jewish believers who already understood the concept and need to pay their religious leaders among them.
I love the simplicity of today’s house church movement, but it is erroneous to believe that the position of a pastor is not supported in the Scripture. You can read my earlier post “Pastoral Calling” where I touched on the biblical principles of the work of the pastor.
Let me share another thing that struck me as interesting. The very same day that I read this account regarding the professional pastor and the electrician. I was listening to Christian talk radio, as I often do, and the speaker was talking about his recent trip to Israel. As he was sharing his itinerary for one of those days, he happen to mention visiting a home that once belong to one the Apostle’s family and at the time of their death, the home was transformed into a dedicated building for believers to gather.
That sounds like a church, that likely had a professional pastor.