The faithful God sent and God directed minister of the Lord is responsible to freely give because they have freely received (Matthew 10:8). The faithful recipient of such ministry is responsible to support them because a worker is worthy of his wages (Luke 10:7; 1 Timothy 5:17-18). In God’s Kingdom economy that is not legalistic compulsion, but rather it is Christ’s law of love in operation.
But if a minister is in the habit of refusing to serve or help others who God sends their way unless they receive some form of direct payment or benefit, isn’t that the attitude of a hireling (John 10:13)? And if those receiving faithful ministry refuse to adequately and faithfully give and support those ministers, is this not the attitude of a thief who is robbing God of what belongs to Him? (Malachi 3:8)?
We ministers often encourage others to give generously because we understand that even though we do not give in order to receive, we know that we cannot out-give God who promises to bless us back exponentially. We often quote Luke 6:38, but from the context we know Jesus wasn’t just talking about money here. That said, do we understand that this also applies to the God sent minister of the Lord, and that it means freely sowing what we have freely been given, even where we may never directly reap, as God leads?
Just to be clear, this is not to say that as ministers of the Lord we are to be indiscriminate with our time, talents and relationships, but in our zeal to be deliberate and intentional as we ought to be, are we also sending a dualistic message which says we are not freely available to everyone, but for the right monetary compensation we will consider entering into a mentoring and accountability relationship with you?
If we have been corrupted by the “yeast” of the hireling, I believe that our ability to discern God’s leading may be severely compromised because God’s leading will always be conditioned on our receiving. But that is not the way of Christ, and a servant is not greater than their master.