What does the Bible say about paid located preachers or evangelists?

There were several questions raised by the apostle Paul’s objectors or critics. He answers some of those in the text below, 1 Corinthians 9:

They challenged his authority as an apostle, they challenged his right to a family, such as other men, they challenged his right to be paid as a preacher, teacher or apostle while he worked among them.

Paul quotes an example from the Old Law as an application of how thing are to be done. From this passage, Paul makes application. The one who sows spiritual things has the right to reap their carnal things. In other words, he has the right to be paid a living wage of some sort for the work he is doing. Paul goes on to say that he did not exercise that right, because he did not want his critics to have any basis for discrediting him and his work. There may be other passages that we could cite, but this one is sufficient to justify or to show that those who minister in the word have a right to be supported by the church with their worldly possessions.

Paul gives three examples: 1. A soldier who goes to war has the right to be paid for his services, 2. a person who works a vineyard has the right to enjoy the fruits of the vineyard, and 3, a person who herds sheep has a right to be supported by the products of the herd.

Notice verse 14, Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. Paul makes no conditions of the principle above, whether the preacher is located or not. Paul was located at Corinth, since he stayed there about 18 months. He also preached at Ephesus about 3 years. The preacher has the right to be paid. There is no reference in this principle that Paul lays down that would suggest the preacher must or must not be in a certain place or be traveling or what.

The apostle Paul even taught that elders of the church who serve full time in their work in word and doctrine are eligible to be paid a wage for their work. Again, the quote from scripture in verse 18 clarifies what he means by “double honor.”

1 Timothy 5:16-18
16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

I Corinthians 9:
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

1 Corinthians 9:1-10:1
9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

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