As our little Jesus community prays and grows, prays and grows, seeks the Lord’s heart and grows, we have been studying 1 & 2 Corinthians and have been impacted by something. Paul made a focus with these believers of pressing them into Christ and dismantling hero worship and earthly kingdom-building. He shares his spiritual and human ambitions resume with these believers only to dismantle their temptation to over-value human ambitions and in so doing miss the glories of Calvary, the wonder of the cross of Jesus Christ and what His death means for those who follow Him.
We so quickly move on from the Gospel or make our career possibilities in preaching the Gospel our focus once we feel we are sufficiently pumped up and zealous for Jesus. Literally, I feel it in my gut often that making a living by preaching the Gospel is the next step, and yet I am with the rest of western minds when I think this way and missing Paul’s emphasis! This grieves me deeply, and yet I’m encouraged to be building with our little church family a rhythm that stays closer to Paul’s thrust with this. It’s not to say along the way that pastors and missionaries and others can’t make a living from preaching the Gospel, but we should be much slower to “award” such a living and definitely not see vocational ministers of the Gospel as somehow graduates to “the next level” when Paul actually was making the opposite emphasis! He was emphasizing that the Corinthian believers couldn’t say he cared about them because they were paying him to do so.
This is something I feel a deep, deep joy over is that none of our church family members, nor those we are searching out in love, can ever say that any of our house church pastors nor all of the co-ministers of the Gospel among us, ever received any “wages” for their hours of devoted love and service to one another’s and outsiders’ needs.
May the Gospel of Jesus and Jesus Himself be the memory most concreted on the hearts of those we serve together!