In a recent comment under the “Woe unto you hypocrites” post, Becky asked about the hireling question and expressed how she struggles with it. To quote her words:
…there is one thing I still have a hard time with as far as leaving the meetings it is the “hireling” issue . I feel like sending out the ministers in 2′s is scriptural and what Jesus taught . Paying someone to preach and having to make a Mortgage payment on a church building seems like bondage to me.
Interestingly enough, it was a very small issue for me to work through. But I know it can be a big issue for many who are still in the meetings or have been. I think the main reason this was not an issue for me was because in the role of a pastor I know money is needed to do their job.
The church I attend views the church building as simply a place for the church body to meet. Period. There are several thousand people in attendance every week and they need a large campus to accommodate this. I had no trouble giving money to that church because they did not make an issue out of that part of the service and I could not think of a better cause to give my money to. Bottom line; that’s it for me. There is no better cause then to support the furtherance of the Gospel.
However, I do want to look at the verses Becky is referring to from John 10:11-13:
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.”
Jesus was talking about himself. I don’t see any reference there to other preachers or ministers. He was talking about how He was the good shepherd and He was literally going to lay down His life for the sheep. He was going to protect the sheep with His very life. NO ONE could EVER possibly have cared for us like He did and does. It just is not possible. He could not have done anymore.
ONCE AGAIN, the meeting system has taken beautiful verses such as those and made them all about the homeless ministry instead of the focus being 100% on the Good Shepherd. THIS is the issue here! Over and over again, the meeting group has taken the focus off of Jesus and made it all about them. Amazing and tragic.