Share the best things with your pastor and teachers

by Kyle
published August 2, 2014


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I’ve been a full-time pastor for a little over a year, and there have been times when I sat back and wondered to myself things like, “What am I even trying to accomplish here? What do I really want for this person I’m working with? What’s the point?”

Galatians 6:6-10 has the answer to my questions. The passage shows how best to respond to God’s Word and those who teach it.

Immediately following the injunction to everyone to bear their own load, Verse 6 instructs believers to share “all good things” with the people that teach the Bible to them (pastors, elders, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, etc.). This seems to be a contradiction at first blush. Shouldn’t the teachers exemplify the instruction to “bear his own load? (Galatians 6:5)”

This all depends on what you include in “all good things.” Certainly, this verse can be — and has been — abused to support the idea of a raise for the pastor. After all, “the laborer is worthy of his wages (1 Timothy 5:18, another passage easily taken out of context, because Paul is talking about honor rather than salaries).”

Hank Hanegraaf, a Christian apologist, author and radio host, points out how the problem with Christianity in America is its focus is too often that we “come to the Master’s table, not to experience fellowship and intimacy with the Master, but to enjoy what is on the Master’s table.” It is, then especially easy for a 21st-century American Christian to read money into this verse, but if Paul wanted Jesus instead of the money on Jesus’ table, what do you think Paul wanted the Galatian Christians to share with him?

Verses 7 and 8 use an agricultural metaphor. This verse is the source of the idiom, “you reap what you sow.” If you plant a single apple seed, you can expect a single apple tree. If you plant 10 wheat seeds, you can expect 10 ears of wheat. Galatians 6:8 points out that if you plant physical things, you can expect physical results. If you plant spiritual things through your work in a physical world, you should be able to expect spiritual results with physical consequences. Paul is not worried about money, but about action in the Christians God has given him to teach. (In fact, 1 Corinthians 9 is almost entirely spent on how Paul craves a response to the gospel more than a salary.)

Verses 9 and 10 butt right into the previous verses. Paul assures the Galatians that persistently showing God’s love to others will bring a blessing and encourages them to continue doing good, especially - thought certainly not exclusively - to their own Christian brothers and sisters.

So in this short paragraph of Scripture, Paul makes three separate statements that might seem disjointed, but please don’t miss the logical connection between them:

Believers should share “all good things” with teachers of the Bible

You reap what you sow

Do good for other people.

Paul asserts that the Galatians owe him something for sharing the gospel and Word of God with them. That thing is not physical because Paul sowed something spiritual. Instead, Paul wants to see the people in Galatia put the gospel he shared with them to action. He wants to see them apply to their lives everything he has just finished writing them about.

And that is what I want. I want for your life to change because of the gospel. I want you to be transformed by the fact that your every penalty was paid by Christ and that you have his life through faith in him.

If you want to do something nice for your pastor, telling him how much you liked the sermon, or taking him to lunch, or watching his kids so he can take his wife on a date are always appreciated. Even a salary from the church is appreciated. But they all pale in comparison to seeing the result of God’s word changing your heart. Nothing is better for a pastor professionally or personally (it’s always hard to separate the two in ministry) than for you to take God at his Word, apply it to your life, and grow and truly live.

Instead of hearing how much you liked his sermon on Sunday, your pastor desires much more to hear what impact his sermon last Sunday had on your heart and life.

What do you think?

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