What is the biblical way for funding missionaries? In an article entitled ‘Issues Facing Missions Today: 6. Remuneration for Ministry’ Rollin Grams suggests this question is flawed because the Bible offers a number of different possible models:

The Levitical, Institutional Religion Model;
The Radical Missionary Model;
The Kingdom Community Model;
The Household Model;
The Qualified Household Worker Model;
The Pauline, Tent Making, Missions Model

Here’s how he introduces his outline of the models. What I like about it is his insistence that we work hard to consider not just how we copy what we see happening in the Bible, but what lies behind what we see. This is another good example of the significance of contextualisation within the mission of God, both in the pages of Scripture but also in our own, contemporary contexts.

We find in Scripture at least six different views on remuneration for ministers.  These involve different models for ministry, each with a different focus, different metaphors for ministry, different things being opposed, and different values.  What we learn from Scripture in examining these models is not the Biblical practice that we ought to follow today but ways in which to discuss these matters as people of the Spirit in our own contexts.  What is required of us is a good performance in our contexts of the various concerns and values that we find in the various Biblical models for ministry.


What do you think?

Interested in learning more about mission in the Bible and the Bible in mission? Check out Redcliffe College’s Study @ pages for more details

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