It seems like a sound argument… If 100% of Christians tried to do paid-ministry, there’d be no-one to pay them. Therefore the church needs people who will faithfully decide to not do paid-ministry. Right?
Even though the statement is “true” it fails on three counts.
- It’s putting the cart before the horse. You don’t make a decision about entering paid-ministry on the basis of whether other people are doing it. You offer your life to God, you work it out with him – regardless of what other people are doing. What if God actually wants lots of people going into paid ministry!?!?
- No-where near 100% of people are going into full-time ministry. In fact, only about 50% of people who start on the road to paid-ministry end up in paid-ministry. Our church has a congregation of uni-students & grads, and only about %4 of them start on the road to full-time paid ministry!
But think about all the other churches around Australia where students and grads are NOT being challenged to consider paid-ministry!!! That 4% ends up closer to 1%.
Your church may not need more paid-ministers, but Jesus’ church does. So train at your church and take it to other churches.
- The argument implies that people who choose to “stay in the workforce” will be just as helpful to the gospel by being able to pay for others DOING paid-ministry (as compared to going into paid-ministry themselves).
Anecdotally, this is false. If it were true, wouldn’t these people be making the same financial sacrifices those entering FT ministry make? The average MTS Scholarship is about $25-$30k. If you really believe the argument above, doesn’t that mean you should invest every cent you earn above $25k into gospel workers – people who are doing MTS?