We began to look at potential sources for provision for fivefold trans-local ministers who are not home often and long enough to hold down a full-time job to earn money to support their family and ministry. Let’s continue this brief overview where we left off yesterday.
One of the ways to finance both personal and ministry expenses as a five-fold minister is “tent-Making.”
This type of provision is entirely funded by a person’s own secular work. In Acts 18:1-3, we see that there was no church money supporting Paul at this time. He earned his income by his own labours: “…because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them…” Tent-making is working at a job or business to earn income to finance a fivefold minister’s family and the next church plant if he is planting a church. We are hearing more and more about how the Lord is beginning to supply the needs of those in ministry by new business ventures. It is something that the Holy Spirit is doing.
Then there is the financial support that comes from a team consisting of family members and friends.
With the extra manpower of Silas and Timothy arriving to help Paul in his work, in Acts 18, we notice that Paul shifts from full-time secular work to having his finances provided for him so that he could devote all his time to others. “When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching…” He could do this because additional breadwinners arrived, and they could pool their paycheques, so Paul would not have to work at a tent-making job. Paul now has a team supporting him financially while he ministered full-time.
In Luke 8:1-3, we read that Jesus had a team who supported Him from their substance. Many para-church ministries encourage workers and church planters to build a support team of family, friends, and churches who give financially on a regular basis to support them in their calling and ministry. This is a Scriptural way for the Lord to provide for the fivefold ministry. This idea is to find others who believe in your calling and ministry, and give them an opportunity to sow into your life financially as you accomplish that ministry.
We must be careful here that we place our dependency entirely on the Lord and do not become dependant on others to supply our needs. We should not become Christian beggars, constantly asking people for finances. If the Lord is calling you to fivefold ministry then He has a financial plan to see it happen without putting undue pressure or guilt on people to support you financially. I believe that you as an individual should be supplying at least some of your own finances, whether it is through a job or ministry work that you are paid for, in order to generate some of your own support.
In this type of ministry support some principles should be followed. There needs to be a communication link with those who are supporting you and the ministry that you are doing. We are all stewards of what the Lord has given us, and we are responsible to put our money into fruitful areas of ministry. Regular communication with updates and reporting ongoing vision are necessary to keep those supporting you aware of all that the Lord is doing in your life and the lives of those whom you are touching.