Why am I having financial struggles, even though I serve God through ministry?

Question:

Why am I having financial struggles, even after I chose God first and serve Him through ministry rather than a secular job?


Answer:

True preaching has never been known to pay well. While there were times Paul received enough financial support to focus completely on the preaching of the Gospel, there were many times that he worked a side job.

  • "And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers. And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks" (Acts 18:2-4).
  • "You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (Acts 20:34-35).
  • "To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now" (I Corinthians 4:11-13).
  • "For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God" (I Thessalonians 2:9).
  • "For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example" (II Thessalonians 3:7-9).

Many preachers that I know of, including myself, work side jobs to be able to preach. There are times when the side job is unnecessary because the brethren are providing adequate support, but a preacher knows that preaching does not provide a steady income.

Consideration also needs to be given toward expenditures. Sometimes a preacher is receiving an adequate income but he is not living within his means. You have to be a good steward of the things God has provided.