This is the fifth post in my series on Christians and giving from the perspective of Scripture. (See the introduction post here.) I’ve already stated that giving directly to those in need is the most prevalent method of giving by Christians in the New Testament (either by example or instruction). There are also a few examples of Christians giving indirectly to people who are in need. Similarly, there are a few examples in Scripture of Christians giving to those who are traveling from place to place to proclaim the gospel or strengthen churches.
Finally, there are a couple of examples of Christians being encouraged to give in response to the service of some other Christians who are not traveling but are in the same city as themselves. The first example from Galatians is more broad in its context, so I’ll start with it:
One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. (Galatians 6:6 ESV)
The other passage teaches something similar in response to the service of elders:
Let the elders who rule [lead] well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17 ESV)
Similarly, Peter indicates that elders should not serve others only because they receive support, which indicates that some type of gift was often given to elders:
[S]hepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain [or, “not for monetary gain”], but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2-3 ESV)
In each of these instances, someone is sharing or giving something to another believer in response to some service. I think the order is important here: the service is performed (probably continually performed), then the gift is given. I think it’s also evident that the gift is not expected or promised, but is given freely and in gratitude. It’s also important that this type of giving is not limited to elders, but should be offered to any who consistently and continually serve someone or some group.
What would you add to this discussion of Christians giving to other Christians in response to some service?
Giving and the Church in Scripture Series:
2) Christians giving directly to others because of need
3) Christians giving indirectly to others because of need
4) Christians giving to other Christians who are traveling from place to place
5) Christians giving to other Christians in response to some service