They said to him, “Be silent, put your hand over your mouth and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?”(Judges 18:19 NASB)
The Levite in this passage was hired by Micah to be his household priest for ten pieces of silver (Judges 17:10). If our motivation in ministry is to get money, we can be hired for ten pieces of silver and persuaded to go elsewhere for eleven.
The Bible says that the worker is worthy of his hire (Matthew 10: 10). God knows that you need clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and food in your stomach. There is nothing wrong in earning a decent living through Gospel, but it is all about motive. Do your serve to eat, or do you eat so you can serve. If you do the former you have a job, the latter qualifies what you do as a ministry. The biblical words service and ministry come from the same Greek root. If what we do for the Lord seeks to benefit ourselves first, it ceases to be a biblical ministry.
Within reason, it is really not about the amount of our compensation. You can be just as covetous of a hundred dollars as you are a thousand. It’s all about why we do what we do. If we can be hired like the Levite for the best offer, we will continue to be led by the highest bidder, and not the will of God. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing