It seems a relic of bygone days or perhaps I am merely romanticizing the past when I say that it seems like the word service has been disconnected from ministry. Be it in the pulpit or the pews, giving heartfelt service to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and for the benefit of His Kingdom and Church has given way to pay to play for musicians and insanely large deposits before I even get there preaching.
Yes I understand that there are those that seek to take advantage of our kingdom mindset and will (to use in the language of this day) prostitute our gifts if we don't stand up for ourselves. Yes there are places that won't treat you right or fair. That will ask you to come at your own total expense, and give you a $25.00 check like who you just won the lottery calling your forward in front of everyone and saying "we ain't trying to pay you...."
Been there, done that...and if the truth be told if I keep on living it will more than likely happen again.
Yet many have gone to the extreme of cash payment in full before some ministers will even walk into the church, what color flowers are in their room, what kind of water and woe if it is the wrong brand, how many attendants are there at beck and call, what color snacks and include all this in a rider to in order to procure their services? It is not good enough to be picked up by your host but in a stretch limo? Really...for one person? You need two rooms one for yourself and the other for your armor bearer, adjutant or assistant who just happens to be of the opposite sex, not your spouse and always has to travel with you? Not buying it.
I hear those of you that say we must dictate and demonstrate to the people how they are to honor and respect us for our calling. That we need to get there, look right, be in right voice, etc. That we are to give honor to honor is due - yet where is God's honor in your dealings? There is a difference between teaching what is right and manipulation for personal gain. Too many are using others to do what they won't do for themselves (work and make a living) or their home church that they pastor won't do for them.
We are thinking too highly of ourselves as we have allowed the business mindset of ministry to cross the line of serving simply because Christ in His compassion saved you, called you and sent you. Yes do things decently and in order, but keep God at the front of every discussion, invitation, and arrangement. You ain't that good or gifted, that is God opening those doors. We need to remember that we serve at His pleasure and discretion and not at our own. God can but think the thought and your every engagement will dry up and blow away like dust. Anytime you get an invitation, God has opened a door unto you. Remember that it is Him that you are serving and He must get the glory out of your going. Getting compensated should be the blessing on top of the blessing of serving Christ, doing His will and being where He needs you to be. We are in His hands so He can use us to be a blessing to His people. Stop pricing yourself out of God's demographic for your life..