As I began my journey of partnership development a few months ago, I wrote that I wanted to tell you a little bit of the biblical basis for support raising that I have learned over the years. One common question is, “Is it biblical to live on support?” Since I had been thinking of missions for most of my life, I always knew I would be living on support, and it didn’t bother me. However, when I married Daniel, it suddenly became an issue! At that time, I realized that a lot of people have this question, and as a result, I wanted to find out the answer.
The first example we can look at is Jesus. That’s right, Jesus lived on support! Luke 8:1-3 talks about Jesus’ ministry and the people who traveled with him, mentioning the Twelve and some women. The end of verse 3 says, “These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” This means that these women were using their own private resources to take care of Jesus and his disciples. Though Jesus was trained as a carpenter, he wasn’t supporting himself by doing carpentry during his ministry. Instead, he was content to live on the support of these women.
Later, in Luke 9:1-6 and Luke 10:1-16 Jesus sends out his disciples to preach the gospel. In both places he commands them not to take any provisions, but to rely on the hospitality of those they stay with. He says this because, “…the worker deserves his wages.” (Luke 10:7). In other words, Jesus was saying that their evangelistic work merited payment, as any other work. However, since evangelism doesn’t create profit like selling goods, the payment should be made by those who receive the benefit of the work or those are invested in seeing the benefit of the work.
From Jesus’ example, we can say that living on support definitely is biblical. Another question I have thought about is “What about tentmaking, like Paul?” I’ll talk a little bit about this in my next newsletter.