Beyond the Mic with Mike

Investing in Ministry with Pastor James Stewart

April 12, 2024 Season 1 Episode 12
Investing in Ministry with Pastor James Stewart
Beyond the Mic with Mike
More Info
Beyond the Mic with Mike
Investing in Ministry with Pastor James Stewart
Apr 12, 2024 Season 1 Episode 12

I'd love to hear from you!

**Title:** "Investing in Ministry with Pastor James Stewart"

Join us in this enlightening episode as we explore the theme of 'Investing in Ministry' with Pastor James Stewart, who has over 14 years of pastoral experience and a significant secular career. Pastor Stewart shares profound insights on the importance of personal investment in ministry—not just financially but also emotionally and spiritually. We delve into the challenges and benefits of being bivocational and discuss how investing in one's local church can significantly impact both the individual and the community. The conversation also covers practical advice for young ministers on balancing ministry demands with personal life and ensuring their efforts align with their faith and commitment.

**Key Insights:**
1. **Personal Investment in Ministry:** The discussion highlights how personal and financial investment in ministry correlates with deeper commitment and engagement in church activities, enhancing the overall health and growth of the church.
2. **Challenges of Bivocational Ministry:** Pastor Stewart shares his experiences and the unique challenges of managing dual roles, providing guidance on maintaining balance and prioritizing ministry responsibilities effectively.
3. **Impact on Community and Personal Growth:** Insights into how investing in the church not only fosters a stronger community but also encourages personal and spiritual growth among its members.
4. **Advice for Young Ministers:** Valuable advice is offered for young ministers on nurturing their spiritual life, managing ministry pressures, and building supportive relationships within the church community.

This episode is particularly valuable for ministers at all stages of their career, offering practical strategies and spiritual encouragement for those committed to deepening their investment in ministry and their congregations.

Show Notes Transcript

I'd love to hear from you!

**Title:** "Investing in Ministry with Pastor James Stewart"

Join us in this enlightening episode as we explore the theme of 'Investing in Ministry' with Pastor James Stewart, who has over 14 years of pastoral experience and a significant secular career. Pastor Stewart shares profound insights on the importance of personal investment in ministry—not just financially but also emotionally and spiritually. We delve into the challenges and benefits of being bivocational and discuss how investing in one's local church can significantly impact both the individual and the community. The conversation also covers practical advice for young ministers on balancing ministry demands with personal life and ensuring their efforts align with their faith and commitment.

**Key Insights:**
1. **Personal Investment in Ministry:** The discussion highlights how personal and financial investment in ministry correlates with deeper commitment and engagement in church activities, enhancing the overall health and growth of the church.
2. **Challenges of Bivocational Ministry:** Pastor Stewart shares his experiences and the unique challenges of managing dual roles, providing guidance on maintaining balance and prioritizing ministry responsibilities effectively.
3. **Impact on Community and Personal Growth:** Insights into how investing in the church not only fosters a stronger community but also encourages personal and spiritual growth among its members.
4. **Advice for Young Ministers:** Valuable advice is offered for young ministers on nurturing their spiritual life, managing ministry pressures, and building supportive relationships within the church community.

This episode is particularly valuable for ministers at all stages of their career, offering practical strategies and spiritual encouragement for those committed to deepening their investment in ministry and their congregations.

Well,  today's lesson is going to be titled investing in ministry.  I am accompanied by my good friend, Pastor James Stewart. He pastors the Haskell United Pentecostal Church in Haskell, Oklahoma.

He's been pastoring there seven and a half years combined total. He's got over 14 years of pastoring. He's been licensed with our organization for 25 years.  But what's more impressive than that is he's bivocational. So he's been able to do this and hold a vast secular career at the same time. And he was telling me about his thoughts on this subject matter. 

And then I wanted to see his notes and I said, you know what, we're going to have you on the show.  So, and as always, I want to call it, use a first name basis.  So James, thanks for coming on the show.  

Thank you for having me, Mike,  

man. I'm glad you're here. So tell me where, where are we going with this investing in ministry?

Well, so we, we deal with a lot of people from  different backgrounds, different Walks of life, different understandings of how things work in general. And we have, we have people and you've been in ministry long enough that you've seen it, anybody that's been in ministry very long at all. 

We have those people that are kind of, we'll call them half in half out. You know, sometimes they're there, sometimes they're not, you know if a,, they're the ones that at the end of service when they haven't shown up, that's when the pastor finds out that they're not gonna be at service that night.

Mm-Hmm. . And it's they just they really seem to have a difficult time really buying into it. 

So I got to a point a few, I guess here a few weeks ago where I was really looking at this trend because it's something that, you know I've pastored two churches, seven years in  Spiro just over seven years here in Haskell and then in between that, I was actually a co pastor for the car for about two and a half years.

And I've been in this long enough to know. , long enough to, to have seen  trends like this and they're very consistent and they seem to have similar root.  So I was preparing a message and this is the notes that I sent to you. I'm going to read you I'll give you a little bit of background and then I'm going to read a scripture from  second Corinthians 11.

Now all this is from second Corinthians 11, where Paul is looking at the  And he, he starts out concerned that  their investment in the gospel or their buy into the gospel is low enough that if some new flashy Johnny come lately comes through preaching another gospel that they'll buy into it, 


That they're not rooted enough. In the gospel and he seems to make this connection between  that phenomenon to which you and I have both seen and human nature hasn't changed, right? It's still still there and it's still a real we'll call it a problem in ministry because for ministry it is a problem.

But he seems to make this connection that the church at Corinth  In the process of his ministry and bringing the gospel to Corinth and building the church there, the people were not required to really invest in it. As far as their time, their finances, their attention, their affection. And in  verse number seven, he asks himself a question.

And for years, I read this as a rhetorical question because he did that a lot in first Corinthians. You know, am I not an apostle? Have I not been with the Lord? Have I not, but here he asked the question. And after studying this, I kind of started to think that maybe this is an honest question that he's asking himself.

And here's what he says. He says, have I committed an offense in abasing myself? That ye might be exalted because I have preached unto you the gospel of God  freely.  He said, have I, have I injured you in not requiring that personal investment?  


then he goes into, as a matter of fact, he follows that with verse 80 says, I robbed other churches, taking wages of them to do you service. 

In other words, my coming to Corinth and the structure of the church there didn't cost you a dime.  And now, as a result of that, because they weren't, they didn't invest in his ministry. Now he's concerned with the level of loyalty they have, not only to his ministry, but to the gospel in general. 


And the, you know, one thing that I found is those people that are, you know, fly by night or the people I've had, we had to quit live streaming because we had an individual that would stay home from church.

And then he would get on the live stream and argue with my points in the comment section.  And but he was, but he was one that. Is contribution to the church  as far as not just finances, but time and energy and effort  is, is almost nil. And so it's, it's a phenomenon that really exists. And Paul seems to make this connection that the level of investment that we make in the church up front  really is seems to be a predictor of.

The amount of loyalty and personal investment that we'll have in the church and in the gospel overall, 

right? I can see that  now. I do want to clarify just for people listening. What he's saying is what you, you have to gather that from because I asked him specifically, you know, was that a scripture? Was that a book?

That's from reading what he's saying to all the other churches. So it's there, but it's not in black and white. You're having to  understand the context of the story and everything. I just wanted to point that out,  

right? Well, there, there is a solidifying point. And this is 1 that since our conversation, as a matter of fact, yesterday, I was doing some reading and, there's an aspect of human nature. I was just reading in the gospels and, and, and the book of Matthew, I think it's chapter seven in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said something that just goes right along with this. There's an aspect of human nature when it comes to, to investing in things. Right. I used to, there was a time when I would say we invest in the things that we care about.


But that's not true. Okay. Right. As humans, we invest where we find value.  If we see value in something, we will invest in it,  but we don't invest in the things that we care about. It's the opposite. We care about the things that we invest in. Oh, okay. The sermon on the mount. Jesus wants to talk to us about our hearts and you make it sure that our.

We use air quotes, hearts are in the right place. Right? Right. But he didn't start with where our hearts are. He didn't say, put your heart over here or put your heart on things. Eternal. No. He said, lay your treasures up.  Not on earth where they can be stolen or corrupted. Right. But lay your treasures up in heaven because where your treasure is. 

That's where your heart's going to be right where you lay up where you invest. That's where you're that's where your time is going to go where your energy is going to go. That's where your affections are going to go. It's where your money is going to go. Right. And the things that you are invested in. 

Where your treasures are, your heart is naturally going to follow. There's nothing we can do about that. There's not like a an override button we can hit and suddenly goes, Oh, well, you know, we can just put our heart wherever we want, you know, your heart is going to follow. Your investments and I didn't say it.

Jesus said it where your treasure is going to be. Yeah, that makes sense. And the you know, Paul says, Hey, look, when I was with you at current, if I needed something, I worked for it. Anything that I couldn't earn and myself or provide for myself, the church is the church at Macedonia provided for me,  right?

None of it, none of it. And I believe that his intent and operating that way was that he didn't want to be a financial burden  to the church at Corinth,  but then he comes back and he questions  what was that? Maybe not the best way to to have done this. Right. Did it, did it cost the church  some, some level of loyalty or buy into the gospel?


right.  Now, are we talking,  well, before I ask the question, go ahead and continue. I'll come back. Go ahead and continue. Okay. 

So I, I I talked to a minister the other day and it was just kind of an offhanded conversation. And he asked me how I felt about a particular topic and we won't, we won't rehash that out here.

But he told me about a family that he has been working with  and for, he, he felt the need to, to add that they were a fairly wealthy family. He said, but they just can't seem to get this principle in their mind.  So I asked them the question. My first question was. Who are they listening to? 

Because as Christians,  particularly as Christians and as ministers, we have to have the voice of a pastor in our lives. Now you and I are both pastors, but we have men over us  can speak into our lives. Right. That can correct us that can call us out that can set us down, you know, and, you know, that we have open communication with those people that, you know, that exist around us.

So we are not by any stretch of the imagination, you know, the top of our empires or kingdoms.  We have to have the voice of a pastor in our life.  And it's the same for all Christians, right? Every sheep needs a shepherd. And I told him, I said, you got to have the voice of a pastor. And these people seem not to have decided yet that that is you. 

My  follow up question was,  How involved are they in the finances of the church?  And he said,  zero, they're not  because they haven't, they haven't invested. Right. And they haven't invested it as a result of that. They're not invested financially.  And they are, they, and they're not loyal to the church or involved in the church.

In any capacity they just attend.  

Do you think  now I know people that struggle financially, you know  We're talking i'm not talking about people that  say they struggle But they manage to buy their tattoos and their cartons of smokes and their cases of beer I'm talking about people that really struggle Okay,  so they invest a lot of time and they're faithful to every service and they invest their time  And what little two cents they get they're faithful with  But you said that that man said that family with was faithful.

Excuse me, was wealthy.  Do you think they invested a lot of time?  Or are we, is it pretty safe to say that if they're not investing money, they're probably not investing a lot of time 

now that they were, they were not investing at all. They just attended.  

Do you think  that is common that goes hand in hand  if you have the ability?

I'm not talking about the people that cannot come up and that's people that can. Do you think there's such a thing as a wealthy family investing time, but not investing their, their finances?  

No, no, no, I think I think investment is investment. It's when you're invested in something, it's, and I think  they accompany each other.

It's your time. It's your energy. It's your focus. It's your effort. It's your finances.  It's all together. And, you know, there, there are people who contribute financially that don't have a lot of time  because they're earning money. And those people will still invest time when they can. Sure. You're right. It does go the other way.

And and so if it's.  You know,  if they're out on the golf course, you know, instead of work day at the church on Saturday morning, then, you know, that's, that's where their treasure is.  And you can tell where somebody's treasure is, because that's where their time, their energy, their effort and their finances go. 

It's, it's consistent.  

No, you're right. It's kind of like deer clubs that have a  fee. To be in the club,  and then not only do you get pay money. You got to show up and clean that. Steer camp.  Right. It takes time and money and they're willing, it takes time 

and effort and money. Yeah. 

And they're willing to do it  because they care about it. 

You know? There, there is, there, there is another side though, and I've heard I heard an older minister tell the story and it's, and, and, and he's one that he travels from place to place. And you know, he, he does conferences and camps. I've heard him in our camp meetings here in Oklahoma. And minister's retreats, just different things. 

And he told the story  about a family in his church that was a wealthy family.  And they contributed their time  and they contributed their money,  you know, they, and they were faithful in their tithing and their giving. And he decided that he wanted, he started having a vision and casting a vision for what he called a multicultural church  and the patriarch of this family came into his office and sat down and told him, he If you follow this vision for a multicultural church.

We're out, we'll leave and go somewhere else.  And I, it was, I just, it was brother Harold Hoffman. And he said, look, Jesus was paying my bills long before I met you.  This is not my idea. This is something God, you know, that God had given him, but that individual, they gave their time, they gave their finances, right. 

But the expectation was.  that all of the, that giving entitled them to a certain amount of influence  church. And we've got to be cautious of that too. Because that, that does exist. 

Yes, sir. People think it's a stock market. 

Right. But at the same time, you know, where, where is that man's treasure? Right. He, he gives financially to the church.

He gives his time. He's faithful and tithing.  But when, when you move away all the stuff, what he really valued. Was the influence that he felt like that, that should have entitled him to his investment was not in the church. It was in something that he should felt like he should get back in return for that. 

Yep.  And I do want to go back to my comment about stock market.  If you're involved  there, you should have an influence. You know, we have there's a time and a place in a way to have your voice be said, but you're right. I'm not taking away from what you said, but I don't want my listeners think,  you know, that the pastors have blind control.

That's not what I was implying.  

Oh, gotcha. Yeah, no, 

right. And 

know you didn't mean that, but I'm always doubting myself and what my listeners may be thinking of me.  

Well, yeah, and you've got to be careful that the the perception that you put out there. Yes, sir. Pastors do, you know, do not. Like I said, we've got men over us that can speak into our lives and, and some of us answer to a board. 

Yes, sir. Yeah. And well, we all answer to a board. Sometimes it's the church board, sometimes it's the district board. Sometimes it's the board of Education and sometimes it's just our wives. Yeah. 

who are, who are bored with our sermons. Oh, well, yeah. 

Yeah.  It do happen.  

I wanted to,  I'm going to go ahead and ask the question.

I was going to ask earlier, make the comment when you were describing the church of Corinth, not putting forth anything. And then you were describing the gentleman that was harassing your comment page.  I don't mean any disrespect to our churches that have done this, but it made me think about. All the the people that are 1 with hot dogs every Saturday. 

You know, the, the church means, well, we put together these block parties, free hot dogs, free fruit snacks, whatever. And we, we get people to come to church as long as we're giving them something free.  But James, how many times have you seen someone quit coming the moment the hot dogs quit coming?  

Well, I mean, it happened with Jesus.

When says the loaves and fishes were gone, the crowd disperse, you know, and but, you know, the whole point of that is, you know, make it an outreach is, is it an outreach? Is it? We've actually got we've not done anything like that historically, but we have something. On the books that we're planning for the future at our church here,  where we're going to bring in a barbecue food truck,  right?

And we're going to, you know, have a, they're going to have a couple of menu items that they're going to serve. And then at the end of that, we'll do a plate count, we'll pay for it. Right. But it's all exposure. It's not, we're not trying to. I 

got word this very carefully. I was going to say we don't want to spoil people. We don't want people to become accustomed to the handout.  However, I've also said that if every time the church is seen in its community. The church has its handout  


we're selling pies and we're selling peanut brittles or we're taking an offering or we we're raising funds for She's for Christ.

If everything we do in the community is for an offering or for some time, you know, with some type of a financial receptacle, right, then that's the way our community is going to see us. And there are a lot of good positive things.  That happened in our church and we need, we need a an avenue of exposing our church or our community to those things in our church. 

Man, this is good stuff that people would take time to listen to.  Because this affects  ministry as well. I mean,  think about your image, you know, you're absolutely right.  What's your next point, my friend? I 

, so there's a, so there's a biblical model and you can look at it. It's consistent. You know, we look at, we always default to Malachi three,  right?

Bring the tithes, right? Will a man rob God? Where in have we robbed him when you're tithing your offering? But in the old Testament, there was the tithe,  there was the offering, and then there were sacrifices.  The David in Psalms said sacrifice and offering is not what you required.  And then in Hebrews nine, talking about the tabernacle, it says, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices. 

And so you have gifts, you have sacrifices, you have offerings. And in both cases in Psalms and in Hebrews, one of those words means a gift, right? And in Hebrews, it's gift in Psalms, it's offering,  right? And both of those means something that's given out of love. It brings joy to the giver,  right? God loves a cheerful giver. 

But then the other one, it's interesting that, you know, offering in, in in the in the Old Testament and gift in the New Testament, two different renderings of the same idea.  But the other word that that's coupled with that, both testaments use the same one, and that is sacrifice. And it literally means  to feel the victim,  right?

It means it's, It's giving that costs you something,  right? It's giving something that you would rather retain,  right? We'll say give till it hurts. 

Right? That's 

that's the word that is there. You know, so it's gifts and it's sacrifices and these are giving.  Then there's the tithe. Tithing is one of those things that I think,  I think it gets lost sometimes. 

Right? The tithes is sacred.  Yes, it is. The tithe is  the first thing is not, it is, it is not paying. Right.  Right now, the King James, uh, and I, and I default to the King James, love the King James. But when I, when I was studying this part, I, I kind of got aggravated with the King James translators. I believe it's one in Matthew and one in Luke.

And I think that you have it there on your notes. And but it's, Jesus says  in Luke, he says, you tithe of the cumin.  In Matthew, he says, you pay, you pay tithe.  And in the Greek, in the original text,  the same phrase appears in both places,  but in Luke, it's just rendered as tied. And in Matthew, it says pay time. 

And that, that, that scripture in Matthew is the only place in the entire script scripture where the idea of paying eyes appears  everywhere else. It's bring the tithe.  


The tithing is not paying.  I think it's not giving.  Hiding is bringing to God. What is already his,  don't pay  the tie. You don't pay your tithes because they're not yours.

I want to pay you your own money.  

Right? Yeah. It's now you and I both have kids that have reached adulthood. So we've been down this road. Where, you know, we give our kids a 20 bill and they run down to Sonic and pick us up a drink and come back and  you got to ask them like six days later, Hey, did I have any change?

Right. I got my drink back. Did I have any change? And then they, they kind of look at you like they don't even know where Sonic is. You're not getting that money back. Right. And that's, that's why I believe that's why  not bringing the tithes.  Is regarded as robbery because you're taking something that is not yours, 


And in the Old Testament,  if you  retained the tithe,  And then later brought it,  you were supposed to add 20 percent to it.  That's an old Testament principle.  So you now, now, if you loaned your neighbor money, you weren't allowed to charge him interest. But if you held on the God's money too long,  you were expected to pay him interest.


Right. So and that's the idea, you know, but the, the tithe and and I've, I've taken a little bit of heat with this, but I believe the tithe is sacred and we you know, we, we tithe up front, right? Payday, we tithe, not only do we write a check for the, for, for our tithe,  but we deposit that check.

So that check, that money comes out of our account before anything else is done. Yeah.  Right? Because the tide is first fruits.  So I asked the question, you know, can you really tithe on a credit card and then pay it at the end of the month of all your other bills?  


because I think when I think when you do it that way, it loses some of that sacrosanct nature.

And I believe that it's important that we that we retain the sacredness of that tithe. 

I'm with you, and I'm just thinking in my head how many times I've had someone try to tell me that ties and offerings are the same thing. And I'm trying to tell them they are not the same. Oh, no.  

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. That's those people either need teaching  or they're unwilling to be taught.

And and it's, and I think it's important that we identify which. so much.  Yeah, right. Is it is it is a lack of teaching or a lack of willingness to understand? Right? And I think, you know that that message that that I that I preached or lesson that I taught or whatever in my 25 years of ministry.

That is the only time I've ever talked about money from a pulpit. 


And it was, uh, and it was very uncomfortable. It's not an easy topic to discuss,  but I think it's important. And I think Paul addresses it. You know, there's this kind of haphazard, relaxed, kick back, fly by the seat of your pants. 

Sort of attitude that is developing among our churches. And I think a lot of it comes back to this topic right here. And there are, there are a whole movements that suggest that,  you know, the, the tithe is, is, is out of date. It's it's a thing of the past that God doesn't require it anymore. And that's not just people that say that it fell away with the Old Testament.

I mean, I don't believe it did, but if somebody holds that opinion and, and, and, and that's truly, honestly, their understanding of it.  You know, at least I have somewhere to start, but when people that say, you know, tithing is irrelevant, it's out of date we should, everything should be free will love offering.

That's kind of like the libertarian view that, you know, the government, if the government stops collecting taxes, we'll all send them enough money anyway.  Yeah, right.  Yeah, those people, you know, you have those people that don't invest and, and I, and I,  I don't want to sound  arrogant or ungrateful or dismissive of people when I say this, but  generally, you know, you have those people that are not investing in the church, particularly not investing money.

But they always talk about how the church isn't giving enough in the community. Right. Yeah, so they're not investing anything. Right. They want the church to give other people's money away.  And a lot of times you can superimpose behind that. When the church, when it says, when they say the church isn't giving enough,  you can superimpose to them on the other side of that,  right.

That it's, you know, what do I get out of it? What, you know, what, what can I gain as part of my relationship with the church? And I think it's a tragic place that we've come to.  But ultimately it's God's church,  and I believe that he's going to take care of it.  

Yes, sir.  Yes, sir. Absolutely.  You mentioned, you know, the possibility of someone believing that tithing fell away with the old Testament.

And I was going to bring that up. Cause I know. I know apostolics that believe that I know, you know, licensed ministers that teach that  and I'm with you. I don't believe it fell away, but  they need to be careful then because if they look at the New Testament church,  they,  they, they didn't have.  To give,  but they gave everything  they were selling homes. 

So if  you need to be careful,  

absolutely. Let  me,  so here, here we go. Here is, here's the new Testament model  of the new Testament concept of the old Testament model, right? If it's in first Corinthians nine,  it says, if we have sewn into your spirit, if we have sewn that to you, spiritual things,  Is it a great thing if we shall reap of carnal things,  right?

In other words, if we, if we brought the gospel and benefited you spiritually, is it is it too much,  too much of a burden on you that we benefit from that materially? He says, if others be partakers of this power over you,  are not we rather? Nevertheless, we have not used this power, but suffer all things lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 

Do you not know  that they, which minister about holy things. live of the holy things of the temple.  It's obviously talking about the Levites, right? The priests and the Levites, the first fruit, the tithing, he said, and they, which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar, right? And that was the thing you would bring your.

your grain offering or your, your your meat offering or your whatever offering,  and you would bring that and leave it at the altar. And then that was distributed among the priesthood, right? As part of, as they're, they're part of the of the harvester of, of Israel.  Then in verse 14, he says, even so, in other words, just like that, Based on that model after that pattern, even so have the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 

Right? So those that dedicate their life to, to to preaching the gospel, to, to  ministering to the saints, to ministering to the church.  It's the New Testament model of taking care of the ministry. is based on the Old Testament model. And now you mentioned earlier that I'm, I'm bi vocational. I don't take a salary. 

You know, we, we use housing allowments, but we don't, but we don't take a salary. It would be a burden on the church to have to support us at this point.  And so, you know, we do, but Hebrews says that the priest.  Had a commandment to receive the tithe.  It was a commandment to the priest to receive the tithe.

And it is it's, it's none of you know, it's not, it's not because we're it's not because they are arrogant and it's not because they're. Greedy. It's not because they're needy now. And I'm not saying those elements can't be there and can't develop it. If you, and you. I'm not saying that there doesn't need to be oversight.

But, you know, don't muzzle the ox. Paul says a little earlier on in 1 Corinthians 9, don't muzzle the ox that treads out the corn,  right? If he's there working and he's committed. I had a, we had a family, they were new converts.  And they were you know, they came in and the wife had actually grown up Mennonite, right?

And she still had the bonnet and, and it was you know, she was that new to this Christianity as a matter of fact, when she received the Holy Ghost. The 1 of the 1st thing she said, she turned to me and she said, Aster, I need you to understand  where I come from. We're taught that this is of the devil. 

And I mean, and she had just, I mean, received the Holy ghost speaking in tongues. She was baptized in Jesus name, her husband with her, and he had grown up kind of around the church.  But not long after coming into the church his something happened with his job and they moved to another state. And so there was not, you know, we didn't get into that level of teaching with them and They had a situation in their family and the pastor was pretty much full time and he was, you know, and he was and he was there with him through all of this and he started teaching on tithing and this individual reaches out to me and he says And, and he kind of tells me, and I agree.

And he said, so I'm supposed to pay to hear preaching.  And that was, and, and he wasn't just challenging  for the sake of challenging. He really wanted to understand what this was about. And I said, you know,  if, if the ministry of the church is such that it demands his full time attention,  he still has a responsibility to provide for his family.

And so that's how he does that.  And, and they seem to be fine with that.  

I got you.  Yep. I was reading along with you, but I was reading the new living translation.  And I just like, I'm just going to, it's what you said. You paraphrased it great, but I just wanted the listeners to hear verse first Corinthians nine 14, new living translation  in the same way, the Lord ordered those who preach the good news should be supported by those who benefit from it. 

There you go.  I mean, it's. So is 

all was saying the ministry should be supported by the tithes.  

Yeah, absolutely. It's, it's the old Testament model. So anybody that just tells you that the tithing went away with the old Testament, right? Either, either they haven't been taught well, or they, they, they refuse to be taught. 

And you know, and anybody that tells you that tithing is giving now, I understand, right. I'm not, I don't, I don't nitpick too much about when people say paying tithes. Yeah, I don't nitpick about that too much. But we, we need to understand that the tithe is God's and it is sacred. 


And that's, that's the biblical model. 

Yes, sir. You have on your, on your notes, there was a point and I don't want you to miss it.  You were giving an example about possibly giving a missionary that comes through, but not being faithful to your church.  

Oh  yeah. That yeah. So I, so I made the point, you know, that, you know, in, you know, the biblical model of giving is faithfulness, right. 

And you can, you know, and if you're going to contribute to the kingdom of God, that starts with faithfulness.  And you know, you have a missionary that can come that comes through or an evangelist that comes through and God lays it on your heart to write them a check. Hopefully, hopefully not a rubber check, but write them a check and give them a donation.

And you, I mean, you can give, you know, however much, 10, 000, a hundred thousand, whatever to that missionary or that, that ministry coming through. But if you're not faithful and giving to your local church,  you're not contributing to the kingdom of God.  

I'm just laughing at the thought. If anyone from my church, Pentecostals of DeWitt thinks that God laid it on your heart to give in a missionary or an evangelist, 100, 000.

Your pastor is calling you a liar because I know you either a you don't have it or be you've been holding out.  

Yeah, it's well, you know, that's a pretty extreme example, but I, you know, but I have seen. You know, I've, I've seen, you know, people give 500, 000, not 500, 000, 500 or a thousand dollars or whatever to some missionaries project and rejoice with them.

It's a very important thing. And I won't, I wouldn't, I wouldn't take away from that, but I told our church, I said, look, we need to be supporting missions, but  we can support it we can support a whole mission. On, you know, tithes that should be coming in that aren't 


Right. And we don't have it. We don't have a huge population of people that are not tithers,  but those who are not  are, you know, they're,  they're ones that.

They have a very good excuse for not tithing,  

doesn't everybody?  

Well, no, not everybody does. When I say they have a very good excuse for not tithing, if you look at their monthly income,  right, you know, you can go, oh, hey, look, they're not tithing because they, you know, they're not financially structured well enough.

And that's a whole nother thing. That's a whole nother topic that we probably shouldn't get into here, you know, and that's financial structure but you know you, you hear a lot,  maybe we will get into it, you hear a lot about benevolence in the church right.  Yeah, we ever have ever have somebody come to you and say.

For the Yates,  we, we need, we need to be given more to our community. We, we need a, we need a a a soup kitchen, or we need a food pantry, or we need  to be giving to our community, but they're not given to the church, right? They're all about benevolence,  right? Because their financial life.  Is  I would, I would say structured in a way, but the fact is their financial life just isn't structured in a way that allows them to be givers.

Right. And so it's a very good excuse not to pay. We can't pay our bills. So why would we, so, so we can't tithe if we can't tithe and have electricity,  but  you got to look at the lie. Why can't you tithe and have electricity? 

All right. 

What, what, what's, what, what is your financial life really look like?

Because everything the New Testament says about benevolence  ties back to something, something that the Old Testament says about financial structure.  And the Old Testament is very, very clear  about how to structure your finances, 

right? Yeah, it is. I'm sorry, because I've been guilty of that.  I'm good now, but I was very guilty of that for a long time, and I'm grateful for a patient pastor.  Yeah,  and we've 

all, we've all been there. It's a lot of what we, I love all said no man taught me this. This I learned from God. And I know he was talking about the gospel, but, you know, there are some things that, you know, that men have tried to teach us that we just insisted on learning ourselves.


that's true. And, and, and 1 of those is. You know, how to be structured financially. It's not always easy, right? But before, before you can go out and give to the widows and orphans, right, your, your finances have to be structured in a way that allows you to have time. Have that because you do still have responsibilities.

You do have bills to pay and you've got a family to feed and you've got, you've got a granddaughter that needs you to spoil her. Yeah, absolutely.  I know. I know I have one. She's here, actually.  She's hanging out with us.  But But it's, you know, a lot of times, you know, our excuse for not giving and not tithing and not contributing all really comes back to  not, not having that, that stable structure in our personal life. 

And I hope I didn't overstep there. 

Nope. I don't think so. They people choose to listen to this podcast. They can choose to turn it off. 

So, and I'm, I've got to, I've got to really, really be cautious because when I get on a role like this, I can you know, we can get into debt, we can get into investments, we can get into, 

well,  let's, let's take it to a spiritual point though, on not paying tithes,  lack of faith.  Yeah.  Can you see how that's an issue? 

Yeah. You know,  just maybe God will work a miracle for them if they would give the first fruits to Him.  But they're not willing to take that chance.  I'm not saying be careless.  I've seen so many people.  Just,  I can't do that. I can't,  I mean, it's a lack of faith.  But, and that's why I do believe it's important to understand that tithing is not paying. 

My hotspot went out on me. 

Ah, I thought maybe I use zoom at work and sometimes it'll give me like 45 minutes and it's like, we're done. We're not doing this anymore. No, I 

pay for more time.  So people, you know, we're, we're talking about faith causing you to,  but I was, I was saying, I agree with you wanting to specify that tithing is not.

Paying because once you realize that it belongs to him and you're holding onto someone else's money,  it's easier to let go of it. 

You're not paying God. You're giving back  what he loaned you. 

Yeah.  And you know, but you know, your point about a lack of faith, which is kind of where you froze and, and I, I don't know if you heard my response to that, but I'll go ahead and share it with you again. What if,  what if our inability to tithe,  as we call it is, or, you know, our  financial situation  is the product of not tithing,  therefore we're not blessed 

because if I read right, if we bring the tithe, there's a blessing on the other side of that, that God blesses it and I've, I've experienced that. Right. And I think pretty much  everybody I know that has been faithful in tithing has experienced that. And so I think it's, I just,  I think it's important that we understand that we put all of that in perspective and in the proper scope that the tithe is sacred. 




That's right.  Absolutely. Do you know what your next point is, or do I need to remind you again? 

Got it. Remind me.  

Well, you kind of brought it up already, but I really want to hear you hit it. You were talking about,  and this was right after people investing in missionaries, but not investing in their local kingdom.

You were talking about how some people,  they don't support their local pastor. They will support a YouTube pastor or whatever, but when their life's in shambles, they go back to their local pastor. Oh yeah. And they'll stay away from church because things are difficult. They don't let your pastor know when they aren't going to be in church, but will reach out when they have a need.


so, so yeah, and this kind of brings us full full circle back to Paul's original point, right? That, you know,  the, the, the threat is real that he says, like, the serpent, but God Eve, right? That some you know, flashy Johnny come lately with. You know, a new spin on the whole Jesus thing comes along and you listen to them, but your pastor who  prays for you, who visits in the hospital, who, you know, he doesn't have the standing in your life.

You'll actually go listen to YouTube preachers and, you know,  gather information to prove your pastor wrong or argue against your pastor. And I actually told told the church, an individual in the church one time. I said, well, I'll tell you what, the next time you have a need in the middle of the night, just call that YouTube preacher. 

Don't call me.  And  they're more, they're more valuable to you than I am. So just, just call them, right? Yeah. See, see how far it gets you.  And And people don't understand, you know some of the frustrations that happen in ministry, you know, and I, and I'm not going to be poor pitiful me because  man, I, I feel, I feel bad for my pastor when I first got in the church  because  I  probably, I probably wore that poor guy out.

And part of that was.  You know, I was, I was new to this whole church thing. You know, I came out of the, we won't talk about, you know, the things that I was into before I got out of church. Just because it's a rabbit hole, we don't want to go down right now.  But you know, I probably visited almost every church in town, you know, during this time. 

And I would take things that they were saying, and I would come back to my pastor. You know, I wouldn't debate him, but I would, you know, have honest questions about, you know, how does what this individuals is saying apply to what, you know, we're talking about. And you know, so I don't know if I put his nose in the book or.

In the, you know, in the prayer rug,  but you know, but a lot of times, so many times now we use the internet and social media more just to prop up our own already pre existing views rather than, you know, a source of information and truth. 

Sure.  Absolutely. Well, let's  see where we're going next. I was laughing at your point cause I was just Picturing my poor pastor having to deal with me. 

Yeah,  you don't have to agree there. James.  

I'm just using my imagination. Mike, 

you mean, you weren't raised in the church.  

I fell out. 


I fell out. Let's just say that my nickname among the ministry back home is Navy boy.  

Ah, okay.  I'll just call you squid face.  

You can. You can. I'd 

forgotten you were Navy. Well, my my nickname before I got in the church was sleaze.  Please now that that's it on my leg. 

It was yeah, my best friend from that time in my life later was a priest in the church of Satan and hanged himself in a prison cell. 

Oh, I hate that. 


All right. Reading the rest of your notes, we've already beat that dead horse where there is no commitment. There is no loyalty. We've, we've, you know, we've beat that up. 

Closing remarks.  

You know, this podcast, if I'm not mistaken, is is more geared toward young ministers. Yes.  So if I could say something to them it would, it would be twofold. Number one,  God has placed  ministries above yours  and it's important that we're faithful to those ministries.  Hold them in high regard.

And number two God will place ministries under yours. And it's important that we not get frustrated. It's easy to get frustrated with people. Anybody that's pastored for any amount of time has been frustrated.  With people who love them, who love God. And so be patient with them, like your pastor has been patient with you love one another. 

That's so important that in ministry, we, we need the support of one another. And you know, money is a thing in ministry. It's an important thing in ministry. Amen. Right. It keeps the lights on and the bills paid. At least it should  hopefully but but it's not, it's not the entirety there, you know, there will be people who cannot contribute as much financially at times as they can at other times.

So you have to pay attention to, you know, what is their overall commitment. I don't want to, I don't want to downplay or, or minimize. Commitment of time and effort in light of financial commitment,  but in in my experience and from what Paul says in second Corinthians 11, it seems to be from his experience to that, you know, generally, you know, lack of investment in one area usually usually implies a lack of investment in the others. 

I agree with that. My last point and thank you, by the way, but my last point would be to remind anyone listening  that it's none of your business who pays ties and doesn't pay ties.  Mind your own business, you  pay your ties.  And if the church secretary is not paying ties, that's not your business.

That's between her and the pastor and God.  

Well, legally as a, as a 501 C3, nobody has the right to see individual contributions.  

But I can't tell you, you know, in a small church, people know, and people talk. 

And I understand that.  So, but yeah, you know be, everything comes down to really two words be faithful,  be faithful.

And when the whole Hank Williams, Jr. song, get a little worldly said, if you mind your business,  You won't be mine in mind.  

Well, thank you for bringing a little Hank  up in here.  James, I do appreciate you taking the time. I know you're busy. You got a million things going on and you took time. You were patient with the internet going out on me.

I sure appreciate you. Do you got anything going on at your church? When, when is the barbecue thing going to happen? 

We're looking at probably the date we have set is May 4th. We've still got some details to work out. 

Our war's day. May the fourth be with you. 

Oh, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. So bring your lightsabers and and barbecue 

and get a Wookiee sandwich. 

 I appreciate you having me on.. 

Thank you, my friend. I appreciate you. 

All right. We'll see you, man. Thanks.