In the early church, there were no buildings, only small groups of believers. The leaders met with many small groups, giving relevant instructions to be obeyed (2 Tim 2:2) while sharing in worship, intercession, and ministry.
To lead multiple groups took much time and effort and limited any possibility of making a living in a regular job. To extend the kingdom of God, it was going to take dedicated, full–time ministers. Quality ministry takes quality time.
The theme of our text begins in Galatians 6:1 and is addressed to those “who are spiritual” (“dominated by the Spirit, or spiritually gifted”)—-that is, the ones God has anointed with special spiritual gifts to minister within the church body. This should not motivate someone to think “himself to be something, when he is nothing” (Gal 6:3): whatever effective ministry one may have is due entirely to the Holy Spirit.
Each member “shall bear his own load” (Gal 6:5). Some are to minister in full–time teaching, discipling, counseling, and exhorting, while others are to help support them. Jesus taught that “the laborer is worthy of his wages” (Luke 10:7), which Paul repeats in 1 Timothy 5:18 in the context of supporting full–time gifted leaders (1 Cor 9:11, 14).
There is an overarching “duty” of reciprocity: “It pleased them [i.e., the Gentiles of Macedonia and Achaia] indeed, and they are their [the Jews] debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things” (Rom 15:27).
We must express our gratitude to and partnership with those who benefit us spiritually by supporting their ministries. With whom are you partnering in the ministry through prayer, financial support, and meaningful involvement?
“Lord, You have some godly teachers throughout Your churches who have enriched and challenged my life. Give me the opportunity to bless their lives as they have blessed mine.”