The Wages of a Laborer
Here’s a slogan you may have seen on T-shirts and bumper stickers: “Come work for the Lord…the pay is low but the retirement benefits are out of this world.” This is partially inaccurate because it gives the idea God won’t prosper his ministers while on earth. Yet Psalm 35:27 says, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
When you commit to doing the work of an evangelist, you should expect the Lord to bless you. 1 Timothy 5:18 says, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” In 1994 I started witnessing on Monday nights with other members of Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Since evangelism pastor Nick Kinn and I were about the same size, I occasionally received clothes from him that he no longer needed.
One night when we returned from the streets, Pastor Nick asked if anyone wanted prayer. I spoke up by mentioning I had just started a sales job that day and needed to make money. Nick suddenly took up an offering and I was given $68. The sales job didn’t work out for me.
Numerous times other people from the evangelism ministry handed me money and bought me meals without my asking them to. Twice I got blessed with brand new suits. One man offered to give me his Chrysler Laser, the exact type of car I had been praying for! “A faithful man will abound with blessings,” says Proverbs 28:20.
Since stepping out as a traveling missionary, I’ve received provision as a direct result of sharing the gospel with people. While living in Toronto, two men came with me one day to do some street evangelism in Niagara Falls, Ontario. After leading one man to the Lord, the newborn believer said, “I feel like I’m supposed to give you guys some money” and handed me a $20 bill. We were broke at the time and gratefully used the money to get some lunch.
In 2002 I temporarily rented a room at an Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. At a Sunday morning chapel service, a chaplain bought one of my “Evangelism 101” books. Having been on a forced fast the previous three days, I eagerly went to a nearby convenience store to buy some food. There I ministered salvation to the cashier. Ruth was so grateful for the prayer, she told me to get more food and offered to pay for it herself.
One morning in 2005, I left a library in Tampa, Florida to walk back to the missionary house I was staying at. Suddenly I felt led to stop and turn around. Eventually I noticed a young woman waiting at a bus stop. After leading Valencia to the Lord, I approached a man standing at a bus stop directly across the street. Aaron was already saved but revealed he had diabetes. After praying for his healing, Aaron said he wanted to give me an offering and handed me a $20 bill. At the time I was almost out of money.
Since returning to Tampa last month, more unexpected blessings have manifested for me. One afternoon while street evangelizing, I found on the sidewalk an unused 31-day bus pass. A few days before that, I found a $10 bill on the street. Another time when I led a man named Julio to the Lord, he offered me an energy drink he had just purchased.
It pays to obey the Great Commission.
“The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life.”
- John 4:36 (NLT)