The Place of Money
To uphold a fixed leadership, the church structures pay their leaders. The money to do this usually comes from tithes given by those who are under such leaders. Whilst tithes were scriptural under the Old Covenant and part of Gods order for upholding the necessary Levitical Priesthood 'teaching on tithing' is not found in the New Testament, although reference is made to Abraham tithing the spoils of war, (not income), (Heb. 7:4). However, nowhere are we told in the New Testament to 'tithe,' only to 'freely give'. 'Tithing' is defended from scripture using selected Old Testament scriptures but again we need to realize we are no longer under the Old Covenant. When one considers ALL the Old Testament scriptures it is difficult to justify the present practice within the Church. (eg see Deut. 12:17, Deut. 14:23, Deut. 26:12).
This does not mean we should not give to those who minister to us, neither should we minister ONLY if we receive payment. Freely we have received and Jesus tells us that 'freely we should give', (Matt. 10:8). We should not muzzle the ox whilst he is threshing, (1 Cor. 9:9), but we should not pay for an ecclesiastical hierarchy to be above us, or place those with a ministry gift in 'position' over us, making them a substitute priesthood requiring tithes.
The Ministry Gifts
Ephesians 4 explains that to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift and when He ascended far above all the heavens He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, (verses 7 & 11). We all recognize these 'gift ministries' but the desire is great to place them over us and submit to them. We are to submit to the authority of the 'Spirit given word' that the 'gift ministries' may minister by the Holy Spirit but not to them personally.
A common form of church structure within the denominations sees 'pastors' being placed in the position of Shepherd over their flock; a flock with a name, membership and tithing. These pastors may indeed be 'ministry gifts' of 'pastor' given by the Lord to His church, but we effectively ruin their ministry by removing them from servanthood and allowing them to be lords over a flock which they wrongly acknowledge is theirs.
The ownership by these pastors of their flocks can only be achieved if the flock have submitted to their authority by some form of commitment and membership. Once a believer has done this the pastor is indeed over that believer and is able to exercise authority. Failure to submit in this situation is called 'rebellion' but this authority, submission and rebellion are all contrary to the Kingdom of God and God=s correct order in the Church.
The word 'minister,' (Greek - diakonos), means 'servant' . Despite attempts to speak of 'servant leadership' these are mutually exclusive terms. A 'servant leader' as found in the denominations should not be found in the body of Christ. A servant should be a servant!
Jesus taught that the greatest would be a servant washing his brothers feet, working freely and exercising no authority, for a servant, by the very meaning of the word, does not exercise any authority.
Other 'ministry gifts', eg. Evangelists, are sometimes given the position of 'pastor' over churches, even though their gifting is not that of a 'pastor' . We have thus effectively ruined the ministry and calling of many anointed men. We need to release these men from the bondage of title and position and allow them once more to be led and used as the Holy Spirit directs under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ.