Thought the stuff that came back on the white van post was excellent. Obviously, St Paul argued for the principle of paid ministry in general but he also suggested it was not always appropriate in every context. I too was questioning whether the principle be applied in every case, particularly in the pioneering context.
Clearly the point was challenging, even heretical to some, but it was not original in this sense. We are in touch with pioneers who are asking this question themselves. The point is simple. Does payment pull you into a system whose cultural vortex is strong enough to stem creativity? The white van question is simply a way of asking how much a potential pioneer is prepared to invest (in every way) into the project they are excited by.
But here’s another thought which is a by-product of the same thinking. In many denominations payment brings you into accountability and accountability is important in all aspects of Christian ministry. One of the unanswered questions is how do you keep pioneers in the right kind of lines of accountability if you don’t pay them. I find it challenging to reflect on the kind of accountability which protects people from heresy or abusive behaviour, but at the same time allows creativity and innovation to flourish. Anyone got any answers?