"Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays." - Andrew Murray

Biblical basis for support

Throughout history, God has set apart specific people to be involved in his ministry and to live by gift income. These people were not free to generate an income themselves so they were supported by others who had an income. Here are three examples from the Bible:

The Levites

The Lord said to Aaron, ‘You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.
‘I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.
Numbers 18: 20 - 21

Jesus and the disciples

After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
Luke 8: 1 - 3

Paul and the Philippians

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.
Phil 4: 14 - 16

The tradition of some of God's people being set apart from direct income-generating work and being supported by others to concentrate on ministry is a heritage founded in scripture and carried on throughout the life of the church. I feel very privileged to follow in this tradition.

Living Out is registered UK Charity no. 1165572
The Baptist Union is Charity no. 249635