The Apostle Paul preached the gospel ‘voluntarily’ and from a motive of pure passion and reverence for what Christ had done in his life. Paul said he was 'under compulsion' to preach the gospel and it would be ‘woeful’ for him not to do so. In fact, Paul also shockingly said he would rather die than have it known by any man that he would ever 'charge' for preaching the gospel and thus render his boast an 'empty one.' Paul believed receiving compensation for acting out his passion of preaching the gospel could hinder the gospel, be a burden on the Church and compromise the only reward he truly sought - preaching the gospel 'without charge.' Paul explained that if he sought compensation for preaching the gospel it would render his actions nothing more than ‘stewardship’ for that compensation. He admonished all those who would follow his footsteps to imitate his actions.
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more."1 Corinthians 9:11-18
In light of the Apostle Paul’s example, who among vocational pastors today can bear up in defense of their conscience and motivation to require a 'charge' to preach the gospel?
"For I (Paul) have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your (believers') welfare. For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:20-21