You Get What You Pay For
“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.”
This verse is more about pastors than oxen, but you should first learn the wisdom about the value of oxen so that you can get excited about applying it to your pastor.
A crib in farming is a place to store corn until it is needed for food, fodder, or planting. A farm with only manual labor will not have much or any corn in the crib, because the farm hands will eat most of the little produce to sustain their own lives.
But if a farm has a powerful ox to pull a plow or other instruments, the corn crib will have lots in it, because an ox can help a farmer produce much more than the ox eats. If you want to get ahead financially, you need income-producing assets like the ox.
Oxen are not cheap, so you must deny yourself other purchases to save the necessary money to invest in this strong animal to build your farm income. Once you get rolling with one ox, then you can save for another, until you have a large, prosperous farm.
God compares pastors to oxen (I Cor 9:9-10; I Tim 5:17-18). If a pastor must work a worldly job to support his family, he will not have the energy or time for ministerial work that makes churches prosper. You lose, because you get only minimum benefit.
Faithful pastors do not want to be rich. They only want enough to cover their basic needs. They can then work diligently at deeper Bible study, better and more frequent preaching, close monitoring of the church, and time for counsel (I Tim 4:13-16).
You work a job you are good at, and you are paid for it. If you pay your pastor for the job God made him good at, you will gain more than you give, just like buying an ox. Your giving will help him to be great to make your family and you great.
The exchange of some of your paycheck for your pastor’s spiritual plowing in Bible study and preaching is a precious exchange (I Cor 9:11-14). Encourage your pastor by incentive compensation for his effort (I Tim 5:17-18; II Chr 31:4; Neh 13:10-14).
God created and gifted oxen to help you eat and get ahead financially. God ordained and gifted pastors to help your family and you know God and get ahead spiritually. Remember this equation; never short your family’s growth by shorting your pastor.