In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul makes a case for his right to make his living from the gospel just as the other apostles do. He even cites the Lord as the source of the directive (v. 14) perhaps a reference to his commissioning of the twelve and the seventy to take no purse with them for a laborer is worthy of his wages (Matt. 10:9-10; Luke 10:4).
Paul and Barnabas, however, forgo their right for such payment and choose rather to work to support themselves. Paul worked as a tentmaker while starting the church in Corinth at least until others arrived to help in the support so as not to be a burden to the emerging church.
Apostolos, the Greek word translated “apostle” means one sent on a mission as a representative or a special envoy. They are the ones to lay a foundation for the expanding church in every region and among every tribe and nation.
Such a role is not limited to a single church in a given region, but is commissioned to church an entire region. They are not likely to manage an existing church, but lay the foundation for others to build upon...and then are likely to go do it again somewhere else.
This role is actually defined as having a “right” to make a living from the preaching of the good news (vv. 3-9). It is important to note, however, that this right can be laid aside and surrendered for the sake of the church as Paul and Barnabas chose to do. This right should never be demanded at the detriment of the church. Have we hurt the church by making her responsible to employ her leaders like a business? I believe the answer to this question is yes, in many ways. Besides draining her of resources, perhaps the worst detriment is how we have segregated the body into a professional class that does the ministry and a nonprofessional class that works hard to pay them.