I wanted to write this post without discussing it with Joey. He is a full-time pastor. He works his ass off and loves the congregation and community but…He’s got a salary, medical insurance, 401k and job security. The question I’d like to discuss is this: if he or other pastors were volunteers in the church, rather than paid staff, would that be better, would it make sense with the bible, and lastly would he still be able to pastor and shepherd people?
What does the bible say:
Matthew 10: 8-9 Jesus says to give without pay. 2 Corinthians 2: 17 says that we are not peddlers selling God’s word like others. 1 Timothy 5: 17-19 says that elders who lead well deserve double “honor” and the worker deserves his wage. John 10: 12-14 The hired hand is different than the shepherd.
JESUS DIDN’T GET PAID or did he? When Jesus started full-time ministry in his 30′s, how did he get paid? He wasn’t a carpenter anymore because he was traveling non stop and getting death threats. So how’d he eat? Giving. Christians supported him. Shelter, food, maybe even entertainment. They gave. He also was in fact a laborer worthy of more than this, but people did give. You can call this giving offerings and tithes. The apostles were also supported financially by people in the towns they preached.
” it for the perks? No- His ministry led to death which he knew would happen.
So how do we get from Jesus to Pastors that have nice cars, jets, jewelry, houses (plural for many), and pay how Randy Moss pays for things, “straight cash homey.”
We don’t. That’s not even in the same universe as Jesus. If you are a Pastor who’s wealthier than most people in your city, shame on you. That’s not what the bible means by “supporting an Elder.” That’s more like “supporting a habit.” A really bad one. But that’s not most pastors.
Most pastors who receive money from a church don’t actually make that much. In fact, pastors like Joey have other jobs to supplement their income. Also if you consider the hourly break down of the job then they are getting less than minimum wage. But they only work on Sundays, right? I’ve heard that from my dad about a billion times. Come on dad. Go here to see some uncomfortable stats. One that stands out to me is that 90% of pastors work in excess of 60 hrs. I have worked at a church and you could work every hour and never come close to doing enough. And that burns you out. Ask them, they’ll tell you about the work probably as they are dozing off.
Also, imagine public speaking every week. Many and most times, several times a week. That’s intense. How about preparation and study? Also there’s always someone ready to critique the way you roll. I won’t even go into counseling, leadership meetings, discipleship, administration, other studying, prayer for wisdom and the church body, and all day Sunday people unloading really heavy stuff and wanting you to tell them how to fix it; but it is the job. A J.O.B. because…we wouldn’t do it.
Pastors are called. The Holy Spirit moves them to do this intense job no doubt. But it could be different. We don’t want to volunteer or tithe and we love our time. If everyone in the church volunteered and tithed, some of the most amazing things ever done on earth would be accomplished. The local church body system would annihilate poverty/homelessness, adopt all the orphans, and shelter elderly just to name a few. Unfortunately, this isn’t what we want or it would have happened.
We would rather pay a good talker to tell us what to do, lead everything, and do it again tomorrow as we say, “good job” and “keep it up.” Come on man. Seriously. Are we so commercialized that we even have to have church our way? Pastors getting paid is necessary only because you and I aren’t doing our jobs as Christians. If we really opened our lives to everyone and spoke out the gospel, lived out the gospel, and thought of/led new and fresh ways to share the gospel, I wouldn’t even be talking about pastors pay. It wouldn’t matter. We might not even need them in this capacity. There would be a lot of workers and plenty of work to get done. The job of leading ministry and pastoring might require a salary, but if we all did our job, it may not either. Jesus would let us know. Oh well…I can dream.
They better have good coffee this Sunday.
What do you think?
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