Should Church Pastor's be paid by the Church or work a regular job besides to meet their needs?
In the early Church days of the New Testament, the Apostle's worked to provide for themselves so as to not put extra burden on the Christian's they ministered to. How about today? Why don't Church Pastors do the same today?
In fact I have the same mind and I have been looking for ways to convince my church denomination about this. It was only in the old testament God told the levites not to work but remain in the temple to earn their living. But then thithes were been payed fully and with fear of the Lord. But look at what is happening now, our government have taken over the churches rights to the thithes, so members now see paying thithes as not been compulsory but now pay as mites and not the specified 10 percent.
As the wife of a pastor I can tell you that he is on call 24/7. If someone is ill, or needs him, he has to go, whether Christmas, midnight or whenever--and he gladly does so. If they work another job, they cannot be there for their people which is a part of the job of Shepherd.
He marries them and buries them and tends all of their needs in between. And has to do so with a smile or face countless criticisms from anyone thinking he isn't attentive enough.
My husband has a Masters Degree and has a reading knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. Concordia Lutheran Seminary took him 3 years of classroom work and 1 year as a vicar on an indian reservation in Wyoming--a 4 years Masters program.
Honestly to properly minister to a congregation as large as they are in today's world, it could not be properly done in the off hours from a regular job.
Let say the pastor has a 40 hour work week at another job. He comes home, has to prepare for Sunday's sermon, (like writing a term paper weekly) Sunday's bible study, visit the shut-ins, visit the sick in the hospital, take countless phone calls at dinner time because people have questions or are having family problems and need his ear.
And be a husband to his wife and a father to his children. It just isn't as easy as thinking they work on Sundays for an hour.
Thanks for you comments micadeolu and duffsmom, I think there is room for both depending on the size of the Church. There are ministers who have very large congregations that are really busy and work night and day to get everything done, and there are Churches where the congregation is small and the Pastor has plenty of spare time.
The last Church we attended the Pastor was receiving a huge salary and was never available, never returned calls, never answered e-mails, never visited, and always, always preached on the tithe, which led me to believe all he wanted was money for doing nothing much. In that case I think he should have gotten a job like everyone else because he didn't understand what being a leader or a minister was about.
It seems to me that the early church lived and shared all that they had and they lived in more of a barter system than the 9 to 5 or clock in clock out system for cash we have today.
Not to say that they did not have money, they did, but it was not the have all, be all, pay all monetary system of today.
It seems to be not only trend but also the norm for Pastors to receive monetary pay. Church clergy seem to be involved in more business activity than ministerial work. Is that the way of Christ? Are we to say times have changed so what Christ did is irrelevant? I know this is a touchy subject for Christians and there are reasons for passing around the plate; I just have always had difficulty in understanding extremes, whether poor Church or rich one. Can someone dedicate his life to God and not work? Who knows? Would that person be labeled an extremist? The love of money is the root of all evil, says the Bible. So, I guess if you have money but don't love it, it is ok. Who is to judge? We will find out in the end.
I agree with duffsmom. I am also a pastor's wife of a Presbyterian pastor (also with a 3+ year masters degree.) My husband does not do what he does for "love of money" but rather out of a love of people. He works tirelessly for the members of our small rural church. He is seen as a leader in the community and people come to him for advice (including other pastors and city officials.) It is his full-time job and he works it full time. I know that there are pastors out there that seem to be slacking off and doing only minimal work, but in my experience, that is the exception to the rule and not the norm.
I understand the arguments made here about the disciples, but did they have families? Were they providing for others? Their needs were taken care of by the church members in other ways (housing, food, travel.)
Our way of "bartering" in modern times is to offer monetary compensation.
If churches ask ministers to work other jobs and volunteer in the church, think about what you're willing to give up. What programs will have to be sacrificed or taken up by others? Will you require the pastor to preach every Sunday? Who will visit the sick, plan the service, do the children's sermon, teach the Bible study, write the grants, open and lock up the church? Who's going to do marriage counseling, preside over funerals and weddings, conduct new member classes? Who's going to represent the church at district committee meetings and make sure the church committees are communicating with each other and running smoothly? Who is going to be your church's face to the community, interact with other churches and ministers in your neighborhood? Who's going to make sure there's someone to mow the grass, pull the weeds, fix the roof, and clean up the flood in the basement? Who's going to get up in the middle of the night when a member is rushed to the hospital and sit with the family when someone dies?
If your minister doesn't do these things during his work week, who's going to pick up these jobs?
Maybe I'm missing something. Peter, John, and the rest of the 12 disciples were full time ministers that gave themselves to prayer and to ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4).
Jesus' monetary needs were taken care of by the women who traveled as part of His procession. Luke 8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
Jesus had to provide for anywhere from 12 to 120 disciples as they traveled so there had to be some income. Judas was the treasurer and carried the bag.
John 13:29 For some [of them] thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy [those things] that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
Paul talks about working so that he would not be a burden but that was in only a few instances where the church could not support him.
As far as your Pastor talking about the tithe all the time let me ask you this---first does he really? and even if he does how are the church expenses to be met if not by giving?
The fact is only about 5% of the people in any church give enough money to support it. Others give occasionally or when asked to help out on a project.
The early church was so in love with Jesus that they gave their all willingly. When your relationship with Jesus is personal you will give and not be bothered by that preacher who "only wants our money".
I belong to what is often called "housechurch" or "simple church," after 25 years in conventially structured churches with full time paid staff. Housechurch has been light years better. I've experienced being visited by the pastor when i'm sick - this is part of his job. But when i was sick and my housechurch friends took care of my kids, cleaned my house and generally cheered me up, it was a whole different ball game. In housechurch, you live life together. It's not "ministry," its life.
I very much appreciate what is said here about how much study (and cost) is involved in becoming a pastor. This person needs to recoup their costs. (Talk about a business model)The problem is - in my 25 years in the traditional church I did not see seminary degrees do one whit of good when it came to the real challenges of life. (Though they do place a professional distance between pastors and layity.) Personal maturity would have gone much farther, and there is no correlation between that and study of Greek & Hebrew.
It is also my observation that when one person is the "professional" leader of the church, everyone else does not mature as a Christian. It's like living at home with Mom and Dad all your life. It's nice to have Dad there to take care of all the tough decisions, and the counseling, and the thinking and studying - (and Mom to pick up after you and make you cookies) but you don't grow up until you get out into the world.
I appreciate the long hours of pastoral families, but I think they operate within flawed system. It uses up alot of resources. What could be given to the poor if the church met in homes instead of maintaining a building, and shared pastoral care among all mature adults, istead of paying one person to do it all? It also not only keeps most in the church in immaturity, it prevents most from experiencing ministry much at all.
They were sent without a purse. They couldn't earn money off the gospel, but they also wouldn't need money - all thier needs were met by the people.
If a church supplies all of a pastor's needs including food, lodging, clothing, utilities, transportation (and, to not be hypocritical, the same standard of living as the parishioners), the pastor must sadly provide these things himself, either from a salary, or from working part time at a secular job (like Paul making tents).
If a church is large enough to require a full-time pastor, that pastor does not have enough time to take a second job to pay his bills. The alternative would be to hire two or three part-time pastors who work in shifts.
Pastors are expected to perform weddings, funerals, "religious" commenerations, and be available to respond to the needs of their flock at a moment's notice.
Wives and children are left waiting, they dine alone, and attend functions without their hubby or dad, because he is tending his flock.
All this traveling requires a decent auto, fuel, state mandated insurance coverage. The pastor is " expected " to look professionally dressed and polished.
Being a "full time" Pastor is a job.......a stressfull one that requires a great deal. He can no longer afford to travel by camel and depend upon given hay and and occassional meal.
Pay the labourer his wage..............that is a Biblical principle. That concept remains unchanged, it is our bookkeeping and trade systems that have. Don't expect everyone but the Pastor to adapt.
I couldn't agree more with what Duffsmom had to say. I wish your husband would write some hubs about his work on the Indian reservation in Wyoming. I imagine he has some interesting stories to share!
The congregation take care of the people in the church.
Graceomalley, no offense please, but that sounds more like a cult than a church. I wouldn't want people coming in to do my laundry and cook or clean my house.. why so they can nose through my belongings? Instill their views on my kids? I can deal with a few dirty dishes and hubby & kids to take care of me when I'm sick, that's what families are about. We take care of the pastor so he can visit, like he did mom in the hospital and my dad and others who need him.
My parents congregation made food and had a big dinner for everyone and the pastor talked at my mothers funeral, and, married my son & his wife, and fell ill himself after his son died. Then the church took care of him until he couldn't hold up anymore but he still had the people of the church.
It depends if the church can pay the pastor as a full time pastor but if not, they could get a job to provided for themselves.
It really does depend on the size of the church. If the church can pay for the pastor to be employed there full time, then they should. But if it's a small congregation, then an outside job is probably necessary. Yes, it's a job and one that is highly stressful and demands a lot not just from the pastor but also from his family. But it's a also a calling from God (or it should be, if it's not then you're in the wrong line of work.) Speaking as someone who could not be a pastor, I've seen good ones and bad ones, ones who were called and ones who just had a good job. You always know. And God does call us to sacrifice (after all, what did Jesus say He would show Paul when He called him?)
The Old Testament system set up a precedent for that. And apostle Paul reinstated that concept in the New Testament. Being a pastor is a full-time job. I've seen pastors who are not paid by the church, and they just don't do their job well, there is just no way they can handle a day job, their family, and a church in the 24 hours a day.
Its another matter when people become pastors and use religion to get rich. That brought so much bad publicity to the church. Boy, will those people answer to God.
Duffsmom, my hat is off to you sister. Pastor's of most church's do not have time to work full time and be the kind of pastor that God calls them to be. Why should a pastor take a vow of poverty, or work 23 hours a day and end up being a lousy pastor, lousy husband, lousy father, and a physical and emotional wreck?
It is my personal opinion that Pastors have THE most difficult job in the world. Yes, there are Pastors out there who are not doing what God has called them to do. That is life. But you cannot lump every bad pastor in with all who are fulfilling their call with Character, moral fortitude, integrity, and by the Holy Spirit.
1Timothy 5 talks about paying the elders, and i believe you could include Pastors here: "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” The word "honor" in this verse can be translated "honorarium." . And do notice that it says those who "rule well" The full time pastor is a laborer. If he is a good pastor, and does his job well, he has a right to provide for the needs of his family. Not to mention to have health insurance in case he or his family get sick or have another child.
It is unfortunate, that there are some pastors out there who are paid extravagantly. But again, you cannot lump them altogether.
I for one feel very good about putting money in the plate to not only help the church with all its needs, but also to help provide my pastor with his pay. After all, without a pastor, you don't really have a church, at least not one that works well.
Just some thoughts to consider. I love an appreciate my pastor, and all pastors and their families who are doing what God called them to do and I believe God has no problem with them making a living. I so appreciate all the hats they wear and the dedication with which they serve God and the flock. I do not believe they should be paid because of living in a fishbowl and all, but because they work very very hard and long long hours. God bless you Duffsmom.
I believe the Word is very clear on this in that we are to honor the shepherd who feeds us and part of that is taking care of them financially. My father pastored a very small church and had to work to feed the seven children my mother and he birthed. He had a full time job and also part time jobs and it never stopped his ability to minister when needed. It did fill his life full and many days he was tired. He desired to be able to pay his obligations but he never sought after riches rather seeking after God.
What does the Bible say about taking care of our pastors? Plenty is said in the Word of God about the taking care of the ones that teach the Word of God. I brought out a few points of interest from the Word of God but there are many more and if you are interested in this subject I suggest you dig into the Word for yourself as it is a journey. read more
This was posted 2-years ago so perhaps no one will read this
The answer is a touchy one. I think the church has thrust the pastor into a superman role and that simply is not Biblical. Paul set forth a structure in scripture of deacons and elders. The responsibilities of the church are to be shared by the body. The pastors job is to equip the members to use their gifts and talents to edify the body. If the pastor is doing everything to earn his income then he is stealing the blessings that his members would receive. In Acts the apostles appointed 12 men to take care of the distribution of food - Steven was one of them.
That is not to say that a pastor should not be paid. I do believe that there comes a time when it is necessary but that would be because he is overseeing other church plants and ministries. My model is: Church plant - teaching - discipleship - church grows - new church plant is formed - so on and so forth. The pastor has a vision that spreads to the congregation. Every member is responsible to use their gifts and talents to see that the vision is accomplished.
My opinion is that pastors must take full-time positions often because they take out so many thousands of dollars on student loans to go to seminary. To be a pastor one does not have to go to an expensive seminary if at all. There are many successful pastors who never went to seminary but were discipled by someone who had the knowledge of scripture. The focus of a pastor should never be to go full-time as a pastor and get paid. If that is God's will for their life then he will open that door. Until then each pastor should pursue a separate career and use their gift of teaching within a community of believers. When the time comes God may place them into a full-time role - but they should never become supermen. The responsibilities of the church ought to be shared by the whole body.
They should work too. In fact this is mandatory in some church groups like the Mormons. It teaches real life lessons.
Sad to say this is the caae of abuse in religion. Playing on peoples hearts because they desire to have a close relationship with their Heavenly Father.
Mislead to believe that you can give him what he already owns and made on this planet. Does not benifit him but greedy humans.
There are people that do not fit the situation. But it is a wideworld problem.
People can not buy a relationship with the Heavenly Father.
They can build one based on honesty and a sincere heart.
Beside even humans do not want fake friends based on the thought what can I get from you.
Certainly the Heavenly Father has feelings too he also wants sincere friends that will grow outof love.
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