Thursday, March 12, 2015

Reason #18 - Professional Pastors Keep Money From Going to the Poor and Needy

Simple math: a church has a finite amount of money to spend.

If a local body decides to pay a pastor a salary, then a large portion of the money taken in is already gone. A pastor's "package" may cost the church $50,000 per year (maybe more, maybe less). That means that the believers in that church have to give over 50 grand for any money to go toward anything else.

Of course, a local body that pays a pastor likely also has to pay for a large building. There goes the next massive chunk. So before any money can be spent on anything else, the pastor and the mortgage company must be paid.

The simple math is that if a church pays a pastor a salary, then it has far less money to give to those who truly need it: the poor and needy. When we look in the bible, we see numerous exhortations to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. We see in scripture the church give its money away to those who have little to no means of making money of any kind. The poor and needy can be those inside the church or outside.

The sick irony is that most pastors are, in fact, quite capable of working real jobs to support themselves and their families. They do not qualify as "the poor and needy." I quit as a professional pastor and have held down a regular job for four years. It is not, as they say, "rocket science."

Professional pastors ought to all resign immediately because they are keeping money from going to the poor and needy. It is as simple as that.


(This is post eighteen of 25 Reasons Professional Pastors Should Resign.)

2 comments:

Randi Jo :) said...

this is one of the first "red flags" I felt in my Spirit when we were helping to "start a church" and I saw the first budget sheet that was put together. Perhaps if more American pastors went to see other pastors around the world and the conditions they "pastor" in.. the injustice/differences seen would spur them to stop taking $ from the Church and want to give more.

Neil Braithwaite said...

After three long years of service alongside the elders at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul called them all together at Miletus for what turned out to be an emotional and tearful last goodbye. In that final meeting, Paul reviewed several specific details of his three year ministry at Ephesus and admonished the elders to follow his examples in "everything" he showed them, and to be on guard against "savage wolves" (false teachers) coming in and rising up from among themselves. He basically admonished them to stay the course he had set for them and fight the good fight to the end.

At the conclusion of their meeting Paul makes a statement to the elders that sums up his ministry objective. Paul clearly exhorts the elders to follow the life, ministry and especially the servant model he had set before them for the past three years, and to "WORK HARD" and to "HELP THE WEAK/POOR." But it's the simple quote from Jesus that underscores Paul's most important directive to the elders - "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

"I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In EVERYTHING I SHOWED YOU that by WORKING HARD IN THIS MANOR you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship." Acts20:33-38

Paul could have cited numerous teachings and examples from Jesus at that moment, but he chose to seal his parting words to the elders with Jesus' simple, yet powerful, words; "It is more blessed to give than receive." Using those words of Jesus, Paul reiterates to the elders the moral and spiritual superiority of giving over receiving - of serving over being served - of focusing on the needs of others rather than your own. Those words of Jesus epitomize Paul's life and HIS model of service, which formed the unshakable foundation of his entire ministry.

"From Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:17-24

Paul's words to those elders at Ephesus imply that he wanted them to be aware of the many trials and tribulations that lay ahead for them as ambassadors for Christ. Paul also wanted to leave no doubt in their minds that "leadership" positions, by any worldly standard or definition, do NOT exist within the Ekklesia - only positions of service, and that being a servant does NOT carry with it any formal title or compensation package used to distinguish them as greater or above any other believer, but simply men who embrace SERVICE to the Ekklesia and the ministry of the gospel as a sacrificial gift to God.