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    Four Reasons Why Pastors Should Make More Money

    Four Reasons Why Pastors Should Make More Money

    Casey Graham writes:  This post is a passion of mine because I am sick of seeing pastors distracted from the work of the ministry to pay the bills.  We work with millions of dollars of church budgets and one common theme we see is that pastors are not making enough money...

    Casey goes on to give four reasons... two of which are here... the other two are over at his blog...

    1.  To Decrease Stress

    Ministry is always ranked as one of the most stressful jobs.  The last thing a pastor needs to be thinking about is how they are going to pay their personal bills or be able to afford a family vacation.  IF YOU ARE BAD WITH YOUR MONEY, YOU DON’T NEED MORE MONEY!!!  However, a lot of the ministry leaders I work with really make below what it takes to run a family financially.  Church planters, you need to pay yourself first before you hire a bunch of staff!!! Don’t make your spouse bitter!

    2. To Allow The Spouse To Stay Home

    If the ministry leader is the “bread winner” in the home they should make enough to allow the spouse to stay home if they want to.  I have seen too many spouses angry because they have to work so their spouse can be in ministry.

    Continue to read here...

    What do you think?  Are you paid enough?


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    1. Jerry Berggren on Wed, January 06, 2010

      Perhaps those wanting to be pastors should have read this first,

      “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

    2. Matt on Wed, January 06, 2010

      I guess I have a different view.  I grew up a pastor’s kid and am an ordained minister.  A real danger in making ministry a good money maker is that it begins to be seen more as a career and I have some real problems with that.  When your vocation is attached to doing ministry, then it becomes far too easy to make decisions based on your career and income, rather than what Jesus is really asking you to do.  I’ve been there many times. 

      My wife and I have made really tough decisions for our family that have led me to seek “secular” employment, rather than seek a more stable and financially beneficial church position.  We’re still passionate about ministry but we know that being a pastor is not what God has called us to do.

      I’m sorry, but I don’t see anything biblical about Mr. Graham’s post.  Jesus didn’t promise prosperity, or even comfort, for his disciples.  Instead, he promised hardship, struggle, and persecution.  Why should ministers of the Gospel, or any follower of Christ, expect a comfortable life?  I’m not saying we seek hardship, but following Jesus will inevitably lead us to it.

    3. Your everyday youth pastor on Wed, January 06, 2010

      Yeaaaaaaaaaaah… senior pastor makes 6 figures.  How about youth pastors getting paid more!

    4. JAN on Wed, January 06, 2010

      I really agree that associate pastors should make more.  We would love to go back into full time youth ministry, have a passion for it and a love for youth, but what we’ve seen out there will not provide for our family.

      I’ve tried really hard as a pw to be as free as possible to partner in ministry.  It’s our personal serving style if you will. We really are a team in ministry.  But it looks like I’m adding another job to my already busy workload, so that we can go to the doctor and the dentist.

      And yeah, many pastors make it bi-vocationally, and we did it for quite a few years.  But it takes a big toll on your family and on the ministry.  You are divided.  And frankly, we just have been there and done that and can’t see doing it again at the stage of life we’re in.

      I think churches need to get real about what they expect a pastor’s family to survive and thrive on.  Not saying we need lots of stuff and the high life.  But things like food, clothes, date nights and health insurance shouldn’t be luxury items.

      Too many churches expect pastors to live on next to nothing and still entertain and dress nicely.

    5. Fred on Wed, January 06, 2010

      I’m sorry that this post comes from what could be seen as a negative position. I guess what you have been exposed to colors your opinion, but people need to realize that things are different in some other churches.
      I am used to seeing a senior pastor make twice as much as anyone else on staff with just his salary and then you have to add to that 2 cars and insurance, fully funded health insurance for his entire family, housing allowance, and cable vision and internet service. Then add to that all the dozens of trips he takes every year, the plane fare the rental cars, the finest hotels, the meals in the finest restaurants for himself and sometimes one or more family members, and plays, movies, ball games, and other “entertainment.” All of that goes on the “church credit card.”  Sometime he gets paid to speak at another church and his church foots the bill for the expenses and also pays a big honorarium to the speaker who fills in for him. Sometimes it’s just a vacation (does your job pay for your meals, hotel, entertainment when you’re on vacation?)  And the pastors wife is on salary, but most of the church members don’t know about it because she does nothing. Also all of his children have jobs at the church (why do they make more than the other employees?)
      I know there are plenty of pastors who need more money, but the excesses of the others have created a wrong and bad situation. We need more tent-makers.

    6. Oster on Thu, January 07, 2010

      A real danger in making ministry a good money maker is that it begins to be seen more as a career and I have some real problems with that.

    7. Scott on Thu, January 07, 2010

      I am hoping this is all tongue in cheek… AFTER 9 years of “professional ministry” after 17 years in the business world before the professional ministry…. it is greed and the need for more…. and then modeling that to the congregation ... is so sad to me…

      When the calling becomes a business decision… what does that say??

      OK… everyone .... let me have it….. grin

    8. Fred on Fri, January 08, 2010

      I forgot to mention the people that push checks and cash into the pastor’s pockets almost every week and put a check designated to the pastor and his family in the plate, “just as a blessing.” Then add all the invitations to dinner and even people who supply the pastor with vegetables from their garden. And don’t forget Pastor’s Appreciation Month. I have seen all expense paid week long vacations to the Caribbean Islands, France, England, cruises and etc. for the pastor and his family. And that is topped of with requests for checks, cash and gift cards to be given to the pastor.

      The pastor or pastors are “celebrities” in these peoples lives. They don’t have a movie star that they can personally meet on a regular basis, so that is what the pastor becomes for them. They don’t even realize that though they are worshiping Jesus, they are putting a “human” in a place of worship. And some pastors thrive on the attention. They not only allow it, they promote it.

    9. Brian L. on Fri, January 08, 2010

      I’m just finishing a 9-year stint as a bi-vocational pastor.  I went full-time this month, only because I have another income stream to almost replace what I made at my other job.

      I don’t have internet and cable - can’t afford it.  My 2 vehicles are both well over 10 years old and only have liability insurance.  I can’t remember getting those checks and cash pushed into my hand or pocket (although the church does take an offering for Christmas and Pastor’s appreciation - a concept I’m not sure I’m totally comfortable with).

      For every one of the “celebrity” pastors you can name, I can show you dozens (if not hundreds or thousands) who barely make ends meet, and many who can’t even do that and have to rely on food stamps, heating assistance, etc.  We have bills, just like everyone else, we have financial stresses, just like everyone else.

      Apparently you’ve never known the stress that puts on a pastor’s family, when we’re just expected to just suck it up and be “spiritual” about it, in spite of the Bible’s admonition that “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”  (1 Cor. 9:14).

      I join you in decrying excess.  But your attitude comes across as feeling that all pastors are supposed to live in poverty, and that is not supported in Scripture anywhere.  That may not be what you’re trying to communicate, but that’s how it comes across.

      Also, your comment about tent-makers is totally off.  Paul was not a pastor - he was a missionary/church planter.  And he was not always working “outside” the church.  At least one instance in the book of Acts where Paul was “full-time” in the ministry because others had supported him in order to do so.

      I would LOVE to have a day that wasn’t colored by what bills I can afford to pay on time.  As our church continues to grow (which some who post here would also be against, it seems…), maybe I’ll actually be able to have one.

    10. Fred on Fri, January 08, 2010

      “that is not supported in Scripture. ” I don’t see a pastor like we have in today’s church anywhere in scripture.

      If you’ll go back and read my first post, I said that people need to realize that all churches are not like what they are familiar with. There are independent churches out here where the “pastor” has total authority and is the rock star for the fans.

      I do not think anyone who ministers should be “poor.” But I also don’t believe we should be living like some corporate CEO and teaching “finances” to pew sitters who work as brick layers, construction workers and etc. and urge them to give out of their lack so we can get more Starbucks and then take a few days off so we will be “refreshed” when we preach.

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