Monday Morning Insights

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    Mark Driscoll on Paying Pastors

    Here were his three main points:

    Principle #1:
    A pastor is not worth respect unless he produces results

    Principle #2:
    A pastor worth respect is worth a decent wage

    Principle #3:
    Sometimes a pastor lays aside his wage for the sake of the gospel

    It's a very interesting presentation... you can find a pdf of Mark's outline and thoughts here; and there's also a podcast and video of the service available at the Mars Hill website.

    Any thoughts?

    Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church recently preached a sermon on I Corinthians 9:1-18 on how to compensate pastors. Mark says:  For some reason, pastoral ministry remains for some a glowing, naive, dreamy life idealized as hours of Bible reading, prayer walks with Jesus, and days spent singing worship songs and smiling. But being a pastor is the spiritual equivalent of being a kamikaze pilot…


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    1. eric on Tue, June 13, 2006

      It is interesting in the pdf that he never defines what it means to “produce reults.”

    2. Wendi on Tue, June 13, 2006

      Perhaps Driscoll doesn’t define “produce results” because the results must (should) grow out of the mission and vision of the church.  Our church’s mission statement is “connecting people to God and one another,” so I think it’s fair for pastors and staff regularly be evaluated on the “resultsâ€? of people newly connecting with God and one another.  Right???  Obviously it is not biblical to think that pastors are hired to fulfill the mission.  However, it is biblical that they are hired to equip others to do so, and it is biblical that whether or not they are doing so is evidenced by the fruit (tangible results) – see Matt 25 and Lk 19.  Personally, I think that inattention to specific, tangible results is one of the biggest problems contributing to the decline of the church in North America (the only continent where Christianity is declining).  Obviously, I’m happy to see “resultsâ€? listed as one of Driscoll’s main points.



    3. eric on Tue, June 13, 2006

      My only problem with “produce results” is that it lays the results and the blame at the feet of the pastor. I have seen too many pastors placed in churches who couldn’t move those people with a bulldozer.

      Mark Driscoll works in a very different church structure than many churches in the US. Most pastors have to run their ministry decisions through a church board or people who may or may not be active in ministry, but who make the decisions for the church because they have been elected. Many times, the pastor has little say-so in deciding who gets on the board and who does not.

      Often “produce results” is little more than growing in numbers. But sometimes there is more going on beneath the surface.

      I don’t, however, mean that ministers should be able to get away with doing nothing all day. (Like writing comments on a blog).


    4. Jeff on Tue, June 13, 2006

      What Eric said.  Plus…

      ~Typically, pastors inherit churches.  Most don’t build them from the ground up themselves like Driscoll did.  Thus, it may take years for a pastor to learn the church’s ways, establish trust, help work them out of current ruts, and get them to follow the vision that s/he brings to them.

      ~I’m reminded of Jesus’ parable of seeds that are planted, but the sower has no idea how they grow.  All he does is plant them.  God gives growth, we are merely instruments.  Now, we can be faulty instruments or inactive instruments, but God gives growth and we should focus on what God is doing rather than what we think pastors should be doing in God’s stead.


    5. Jay Gainer on Tue, June 13, 2006

      et al, I think you have said it well.

      “Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church recently preached a sermon on I Corinthians 9:1-18 on how to compensate pastors.”

      Did he preach it to his people for their edification or for the edification of other unwittingly poor folk who have no clue about the pastor and the ox story?

      “Mark says:  For some reason, pastoral ministry remains for some a glowing, naive, dreamy life idealized as hours of Bible reading, prayer walks with Jesus, and days spent singing worship songs and smiling.”

      Again, for his people or other church goers who don’t have a clue about what their pastor does all week?


      “But being a pastor is the spiritual equivalent of being a kamikaze pilot…”

      Sorry, but I don’t see this at all in my ministry. Why would I load myself up with devastating bad news and then go and attack people with the object to destroy them and myself in the attack? Perchance that a man would give his life for a good man but just to throw my life into the fray without a definate outcome? Sorry.

      Principle #1:

      A pastor is not worth respect unless he produces results

      What about the Holy Spirit being the producer of spiritual results? We Christians just don’t have any respect for His work in the lives of men.


      Principle #2:

      A pastor worth respect is worth a decent wage

      Do you really think so? Respect is a fleeting thing. Here today and gone in one fell swoop of sin. The man we hold up today maybe neck deep in sin tomorrow. Is it then worth it too?

      Principle #3:

      Sometimes a pastor lays aside his wage for the sake of the gospel

      Oh come now, just make it easy on the church that says they can’t afford a liveable wage for the pastor. The pastor may lay aside his wage, but the church should first give it to him to return it to the work of the ministry.

    6. Randy Ehle on Wed, June 14, 2006

      Somehow, Jay, I think you seem to have missed the point of Mark’s message.  Certainly the Spirit is ultimately responsible for the results; Mark never said anything contrary to that.  But disciples of Christ will be known by their fruit - that’s pretty much straight out of Jesus’ mouth, and it’s what Mark said in principle #1; if a pastor isn’t “producing results” (i.e., bearing fruit), then you’ve gotta wonder if he’s a disciple, and therefore worthy of respect as a disciple. 

      Principle 2 - you’re absolutely right that respect is fleeting and that a respectable man today can fall into sin tomorrow.  If that happens, then he is no longer worthy of respect and therefore no longer worthy of a decent wage.  Again, Mark didn’t suggest otherwise.

      Principle 3 - Just because a church can’t afford to pay a pastor a living wage doesn’t mean the church doesn’t need a pastor, it simply means the church - and the pastor - need to get creative.  But if the church CAN afford to pay a pastor a living wage, and they DON’T, that’s a problem.  And it’s a prevalent problem in America.  In my observation, it’s a problem on the part of church-goers who undervalue the role of the pastor and do not follow biblical principles such as Mark pointed out.

    7. Steve on Wed, June 14, 2006

      Wow, what a controversial subject!  Great imput from all aspects.  I’ve done a lot of ministry in 3rd world countries (especially in India).  And it is true the office of Pastor is much more highly regarded in most other countries.  There is more repect for the office itself and thus for the person fulling the office.  You know, like the office of the President of the United States is a highly esteemed office.  We might think more or less about the person in the office by the way they do their job!  But, if the President of the U.S. showed up at my house for a visit, I would be honored because it would be the President! 

      And with that said listen to what Paul tells Timothy in I Timothy 5:17.  “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching”.  So, along with the honor due the office of Pastor also comes the honor given to one who does his calling well.  And no one can fulfill their calling without the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like results do play a part in the mix. 

      Let me say that as a Pastor I pray for God’s move in the lives of my people every day.  I avail myself as much as I possibly can (I too work a part-time secular job since the church cannot pay me - yet.)  My heart’s desire is to raise up a people who are truly disciples of Jesus, sold out to Him in all aspects.  How I love my job!!  Sometimes I see results and it is so encouraging.  Sometimes I don’t see results (in the natural).  But at all times I trust that the Holy Spirit is at work, confirming His promises.  Especially Jesus’ promise that He will build His church.

    8. Rick White on Mon, June 19, 2006

      In addressing the issue of “inheriting churches” and the difficulty of producing/monitoring results.

      1.  I think Driscoll would agree with this…and that’s why I think he’s so intense about starting new churches.  We might want to ask a hard question.  If the local congregations that James, Peter and others led aren’t still around today…what makes it so romantic to keep a particular church going?  Churches are started by apostolic leaders…but should be allowed to run their course and close the doors to give birth to new churches by new apostolic leaders.  Which brings up the 2nd point…

      2.  When Driscoll and others at Acts29 talk about “re-planting” churches, Matt Chandler and The Village Church are used as the prime example of doing it well.  Well…what happened in their case is that Chandler basically laid out some non-negotiables regarding the church before he would “inherit” the church.  While technically, the church continued to exist…practically, it closed its doors and re-opened as a new church when they hired Chandler.  Perhaps we pastors are too desperate for jobs to lay out some non-negotiables (risky)...or maybe we’re just lacking apostolic leaders?  Good questions to ask, I think.


      Having said all that…I totally empathize with the inheriting situation, but I’d like us to explore alternatives to the situation instead of watching pastors spend 15 years “transitioning” a church to the apostolic leader’s vision so that he can feel good about monitoring results.


    9. mark o wilson on Mon, June 19, 2006

      And if he doesn’t cut it, give him a $130,000 severance package!

    10. Tony Myles on Tue, June 20, 2006

      Ironically, it takes someone who is “producing results” to be given the platform to talk about what it means to “produce results.”

    11. Steve Barry on Fri, August 25, 2006

      Sadly, I’ve seen lots of pastors who don’t know how to reach the public or lead people to Christ like Mark Driscoll.  It’s hard not to be as successful at that as he is.

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      thank u sir

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