Sunday, February 05, 2012

Should pastors get paid?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Corinthians 9:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel." 1 Corinthians 9:14

Does your pastor earn a salary? Is he or she worth it?

Though we may consider such questions crass, here Paul takes on the issue of whether apostles (of which he considered himself one) and others who preach the gospel should be able to live from their efforts.

He gives three reasons why they should:

1. Society endorses such payment. Paul names soldiers, farmers and shepherds as those who profit from their own work and says that pastors should have the same right.

2. Moses' law supported such payment, even to the extent of caring for the animals, like the ox, who help with the harvest (1 Corinthians 9:9-11).

3. Jesus' own words to His disciples when He sent them out also supported the rightness of such remuneration (1 Corinthians 9:14; Matthew 10:10)

Yet Paul assures the Corinthians he is not insisting on that right. He isn't preaching for money but rather because preaching is something he feels he must do. He calls it a necessity and stewardship, and refers to the authority preaching the gospel with no strings attached gives him.

No doubt most of our leaders, pastors, and teachers feel the same way. I can think of few pastors who preach the gospel to get rich.

If you are a pastor, this passage is a good reminder of why you went into the ministry on the first place. It encourages you to face your monetary expectations and sort out, before God, any disappointments and shortfalls.

For us in the pews, it's an encouragement to affirm our pastors with an adequate salary. It also gives us the rationale to work in unpaid positions, volunteering in Sunday School, teaching classes, leading Bible studies in our homes for free "because necessity is laid upon me (us); yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel."

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for my pastors. Help me to willingly give them both moral and money support. Amen.

MORE: What do/should pastors make?

"A Pastor's Salary" - an undated article on the Crown Financial Ministries site suggests:
"A good rule of thumb to determine how much salary pastors should receive is either to pay them the same salary as the average wage of the church ruling board, the average estimated wage of the families in the congregation, or base the salary on a proposed budget presented by the pastor to the appropriate financial authorities for their consideration." Read the whole article...

Setting Pastor Salaries and Pastor Compensation - is a 2008 article on the Dr. Salary site.

Pinched Paychecks - is a 2009 article published on

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