Pastor's Compensation - Objective Standards?

At most companies, HR uses objective standards / qualifications / criteria to determine the salary ranges for employees. For example, one's compensation is often correlated to one's experience, level of education, job function, industry averages, cost of living, etc.

When it comes to a pastor's compensation, how is that determined? A better question is how should a pastor's compensation be determined?

Should the compensation of two equally qualified / educated / experienced men be different based on the size of their family?

Should the compensation of a man with an advanced theological degree right out of seminary be compensated more than a man who only holds a Bible degree but who has years of ministry experience?

Should the man's compensation be based on his wife also working at the church in some capacity?

Bottom line, what objective factors should go into determining a pastor's compensation?

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T Howard's picture

Why is it a "business practice" to pay someone a decent wage or a wage based on objective criteria such as education, experience, job function, etc?

The workman is worthy of his hire. If the pastor has spent several years to earn an advanced theological degree, has spent many years in the ministry, etc., why wouldn't he be worth the salary his elder, who happens to be a businessman, is making? Why is it expected that the pastor should "make due," while it's okay for the average church member to be better off?

From what I've seen, the compensation committee is willing to put a burden on the pastor that they themselves would neither tolerate nor accept. That is shameful.

Jay's picture

Becky Petersen wrote:
Of course, I'm not exactly aware of what pastors make in general, or specifically, for that matter. But according to the formula Bob T. gave above, wouldn't you be in the 60-100K range for salary plus benefits?

Well, he'd be the only pastor I know of, except for possibly one, who would be.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

RickyHorton's picture

Becky Petersen wrote:

No matter what people say it means, I'm not aware of any pastor that actually makes "double" of any public school teacher in his town. Of course, I'm not exactly aware of what pastors make in general, or specifically, for that matter. But according to the formula Bob T. gave above, wouldn't you be in the 60-100K range for salary plus benefits?

I don't think you can definitively say that it means double pay, and vice-versa. However, I personally don't believe it means pay them as little as possible to get by. Which side of the issue would we want to err on? Based on surveys, most congregations err on the side of paying much too little...shameful in my opinion.

Ricky

tlange's picture

I keep seeing the bi-vocational issue come up in this conversation.

The question that I have to those that are bi-vocational. How do you find time to adequately take care of your ministry and work 40 hrs a week? The way I see it, your job takes priority over the church ministry and the church ministry ultimately suffers and it is like a cycle that will never change unless the church grows to a level where you can be a full-time pastor rather than bi-vocational.

I am interested to hear your opinions on this...

Mike Mann's picture

tlange wrote:
I keep seeing the bi-vocational issue come up in this conversation.

The question that I have to those that are bi-vocational. How do you find time to adequately take care of your ministry and work 40 hrs a week? The way I see it, your job takes priority over the church ministry and the church ministry ultimately suffers and it is like a cycle that will never change unless the church grows to a level where you can be a full-time pastor rather than bi-vocational.

I am interested to hear your opinions on this...


I work for myself as a contractor and may or may not work 40 hours as the need may be. I have to sacrifice things that some others take for granted, Like sleep :~ I am often in the study a couple of hours before going to work at 8:00 am. I spend about 12 hours in the study on Saturdays, half a day on Wednesdays and the last 3-4 hours before Sunday services. If someone is in the hospital or needs a visit, I go in the evenings. I sometimes preach at the county jail on Tuesdays. I had a daily radio program for about a dozen years until a new station owner decided it was not what he wanted on his format. I have no days off except sick days. I use opportunities through work to witness and minister. Work never takes precedence over ministry. In this small town I get a lot of calls to do funerals. These are wonderful times to preach the gospel. When a local policeman was killed, I was privileged to preach to hundreds of police officers from around the State as well as many from the community.
Would I like to be Pastoring only? I suppose it would be a lot easier, but as it seems that this is where God wants me now, I'm content to continue.

Matthew Olmstead's picture

Mike Mann wrote:
tlange wrote:
I keep seeing the bi-vocational issue come up in this conversation.

The question that I have to those that are bi-vocational. How do you find time to adequately take care of your ministry and work 40 hrs a week? The way I see it, your job takes priority over the church ministry and the church ministry ultimately suffers and it is like a cycle that will never change unless the church grows to a level where you can be a full-time pastor rather than bi-vocational.

I am interested to hear your opinions on this...


I work for myself as a contractor and may or may not work 40 hours as the need may be. I have to sacrifice things that some others take for granted, Like sleep :~ I am often in the study a couple of hours before going to work at 8:00 am. I spend about 12 hours in the study on Saturdays, half a day on Wednesdays and the last 3-4 hours before Sunday services. If someone is in the hospital or needs a visit, I go in the evenings. I sometimes preach at the county jail on Tuesdays. I had a daily radio program for about a dozen years until a new station owner decided it was not what he wanted on his format. I have no days off except sick days. I use opportunities through work to witness and minister. Work never takes precedence over ministry. In this small town I get a lot of calls to do funerals. These are wonderful times to preach the gospel. When a local policeman was killed, I was privileged to preach to hundreds of police officers from around the State as well as many from the community.
Would I like to be Pastoring only? I suppose it would be a lot easier, but as it seems that this is where God wants me now, I'm content to continue.

I can't speak with any authority, but man, Mann, (sorry, Lol your circumstances seem like burn out waiting to happen. I can't say I envy you, but I will say I admire you. May the Lord sustain you, brother.

Father of three, husband of one, servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I blog at mattolmstead.com.

T Howard's picture

Matt, I was thinking the same thing. Mike, when do you get to date your wife or spend time with your kids (if you have any)?

Jay's picture

Matthew Olmstead wrote:
...May the Lord sustain you, brother.

He always does =).

I'm not bi-vocational ministry yet, but hoping that will change...Basically, it's all a matter of priorities. I squeeze in sermon prep when I can - on the way to/from work [limited in what I can do, obviously ] - late nights, early AM's, weekend visits. The important stuff will get to me and the others will HAVE to be delegated to others...my time would be far too limited to deal w/ everything - and I shouldn't have to deal with everything that happens. I don't know what Mike's preaching load is like, but my situation [if it works out ] is not going to be 3 sermons/week, which is a good thing. The church doesn't have that many services. Obviously, I'd prefer it be more, but it is what it is for right now. I can't give an account or steward responsibilities that the Lord hasn't given to me...all I can do is make the most of the opportunities that he entrusts me with. If this works out, great. If not, then I'll be disappointed, but the Lord will open another door.

Finally, I don't think it's automatic that double honor is double pay, and don't think I could preach that if I worked on that passage. There are other ways to show honor than in a paycheck.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

T Howard's picture

Those of you who are either currently doing bi-vo ministry or contemplating doing bi-vo ministry, if the church cannot support you and your family completely financially, how else can the church help support your family? I am assuming that the bi-vo pastor has medical/eye/dental insurance through his job, has a 401K through his job, etc. How can the church of a bi-vo pastor give him double honor outside of financial renumeration?

RickyHorton's picture

Jay C wrote:

Finally, I don't think it's automatic that double honor is double pay, and don't think I could preach that if I worked on that passage. There are other ways to show honor than in a paycheck.

You are right that it is not automatic, but neither is it automatic to assume that it does not mean double pay. Context points towards compensation, but then you have to ask "double of what pay?" Since this can't be answered from the passage, one really can't be dogmatic about it. But I believe context leans more towards pay than simply pay AND honor/respect. Either way, it certainly doesn't mean to pay them as little as possible as many churches like to do. I'd rather pay too much than too little.

Ricky

Mike Mann's picture

T Howard wrote:
Matt, I was thinking the same thing. Mike, when do you get to date your wife or spend time with your kids (if you have any)?

We go out about once a week or get a pizza and a movie.
It's too late for burn out. I've been doing this for 34 years.
I'd love to spend time with my children and grandchildren but the closest is 1100 miles away and two other daughters and families are 10,000 miles away on the mission field.

T Howard's picture

Mike Mann wrote:
[We go out about once a week or get a pizza and a movie.
It's too late for burn out. I've been doing this for 34 years.
I'd love to spend time with my children and grandchildren but the closest is 1100 miles away and two other daughters and families are 10,000 miles away on the mission field.

How would you counsel a man in your situation in his 30s / 40s with 4 kids still leaving at home?

DJung's picture

I will weigh in here. I think that the church basically has four areas of budget. Location/Facilities. Staff. Ministry expense at home. Missions abroad. If the church has a place to meet (because of past generations giving...building w/no debt), then the issue of budgeting could be greatly simplified. Have monies given (tithes and offerings) simply earmarked for gift to pastor or gift to ministry expenses (i.e. literature, program costs, or advertizing etc) or missions. The pastor is paid from the designated offerings. This is pure congregationalism and very Biblical. I would rent over buying a building (more efficient). Excess monies are not put in property because of this philosophy but are given to missions or ministry funds.

Bi-vocationalism. I have been bi-vocational for 25 years. I choose to be.

HOW WOULD YOU COUNSEL A MAN IN YOUR SITUATION IN HIS 30s / 40s with 4 KIDS STILL LIVING AT HOME?

Buy a business. Start a business. Work somewhere where you can get skills and experience to eventually buy or start a business. Then make a ton of money and retire if you want from the business.

Derek Jung
Church Planter / Pastor
California
6 Children under 12

DJung's picture

All Bible Colleges and Seminaries do not teach accurate expectations concerning "the ministry". Their professional approach does not prepare students for the real life situations in churches with regard to compensation. It's a pity, but one requirement for graduation for Bible College and/or Seminary should be a skill or education that one can use in the secular world to support his family and ministry other than an established church giving him (a stranger) a salary.

My opinion.

Derek Jung

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

but I think it is an opinion that needs to be on billboards, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and perhaps we should consider hiring a sky-writer. I've yet to meet, in the 25 years since I began to attend and then graduated Bible college, met a young preacher that had realistic expectations of the demands of ministry or of how they would provide for their family.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Derek,

It seems to me that your position seems to be inadequate due to the biblical teaching that those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel. While being bi-vocational is fine for some, it is not necessarily the biblical way, and in fact, a strong argument can and should be made that a pastor should not be bivocational, given the biblical teaching to the church to provide for the pastor. As Paul makes clear, in every other field of life, people are paid for what they do ... soldiers, farmers, even oxen. The pastor should be no different.

Bi-vocational seems, to me, to be a concession to a small church. I don't see it as being a biblical way of life for the pastor.

Furthermore, to make the pastor's compensation dependent on designated offerings does not seem a wise way to do it. Again, using Paul's examples, no one serves as a soldier and gets paid by people designation on their taxes to pay a soldier with X of their dollars. No one grows corn and expects free will offerings at the grocery store to be designated for the corn grower. Such ad hoc giving does not seem to be a wise way to provide for ministry, particularly since people rarely know the needs of the ministry in full. A budget is laid out to help guide that process. And if you object to business examples, remember, the Holy Spirit is the one who inspired Paul to use them.

So while being bi-vocational is necessary sometimes, I am not sure it should be the goal of the pastor, given the biblical revelation on this matter. And I am not sure it should be held up as the biblical ideal. Revelation doesn't seem to support that.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Is there really a Biblical case that every single need/want of the pastor be provided by tithes and offerings? Seems to me that the standard for contentment is food and raiment. While I agree that each church should support their pastor, given the standard of living in the States, I don't think it is reasonable that a church by default be expected to provide housing, food, clothing, education expenses, healthcare... and that is the expectation of nearly every young preacher I have ever met- they seriously expect to walk into a church of 20-30 people and pull down $35,000 a year, and they get a case of the vapors if they are expected to get a job. And since they've grown up thinking they should 'live off the gospel', they may have multiple degrees in theology, but otherwise they are barely qualified to bag groceries and sweep floors.

To clarify- I do believe that the best case scenario is a church that grows to the point that it can provide for their pastor sufficiently so that he can dedicate himself wholly to shepherding- but it's like most young people starting out, who expect to have the standard of living of their parents, completely forgetting that mom and dad worked and saved for years to have a nice house or car or 401K. Those who have been called to full-time ministry should expect to be bi-vocational until such a time as their ministry can support them, instead of the other way around.

I personally think it irresponsible that young men don't have any trade that could support their family outside of full-time ministry. Parents should be doing better in this area, and also seminaries should play a pivotal role in preparing young men thoroughly for the realities of ministry instead of the best case scenario.

In conclusion and my opinion, a church is not an employer, nor can it really be compared apples to apples to any business model. While we can endeavor to be efficient in finances and operations, the definition of success for a church and a business are very different, so I think we should be cautious in any comparison of the two.

Jim's picture

Axioms

  • The Lord's command: "Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:14)
  • God's people directed to provide for the laborer: "For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”" (1 Timothy 5:18)
  • It is sinful to not provide for one's own family: "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8)
  • Paul at times eschewed the right to be paid: "we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ" (1 Corinthians 9:12) at times plying a trade (Acts 18:2-4).

Observations

  • There are hundreds of American (and undoubtedly many in other countries) churches unable to fully provide for a Pastor. (I personally know of a church (I know the Pastor) in central Wisconsin, where the entire church budget for the year is $ 22,000)

    • The options for these churches:

      • Give more .... I'm sure many can but there are limits to their ability!
      • Not have a full time Pastor.
      • Close the doors (conclusion ... we are unable to function as a church!) (In my view this is the worst option!)
    • The option for the Pastors of these churches:
      • Suffer with less than an adequate income and violate 1 Timothy 5:8
      • Move on (but just delays the issue for that church!)
      • Take the Pauline bivocational approach
  • The above being the case men ought to go into the ministry with eyes open about the realities of pastoral compensation
  • Wise men ought to consider and prepare for the possibility of bi-vocational ministry. It's not ideal ...but it is realistic
  • I'm not sure if this is true but I suspect it is: No one is telling men this when the enroll in seminary.
Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
Is there really a Biblical case that every single need/want of the pastor be provided by tithes and offerings?
I guess it depends on what it means to live. We should all be content with food and raiment, but I think the biblical metaphor there is about the necessities of life, not clothes and food. Is housing, food, clothing, education, expense, and healthcare a part of what it takes to live? Most would say yes. Now, we might dispute the size of the house, the newness of the clothing, etc. But try having your family live in a tent, and see how you do ministry in America from that. Most places you couldn’t even do it because it would be illegal.

The "need/want" combination is a bit troubling. Certainly we could all get by on less than we do. Do we really need a car? No, people got by for thousands of years without them. Same thing with air conditioning, refrigerators, telephones, computers, etc. I realize you are not including those things in your mind, probably. But on what basis do you exclude them from "need"? Or from what the pastor should have? The reality is that we can all live on less than we do. But is that necessary to be a pastor? I don't think so.

If a church is unable to support their pastor, then he should be bivocational. But many churches are perhaps lazy in this area. Their pastor works; why should they step up to the plate.

As for an outside trade, I don’t think it is irresponsible not to have one. It is fine if one does, and it might be helpful in some cases. But irresponsible? That's pretty strong. For some, it makes it easy to cut and run when the ministry gets tough. They can say, "I don't need the grief of this church. I can plumb houses for a living or program computers." For others, it gives them an excuse not to work at the ministry very hard because their livelihood is elsewhere. So I think that is perhaps a bit misguided.

My comments should not be understood to support wrong conceptions of ministry nor to beat up on bivocational pastors. Quite frankly, I think most American church planters (and elsewhere if they can) should be bivocational at first, rather than spending 2 or 3 years to raise money for support. Foreign missionaries are different in that most can’t work in the country they go to. But it seems there is almost an attempt to make fulltime pastors feel bad. That may not be the intent, but it almost seems that way.

Again, I think you have some very practical arguments, but are they biblical? What does it mean that “those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel”? Paul's point in that passage is to compare businesses to gospel ministry. Again, if you object, it is not to me, but to Scripture.

DJung's picture

Larry...thanks for your thoughts.

Yes, if a man goes to a town or city and wins converts, disciples them, and sees fruit in the ministry through conversions he can expect them to be thankful since they are truly saved and maturing and he will see gifts given to support his Gospel ministry so he can live off of those funds if he so chooses. However, Paul was the most successful new testament Gospel preacher and he chose not to live off the gifts but provided an example of working with his hands and making the Gospel absolutely free of charge. So you need to reconcile the Pauline example and exhortation to his disciples in this matter. You can't escape this Biblical reality. LIkewise if I go and candidate at a church and I love the Lord and the people, compensation can be nil and I will find a way to minister there and provide for my family with my hands and mind. The Lord will supply apart from His people just as surely as he supplies through his people.

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF CHURCHES in AMERICA that have BI-VOCATIONAL pastors. Please wake up, not hundreds but THOUSANDS. The Southern Baptist Denomination published that 65% of all SBC churches in America before WWII had BIVOCATIONAL PASTORS. Only after WWII did this decrease to 35% of all SBC Churches having BIVOCATIONAL men. Now the current trend is reversing back to pre WWII times.

Derek Jung

DJung's picture

Paul made the point in 1 Cor. 9 that a pastor/elder/Gospel preacher has a right to "fleshly" compensation. Then he strongly states that he has given up that right and will not take any gifts or compensation. This is the higher ground. This is Paul's example and higher challenge. Why not challenge young preachers to aim for this goal and prepare for it as well? You can sacrifice the Right to compensation for a greater ministry among the lost and saved this is how I understand 1 Cor. 9.

Pastor Jung

DJung's picture

Susan R wrote:
but I think it is an opinion that needs to be on billboards, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and perhaps we should consider hiring a sky-writer. I've yet to meet, in the 25 years since I began to attend and then graduated Bible college, met a young preacher that had realistic expectations of the demands of ministry or of how they would provide for their family.

I had realistic expectations as a young Christian and young preacher. My expectations have not changed. I do not hold on to my RIGHTS to compensation, but willingly sacrifice to make the Gospel always without charge. To provide for my family I work. To provide for the church I work. God is good and supplies above and beyond our needs.

Pastor Jung
Saved in '82. Yielded to serve in '86. Church planting since then in Northern California. Median home price 500K for a 30 year old used 3 bed 2 bath house. By the way I have a BA, MDIV and half way through my DMIN. Did not use my education to support the family. Like, Paul I work with my hands and brain.

rogercarlson's picture

Hi all,

I actually agree with both Larry and Derrick. Let me first let you know where I am at. I have had the privilege of pastoring a small church for the last 10 years. The church pays me around 30,000 (including cash, pasornage and retirement). For several years, I have worked a couple of part-time jobs. I work midnights at a hotel one ngiht a week, so I can prepare a message while I am there. I am also a paid on call fire fighter as well as chaplain of the dept. I also work the before school care at my children's school. I am a firm believer in immersing myself in the community and my extra income jobs allow me to do so. My job schedules allow me to still prepare expositional messages.

While I think that men training for the ministry should do a good job of preparing their students for bi-vocational work, I think churches should also keep sacrificing for their pastor a priority. When Larry and I were at BJ, Bruce McAlister continued to keep the bi-vocational option in front of us. I am coming around to the idea that a church's first missionary is their pastor. While it is true the average missionary cannot work on their field, it is also true that the average missionary has higher support level many pastors. I am not saying sacrifice missionaries, I am saying that we need to provide for both.

The other thought that I know is true is this. A bi-vocational pastor who is in a job where he cannot do any churchwork while he is working, will not be able to prepare solid expositional messages and meet the demands of being a pastor. That my sound harsh, but it is true. There is no way that a man can work 40 hrs a week at a job and study 30 hours a week (Sunday AM, PM and Wed messages) and visit, and all of the other things. When I wasn't quad-vocational, I but in 60 hours a week consistantly at the church. I have continually worked 60-70 hours a week for most of my minstry. Not alot of us can keep that pace up over the long term.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

DJung's picture

rogercarlson wrote:
Hi all,

I actually agree with both Larry and Derrick. Let me first let you know where I am at. I have had the privilege of pastoring a small church for the last 10 years. The church pays me around 30,000 (including cash, pasornage and retirement). For several years, I have worked a couple of part-time jobs. I work midnights at a hotel one ngiht a week, so I can prepare a message while I am there. I am also a paid on call fire fighter as well as chaplain of the dept. I also work the before school care at my children's school. I am a firm believer in immersing myself in the community and my extra income jobs allow me to do so. My job schedules allow me to still prepare expositional messages.

While I think that men training for the ministry should do a good job of preparing their students for bi-vocational work, I think churches should also keep sacrificing for their pastor a priority. When Larry and I were at BJ, Bruce McAlister continued to keep the bi-vocational option in front of us. I am coming around to the idea that a church's first missionary is their pastor. While it is true the average missionary cannot work on their field, it is also true that the average missionary has higher support level many pastors. I am not saying sacrifice missionaries, I am saying that we need to provide for both.

The other thought that I know is true is this. A bi-vocational pastor who is in a job where he cannot do any churchwork while he is working, will not be able to prepare solid expositional messages and meet the demands of being a pastor. That my sound harsh, but it is true. There is no way that a man can work 40 hrs a week at a job and study 30 hours a week (Sunday AM, PM and Wed messages) and visit, and all of the other things. When I wasn't quad-vocational, I but in 60 hours a week consistantly at the church. I have continually worked 60-70 hours a week for most of my minstry. Not alot of us can keep that pace up over the long term.

We need to teach and train men to complete an expository message in a maximum of 3 hours. Three messages 10 hours max. Visitation and evangelism another 10 hours. Work secular 20-30 hours. 10-20 hours with the family. This can be done. I used to write 7 messages a week. Now am down to 3-4.

Derek Jung

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Larry wrote:
Quote:
Is there really a Biblical case that every single need/want of the pastor be provided by tithes and offerings?
I guess it depends on what it means to live. We should all be content with food and raiment, but I think the biblical metaphor there is about the necessities of life, not clothes and food. Is housing, food, clothing, education, expense, and healthcare a part of what it takes to live? Most would say yes. Now, we might dispute the size of the house, the newness of the clothing, etc. But try having your family live in a tent, and see how you do ministry in America from that. Most places you couldn’t even do it because it would be illegal....

If a church is unable to support their pastor, then he should be bivocational. But many churches are perhaps lazy in this area. Their pastor works; why should they step up to the plate.

As for an outside trade, I don’t think it is irresponsible not to have one. It is fine if one does, and it might be helpful in some cases. But irresponsible? That's pretty strong. For some, it makes it easy to cut and run when the ministry gets tough. They can say, "I don't need the grief of this church. I can plumb houses for a living or program computers." For others, it gives them an excuse not to work at the ministry very hard because their livelihood is elsewhere. So I think that is perhaps a bit misguided.

Again, I think you have some very practical arguments, but are they biblical? What does it mean that “those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel”? Paul's point in that passage is to compare businesses to gospel ministry. Again, if you object, it is not to me, but to Scripture.


Please, PLEASE don't pull that- "You aren't disagreeing with me, but with God" routine. Of course in America one's pastor should not be expected to live in squalor- but the problem I'm objecting to is that many young preachers are coming out of seminary expecting to walk right into a living wage in the full-time ministry, and that is not realistic. Even in the business world most men start out in entry level positions that may barely make ends meet, and it isn't unusual for men to work two jobs to support their families. My husband works about 55 hours a week, but still does jobs on the side to build our savings and pay for the 'little extras'.

My personal belief is that every man should have a fallback position in case his chosen profession goes belly-up. I don't see why it is harsh to consider it irresponsible not to plan for the future- the bad times as well as the good. Our family philosophy is that every child learns at least one additional trade, regardless of what their chosen vocation will be. I don't believe one can have too many skills, especially practical ones like those relating to home repair, new technologies, or accounting/business management. Not only do trades provide a net of sorts, but what man couldn't use the ability to do his own plumbing or electrical work or carpentry? What women wouldn't benefit from understanding finances, or how to do alterations? Doesn't the Prov. 31 woman have marketable skills? Why shouldn't a man as well, especially one who plans on being an example to the flock?

I completely agree with Scripture, and as Bro. Jung has pointed out, our premier example of a minister is Paul, who often worked to support himself. Paul gave both sides of the equation- churches should provide for their pastors, and pastors should be able to, regardless of their congregation's ability or spirit of giving, provide for their family. That reads to me like every pastor should be able to do what Paul did, even though, best case scenario, he shouldn't have do it of necessity.

I'm not being critical of those already in the ministry- to reiterate- my complaint, if you will, is that young men are not being prepared for the realities of ministry, and they have no fallback position. I don't think it appropriate for a man to choose not to learn a trade because the people in his congregation might say "Hey- he knows a trade, he should get a real job." If they do say that, there is a problem in that church that has NOTHING to do with the pastor knowing how to install furnaces or do income taxes on the side, and everything to do with a serious lack of Biblical understanding and Holy Spirit conviction in the hearts of the congregation.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
Please, PLEASE don't pull that- "You aren't disagreeing with me, but with God" routine.
My point was only that you objected to comparing business and ministry in terms of pay expectations, but Paul did not object to the comparison. Paul used it. He compared the pay of a pastor to that of soldiers, farmers, and shepherds, all secular businesses which are expected to pay their practitioners to perform them. So when a pastor is paid a living wages that includes enough to feed, house, educate, care for his family, that's not a problem. It's not a business venture.

Quote:
but the problem I'm objecting to is that many young preachers are coming out of seminary expecting to walk right into a living wage in the full-time ministry, and that is not realistic.
I don't think that is unrealistic and I don't think in the business world people start off in entry level position that barely make ends meet. But again that depends, as I say, on what it means to live.

Quote:
I don't see why it is harsh to consider it irresponsible not to plan for the future
You said that a person who didn't have a back up job was irresponsible, and I think that is pretty strong. Being able to plumb, do electrical or carpentry or the like is fine. but I would stop short of calling it irresponsible if someone doesn't know how to do it.

That's all. I just think Derek really overstated his position and wanted to give an alternative.

Thanks Susan.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
So you need to reconcile the Pauline example and exhortation to his disciples in this matter. You can't escape this Biblical reality.
I am not sure what I need to reconcile. My point is that bi-vocational is fine if necessary, but not expected. It was, as Paul said, the direction of the Lord that those who preach the gospel should live of it. You are the one who seems to object to full time pastors.

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Then he strongly states that he has given up that right and will not take any gifts or compensation. This is the higher ground.
Why is this higher than what the Lord directed? I don't understand your reasoning here.

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We need to teach and train men to complete an expository message in a maximum of 3 hours. Three messages 10 hours max.
This is perhaps the most disturbing thing I have ever read at SI. Very troubling. I daresay that a preacher can barely know what the text actually says in three hours, much less work through the exegesis, the problem passages, how it fits into the rest of Scripture, how to preach it, and how to apply it. On rare occasions, "this can be done," but very rare. We should not be encouraging men to rush the process of listening to God in his word.

rogercarlson's picture

Derek,

You may be the exception. But I don't know ANY pastor or layman that can do justice with most passages by only studying 3 hours. Unless, he is not studying and just resaying what others have said.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Mike Mann's picture

DJung wrote:
Paul made the point in 1 Cor. 9 that a pastor/elder/Gospel preacher has a right to "fleshly" compensation. Then he strongly states that he has given up that right and will not take any gifts or compensation. This is the higher ground. This is Paul's example and higher challenge. Why not challenge young preachers to aim for this goal and prepare for it as well? You can sacrifice the Right to compensation for a greater ministry among the lost and saved this is how I understand 1 Cor. 9.

Pastor Jung


Derek,
I think you have taken a wrong impression of what Paul intended here. He chose not to demand support from the Corinthians. He did not give up support from other churches.
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2Co 11:8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

I'm not sure why but maybe the false teachers were abusing the Corinthians by demanding support and Paul chose to be different. I am sure that he was not offering a higher challenge to young pastors to ignore what he just taught.
Paul taught the Corinthians that they were to bless those who taught them spiritual things by providing their carnal needs.
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1Co 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

As also the Galatians. Did you ever notice that the sowing and reaping passage is in context with supporting the ministers of the Word?
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Gal 6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

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