For all who feel that their Pastor deserves his salary, Please take some time to seek God’s wisdom from the Holy Spirit, and to search through your Bibles for the answers to these questions;
1. why does Paul tell tell us he’d rather die than accept money for preaching
NLT 1 Cor 9;15 Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. 16 Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News! Are You In Christ’s Sheepfold?
2. Who is the ‘whoever’ the Bible refers to in [Mat 10;27 & Mark 10;44] – whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. NLT Mat 10;25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave .
NLT Mar 10;42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else.
3. What is the Bible talking about – ‘Preaching on my own initiative’ in 1 Cor 9;17. Might this be ‘God’s calling’ to preaching?
1 Cor 9;17 If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust. 18 What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News. 19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
How can something be a call of God and something I chose on my own initiative? Pauls words show that at least for him it can not be both. Remember he and Jesus are our examples.
4 Do we really need to follow Paul’s example?
Gal 1;10-12 ‘Paul’s Message Comes from Christ’ 11 Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. 12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ
NLT Phil 3; 17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
5. Might Paul have just gotten this wrong?
NLT 2 Peter 3;16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.
CEV 2 Peter3;16 Paul talks about these same things in all his letters, but part of what he says is hard to understand. Some ignorant and unsteady people even destroy themselves by twisting what he said. They do the same thing with other Scriptures too. 17 My dear friends, you have been warned ahead of time! So don’t let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance. 18 Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen.
Believers are warned of evil men distorting the scriptures. Pastors don’t appear to be evil, but we are clearly warned to look past appearances.
6. Why should we put all our eggs in one basket?
NLT 2Cor 2;15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? 17 You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.
MSG 2 Cor 2;16 But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? 17 No-but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.
‘Paul’s Message Comes from Christ’
Gal 5;11 Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. 12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.
Re: Pastor’s Pay
by david on Sat 19 Jan 2008
I continue to find that the clergy are deserving of their pay, either by levitical rites or even by the rights of a worker in the field of the Lord. Some support from Scripture, Numbers 18:21ff, Luke 10:7, 1 Timothy 5:18, James 5:4, Acts 21:24, Romans 13:6ff, and Philippians 4:18. Included in these scripture texts are also those which lift Paul’s words, words which depict the pastor as worthy of pay. Preaching, on the other hand may, in some instances be considered as a part of the whole, and not the whole itself.
I would also take your use of slave to task, as even the slave is worthy of the food and shelter of the master, as well as a safe and viable workspace. Service and servanthood come as a result of submission to authority, for the clergy this is the authority of God, for which we are then accountable, for ourselves and for the teaching we provide.
In this, I feel assured of the teaching I make in this post and response.
Re: Re: Pastor’s Pay
by glenn on Sat 19 Jan 2008 01:09 AM HST
A few years ago I would have totally agreed with you, but then I asked God what I should be working on. Part of the answer I got was exposing wrong teachings & doctrines that most hinder his flock. There’s more on that at this link, but now let’s take a quick at your references.
‘Serving God; Finding Our Assignment’
Numbers 18;21 And, behold, I have given the Levites all the tithes in Israel for an inheritance in return for their service which they serve, the [menial] service of the Tent of Meeting.
– under the old covenant the Priests were supported by tithes, but that should not be extrapolated into the new covenant [certainly not for gentile followers of Christ].
‘Should The Church Teach Tithing’
AMP Luke 10;7 And stay on in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.
– a traveling preacher accepts lodging & food, sustainment, not a salary.
KJV 1Tim 5;18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer [is] worthy of his reward.
– again I see sustainment, allowing the Ox to feed, not wages, not a salary.
Amp James 5: 4 [But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts.
– Shepards do not ‘reap your fields’, they tend the sheep. I see this verse talking about robbing missionaries, not Pastor’s.
AMP Acts 21:24 Take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses [for the temple offering], so that they may have their heads shaved. Thus everybody will know that there is no truth in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in observance of the Law.
– this again is not an ongoing payment process [salary], but a one time event.
AMP Romans 13:6 For this same reason you pay taxes, for [the civil authorities] are official servants under God, devoting themselves to attending to this very service.
– this verse is not dealing with tithes or offerings, but tells us to pay our taxes.
AMP Philippians 4:14 But it was right and commendable and noble of you to contribute for my needs and to share my difficulties with me. …
18 For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed One).
– I see a distinction between expecting a salary, and accepting a voluntary offering
Daves commented above: “Included in these scripture texts are also those which lift Paul’s words, words which depict the pastor as worthy of pay.”
– I agree that Paul indicates pastors have a right to pay, but if they exercise that right, the Word robs them of all authority. Their efforts can no longer be considered a call of God, the work can no longer be his ministry, it is now just his job. Those called of God, are called to reject pay, to follow Paul’s tent maker model. Take a look.
AMP 1 Cor 9;17 For if I do this work of my own free will, then I have my pay (my reward); but if it is not of my own will, but is done reluctantly and under compulsion, I am [still] entrusted with a [sacred] trusteeship and commission.
Lets look a larger slice of the NIV:
NIV 1 Cor9;15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. 16 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. 19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
Restating this: God ask those given the gift and the call of teaching/preaching to ‘become slaves to everyone’ to win as many as possible to Christ. If a Pastor chooses to accept pay, he is not called to preach. He is saying the reason that I am preaching is simply because I want to Preach. I think People claiming to be in this category will have some trouble explaining this verse.
NIV 1 Cor 14;1Follow the way of love and eagerly desire the spiritual gifts, especially the gift of Prophesy.
Doesn’t this verse call us all to seek the gift of Prophesy?
Webster ‘Slave’ definition;
1 : a person held in servitude as the chattel of another
2 : one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
1 :an item of tangible movable or immovable property except real estate and things (as buildings) connected with real property
2 : slave bondsman
My Theory of the overall Problem;
God knew Human nature. He knew that a paid Pastor position would not effectively develop the priesthood of believers. The paid priesthood would also waste [or at best poorly invest] most of God’s resources on buildings, salaries and unbiblical worship services, rather than on missions, the poor, the weak and the prisoner. God knew they would poorly equip the flock to seek his wisdom, to seek the Holy Spirit and to carry out our assignment of loving and serving others and being the salt and light of the earth.
Dave (et al),
I know my thoughts seem radical. They challenge most of what we grew up with in our churches. I don’t want or expect people to change their minds based on my writing and my reasoning. I only ask that you seek the Lords wisdom, seek guidance from the Holy Spirit, really dig through God’s word and allow God to change the way you think.
May God Transform, Bless, and Reveal His Will for All Who Read These Words,
Re: Re: Re: Pastor’s Pay
by Jack on Sun 27 Jan 2008 10:52 PM HST | Permanent Link
There is a Very Major Problem in regards to “Pastors Pay” in the minds, and teachings, of virtually every church and Seminary in the Country of America. I can not speak for the rest of the world.
The big questions are ” does the Pastor work for Our Lord and God Jesus Christ? Or does he work for the people in a church congregation? Or does he work for one of the Church Denominational leadership????”
What I have witnessed is that almost all ministers, or Pastors, are working for them self, in that they have hired themselves out as sub contractors to either the Denominational leadership, or as a sub contractor to the congregation on any church body. There are virtually none of them who are working for Our Lord And God Jesus Christ. Yes there are a few, that is extremely very few who are actually working for Jesus Christ, but there are a few, and you will find them in the very smallest churches..
I have watched as ministers / Pastors have demanded a certain level of Pay for preaching and supposedly running a church congregation. Those are Hirelings who care nothing for the Sheep. If their feelings are hurt they leave. If their demands for pay increase is not met, they leave. And on, and on, and on. I have watched them refuse to preach at a small church because it was too far to drive (like 20-30 miles). I have watched them refuse to preach at a small church because they would not be paid enough.
I couldn’t care less how many verses of scripture they pull out of the Bible to prove that they should be paid enough to drive a $100,000 dollar car and to live in a $10 million dollar mansion. (Yes, we have a bunch of them around her too) They are nothing more than business men running a business called a church. These pastors are NOT available to be reached by the Sheep, the congregation. Oh yes, do I ever know them. Like one Pastor of a large church which My Lord sent me to see one day. I caught that pastor (same denomination that I had been ordained) just as he was entering the church one week day as he returned from lunch. He spoke to me all of 3 minutes, and only spoke to me because he recognized me as being a fellow minister. Then told me to make an appointment with his secretary. So I got to talk to him three weeks later. Such are the ones who are demanding that they be paid, because the scripture says so. I have watched so very many churches where the Pastor has been cut off by the Lord. Churches where Jesus has written the word “Ichabod” over the doors, because of their greed. Pastors which I would pray for every day, in which My Lord God would one day tell me to stop praying for that pastor because of their greed, that they had been cut off.
Of all the verses pulled out about the tithe and of how ministers were worthy of their pay. Show me where ANY of the Apostles demanded that they be paid any certain amount. Show me where Any of them demanded pay of any kind. It just is not there, it was always left up to those they preached to, to provide them with whatever they needed, as God led those people to do, thus taking care of HIS Preachers, Ministers, and Apostles. Of course they were worthy to receive whatever the people provided for them. They did not demand, but they did accept with the full knowledge that it was the Holy Lord God who was providing.
Look back on the early days when there were circuit riders, those men, Ordained by God, who rode their mules and horses hundreds of miles of their circuit. Living alone as they rode from settlement to church, to group of people where they would tell them of God’s word, perform marriages, pray over the dead, and accept anything the people could, or would, give them to eat and wear, at each stop. And those Men had POWER to perform miracles, healing. Those men today who are demanding their pay that they think is their just due, couldn’t heal a hangnail today. They are NOT Shepherds, they are hirelings only.
For myself, I work for My Lord and God Jesus Christ! My Lord God takes care of me. In 15 years of preaching and evangelizing, I have been paid for preaching exactly 3 times. Each time was a love offering collected during that service. I will go any distance to preach God’s Word, the Gospel, I ask for no pay, for Jesus takes care of all of my needs. Everything that I need has been provided for me. When money for my ministry is needed, in comes the unsolicited donations, the checks in the mail, to cover it. My food, My shelter, My transportation, is provided for me. Why should I need any church or congregation to pay me a fixed salary, when I have Jesus Christ paying more for me than they ever could?
Well, Sorry, for the Rant. But You asked. I serve Jesus. I preach the Word of God. I call sin, sin, and tell people that Hell is Hot, and they hate me for it, but souls are saved when that conviction falls upon them. And that is my Job for Jesus, to Preach the Word as God gave it, not some watered down artificially sweetened version so that they will keep on paying me dollars. Walking in fear that they will fire me and put me out of work. My Job for Christ is to save souls, and to feed the flock of Sheep good solid meat. My job is to take care of the Sheep, it is up to the Owner of the Sheep to take care of me. I do not need to ask, for the Owner knows what I have need of.
You are free to use any part of this letter if you so wish, for the Glory of MY Lord and God Jesus Christ.
With the Love of Jesus