Today’s post is part of a synchroblog dealing with money and the church. It is a pretty broad topic, and many people are writing about different aspects of “money and the church.” At the bottom of this post you’ll find a list of links of other contributors to this subject. Today, I am going to write about some news I recently heard.
The other day I was speaking to one of our brothers. I asked him how things were going with the church that he met with. He told me about a recent deacon meeting. During the meeting the pastor told them that he was being stretched at all ends and something needed to change. His schedule is pretty cumbersome, he works full-time, he goes to classes (a couple per semester), and he teaches Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Apart from that I am not sure he has many other “duties” required of him by the church, but still doing all those things can be quite burdensome, especially when you have a wife and a few children to take care of.
At this meeting he gave them the break down of all his monthly needs/wants; he even made it clear that he would be willing to get rid of some luxuries to lower his monthly costs. He also made it clear that he wants to pastor this group. The deacons were in full agreement, they want a full-time vocational pastor. At the next business meeting, they’re suppose to bring it for all the members to vote on.
A few questions ran through my mind: Is this where God wants this man? What will happen if they vote against this? Will he leave or stay? Are there any other solutions that will free up his time? Is what he expects as a pastor biblical? Is what the deacons expect from a pastor biblical? Is what the rest of the members expects from a pastor biblical?
Paying this person extra money will allow him to quit his secular job. This will allow him to start doing visitations, more counseling, more studying, etc. From what I currently understand about “church,” I see this as a huge waste of money. As many of you know, I do not believe that pastor’s should receive a salary. Mainly because I do not see the majority of their “duties” in scripture. If we want to pay a person to visit, to counsel, and to study, than fine – it’s a free country – but that is not what makes a pastor.
Here is a recent Job Listing I was given for a “Family Minister/Associate Pastor”:
Needed at First Baptist Church in *****, NC, located in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina: A loving, passionate and spirit-filled individual who feels called to serve God as a minister for all age groups. This individual will be asked to work with Ministry teams and councils to reach withing the church and greater *****/***** County community by planning, coordinating, promoting and executing a comprehensive program of activities. Enthusiastically develop fellowship, Christian education, evangelistic outreach and visitation.
* Assist the Stewardship Ministry Team in preparing and administering the family ministries annual budget
* Preparing monthly calendar and reports
* Supervision of custodial staff
* Maintain scheduling and supervision of church vehicles
* Oversee construction projects and the furnishing, maintenance, staffing and operation of same
* Attending regularly scheduled staffing meetings and Church Council
* Assisting the Pastor in planning, conducting and evaluating congregational services.
* Must have a seminary degree – be an open minded person with a listening and discerning ear and spirit who is able to take initiative in a Godly way.
I do not think this strays too far from what you would normally find in a vocational pastor’s job description. This particular job is paying “$40,000 to $50,000 (includes housing, insurance, benefits).” The sentence, “A loving, passionate and spirit-filled individual who feels called to serve God as a minister for all age groups,” is probably the only line you will find in there that can be derived from scripture. But aren’t we all suppose to be loving? passionate? spirit-filled? Aren’t we all called to minister to all age groups? If so, why aren’t all the members being paid?
Some questions I thought of when reading this listing: Couldn’t a few people do these jobs for free? Do these jobs need to be done or are they luxury? What could we do with 40,000$ – 50,000$ every year in the community?
What do you think? Is paying a salary for a fulltime position a luxury that the church should forsake?
What happens when you put two taboo subjects together and discuss their relationship with each other? Find out by following the links to this month’s SynchroBlog. Money and Church is the topic. Do you think they belong together? or is it a problem when they meet? Follow the links, and watch the fur fly!
Here’s who’s in so far:
The Check That Controls at Igneous Quill
Pushing The Camel: Why there might be more rich people in Heaven than in your local Church at Fernando’s desk
Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes
Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz at Hello Said Jenelle
Zaque at Johnny Beloved
Walking with the Camels at Calacirian
Greed and Bitterness: Why Nobody’s Got it Right About Money and The Church at Phil Wyman’s Square No More
Wealth Amidst Powers at Theocity
Money and the Church: A Fulltime Story at The Life of Lew Ayotte
But I Gave at Church at The Assembling of the Church
Moving Out of Jesus Neighborhood at Be the Revolution
Money and the Church: why the big fuss? at Mike’s Musings
Coffee Hour Morality at One Hand Clapping
Bling Bling in the Holy of Holies at In Reba’s World
Magazinial Outreach at Decompressing Faith
Money’s too tight to mention at Out of the Cocoon
Bullshit at The Agent B Files
The Bourgeois Elephant in the Missional/Emergent Living Room at Headspace
When the Church Gives at Payneful Memories
Who, or What, Do You Worship at at Charis Shalom
Greed at Hollow Again
Silver and Gold Have We – Oops! at Subversive Influence
The Church and Money at Khanya