I was quite shocked this weekend when I heard a pastor complaining about people who question things like his large raise suggested by the finance committee among other issues. One of the members of that church, who is a salesman, who used to work at one of those little "rip-off" finance companies and the pastor worked out the salary increase to hide it down in his expenses. The pastor kept saying that he was amazed that nobody complained about the budget when it was voted in. I told him that there were very few people in the meeting and they were the older folks that don't gripe about anything. Then he said something that surprised me: He said, "I guess that people who question things in a business meeting must justify what they are doing in their minds--otherwise they wouldn't be doing something like that." I was shocked because this is not the first time that he has indicated that asking a question in a business meeting or expressing a negative opinion regarding a report that is brought up by a committee or the deacons. I know pastors like to think they are right, but don't most Baptist churches practice an open forum to discuss and vote? The second thing the pastor told me was that he should get a higher PERCENTAGE of salary increase than everybody else in the church. So he got 5% the song leader 4% and the part time workers 3%. I mentioned to the committee that this would cause the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer--in other words, over time the part time people never had a chance of staying up with salaries and a larger spread would occur. I think it is fair to figure out a raise that is across the board, because the pastor of that church (not mine) gets the equavalent of a person paying full taxes in the secular world of about $80,000 or $90,000 while preaching at a church that averages 140 in Sunday School. I know him socially, and he told me one day that he would always get a bigger percentage than anybody, because if he doesn't people won't respect him as the leader of the church. My opinion is that everybody who is working hard should get the same percentage, because the rest of the people are paid so low that the percentage only gives them a little bit compared to the pastor anyway. What say you? Also, tell me if you are a pastor or not when you discuss this. I want to find out if this is a typical belief among pastors and why they feel it is wrong to question issues in a business meeting.