Paid Positions in the Church

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Precepts, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. Precepts

    Precepts
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    I just recently read a post that reads that the one who made that post has a part time job playing the organ in her church.

    Any ideas on this subject?

    Should "positions' like that be a paid position? Will it soon become we will have to pay people to teach SS, keep nursery,write the preacher's check, take up offering,go on visitation, etc.?

    I get to open service just before SS and then teach SS pre-teen boys, sing in the choir, preach every so often, and when I stand to testify. I don't get "paid" any monies for any of these, but the benefits are out of this world!

    Is the church in such sorry shape we have to resort to paying people in the service of our Lord? I agree the full time pastor should receive double-honour, not lip-service, it just doesn't buy the groceries. Anyone who doesn't take care of the man of God, ain't right with God. The man of God is to be full time caretaker of the flock the Lord has given him to over-see, so let's don't get bogged down in that respect, I'm asking this as pertinent to other positions in the church.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Scott J

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    Just a indicator of where modern culture is taking American Christianity. There are a few voices in the wilderness decrying the direction but sadly the post-modern appetite to feel good about one's self is shaping too many churches... ones that might be considered liberal or conservative theologically. The next danger to the church transcends theology and goes to the core of who we glorify- God or man.

    One of the things I like about John MacArthur is that he takes a strong stand against the man-centered "gospel" that modern evangelicals and pseudo-fundamentalists find so attractive.

    To your issue, someone is bound to ask "What's wrong with it?" I would say first that it has no NT precedence. Secondly, I would say that it takes emphasis away from what the church should be about. I would much rather go to a church that sang a couple of hymns, preached the Bible, and sent the organist's potential salary to missionaries.
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Just wanted to say that there are some smaller churches out there that don't have the bloated budgets of the mega-churches who can't always take care of their pastor the way they would like to, but do the best they can. I am not in one of those currently, but did work for one at one time a long time ago, and was bi-vocational, and God was still able to use me there. There are some exceptions to the rule, you know. There are also churches I have been in where the pastor makes more money than most the people in the chruch and still complains about how poor he is during his sermons. Of course, he does it as a joke, but when he does it week after week, one really begins to wonder.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. Karen

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    Whatever an autonomous Baptist church decides to do in these matters is its decision.
    In the particular case of an organist, playing the organ takes great talent, skill, and years of practice. I am glad some churches recognize that in at least a small way, financially. I am sure that being paid for that, anyway, is not all that much, especially after taxes.
    Some churches have paid music ministers. Mine does. A larger nearby SBC church does not, just volunteers, I believe. My church does often have paid nursery workers. Keeps members able to go to church. Again, I think these are individual congregational matters and decisions.

    Karen
     
  5. Thankful

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    I guess since you are talking about me I will step in here. I am the organist who is paid. I have played the piano and organ for churches since I was 13 years old. I played for vacation Bible Schools all over the county. My mother would never let me accept even a small gift for doing so.

    When I went to college I minored in music, I was envious, yes envious of the people who could dedicate their lives to the Lord's work and accept money for doing so. They did not have to take a secular job in order to live.

    So I became a teacher, the next best thing, I thought to being a full time worker for our Lord and Savior, teaching young children.

    When I volunteered to play the organ in our church, I did not know that it was a paid position. In fact, I played the organ for three months before I was given a check. I started to refuse the check, but then I thought about the organist who would take my place, she or he might actually need the money. So I decided I would take the money and give it back to the church.

    Let me tell you, the music minister, pianist, and organist give more than they receive. There is a lot of preparation for Worship Services. I know you are thinking that other workers prepare for their services, too.

    Oh and we pay our nursery worker also.

    I also accept money for playing for funerals, weddings, and other special occasions. This more money that I can donate to the church. Praise Jesus! I am thankful that I have a skill that I can use in the service of our Lord!!!!

    I do other things for the glory of our Lord in our church, but if I were to list all of them, I feel that I would be bragging.
     
  6. Thankful

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    By the way, I contribute to the special offerings for missionaries also.
     
  7. Scott J

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    Please don't take it personal. I had absolutely no idea who he was talking about.

    That said, I stand by my statement. I don't believe that a church's ministry should be to pay for better entertainment and child care services. The mission of the church is to glorify God and equip the saints so that they can carry the battle to the world.
     
  8. Thankful

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    No offense taken! I am just stating from experience. I have felt the same as you and I am fortunate that I can return the money to the church. But I also agree with Karen.
     
  9. gb93433

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    I was in business for several years before pastoring. I studied under a man who has some of his work in the Smithsonian. It has helped me to achieve a level of satisfaction and skill that I never had before. But that doesn't mean I work for free. In fact my work is very expensive. It does get me into homes of people that are wealthy. Every time they thank me and often I am invited to their homes later. Some of them have become my friends for years. Some have become Christians since. I just finished 10 months in the home of a man who makes about 40 million dollars a year.

    In the past I have done work for free for some people in the church when I was pastoring. Seldom did I ever get much thanks. But when I wasn’t pastoring the people were appreciative. So many times I have worked for non-believers and I get a lot of thanks and recommendations. Just a few weeks ago I was invited to a party of one of the people I did some work for. It was a very small job but they invited me along with several other guests.

    A few years ago I was asked to supervise a project in Mexico. The Mexican people were very thankful. It cost me to go. But the trip was worth it when I saw the appreciation among the people.

    When I started pastoring often I was amazed at the rudeness and stinginess among church people and leaders. The last church I pastored they gave me a two percent raise while at the same time the offerings increased about 2.5 times. That is a 150 percent increase. But they wanted to hang onto it for a rainy day. God took care of that in one sweep. They had their money in an investment I considered unbiblical. (Before I pastored I handled about one million dollars each month.) They refused to yield to my recommendation. They lost all of the money except three thousand dollars in another bank.

    I have learned that most often people appreciate you more when it costs more.

    My neighbor is a pastors wife and she plays the piano at church. Some of the comments she gets are quite rude. During the week she teaches 18 students privately and teaches part time at a local public school. Teaching has allowed her to buy a nicer piano for her studio. The people who appreciate her are those who pay. The complainers are those who get it for free at church. One day she came to us and told us how upset she was because of some rude comments by a person in the church that day. We understand well.

    If the organist and pianist are not paid does that mean the pastor should not be paid? What is the difference? They are both exercising their gifts. There is a denomination I can think of that does not have paid pastors. The Mormons do not pay their bishops. Just think of how nice of a building we could put up if we didn't pay the pastors.

    If a pastor made 40K per year that would mean one million dollars in 40 years. Would our churches be willing to be like the Mormons. Just ask some of their children. I have a pastor friend who coaches baseball for children near Salt Lake City and he tells me the bishop seldom attends his son's games because he is busy with church things.
     
  10. Precepts

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    Thankful; I appreciate your response, but let me be clear I wasn't talking about you, but just this thought came to mind about a statement you made in another totally different topic.

    I know ladies who play for their church that make about $ 3000 a month giving piano lessons and receive a rather handsome paycheck from their church all the while. What they do with their money after that, I don't know, but your indication would and should meet anyone's approval. I wasn't calling into question what you do with your pay, but it is good to see that you put it right back into where it came. I do the same with any money I receive for preaching in other churches and such, I feel it gives honour where honour is due, unto the Lord.

    So if any churches are looking for a preacher that doesn't ask for a salary, I know one that's available, me!

    *I just wonder what would happen with those who are just professional music directors and musicians in their churches if the paychecks stopped? my guess is they would move on to another church that still pays for their services, but then the question arises, just who is it are they serving?
     
  11. gb93433

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    I get paid big bucks all the time for serving God by serving people. My work gives them pleasure. But the work I do takes a lot of skill and training to get there. It took me years of training by some of the best in the work. I have even been published in some professional magazines.

    My God is everywhere not just in the church. My God is with me where ever I go.

    Twice I have stood against unbiblical practices. Once in the church and once in secular employemnt. Both times they claimed to be Christians. Both times I lost my job and moved on. God can be served everywhere. Money does not corrupt. It is the love of money that does. It is love for God that makes the righteous bold as a lion.

    What would happen if your employer stopped giving you a paycheck? I suspect you would move on to another place of employment. I trust that you serve God in your place of employment. So what's the difference?
     
  12. Precepts

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    I , and you, both have answered that already. I pay me, it's hard for me to leave my employer in that sense, but I serve God w/o any secular pay, either way.

    BTW, just out of curiosity, you have told us all of your accomplishments, but have yet to tell us of your profession, what is it for enquiring minds?
     
  13. gb93433

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    I , and you, both have answered that already. I pay me, it's hard for me to leave my employer in that sense, but I serve God w/o any secular pay, either way.

    BTW, just out of curiosity, you have told us all of your accomplishments, but have yet to tell us of your profession, what is it for enquiring minds?
    </font>[/QUOTE]I won't tell you because some of the people I do work for are well known and it needs to be kept private. The job I have is a lot about relationship and trust. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that God has placed me among them with my skills. Most of them do not attend church and I am able to talk with them. I actually enjoy them. They are very respectful of me. Most of the time I am introduced to their family. I feel honord to be there. I pray for them that God gives me a door to speak to them. What I discuss with them never leaves the building.

    I have found that rudeness is taboo around wealthy people.

    I am reminded of Prov. 22:29, "Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men."
     
  14. Daniel David

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    John MacArthur once said that the first thing a church should do is support at least one full-time pastor. Of course that is after the building bills are utilities are paid for.

    I would love to see churches start taking an exacto-knife to their budget and gutting it of the nonsense and junk.

    My personal oppinion is that if the person needs the money, it is okay to help them financially. This way, they are using their skills for good.

    However, if they don't NEED it, they shouldn't take it.

    There are no professional Christians.
     
  15. Precepts

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    I , and you, both have answered that already. I pay me, it's hard for me to leave my employer in that sense, but I serve God w/o any secular pay, either way.

    BTW, just out of curiosity, you have told us all of your accomplishments, but have yet to tell us of your profession, what is it for enquiring minds?
    </font>[/QUOTE]I won't tell you because some of the people I do work for are well known and it needs to be kept private. The job I have is a lot about relationship and trust. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that God has placed me among them with my skills. Most of them do not attend church and I am able to talk with them. I actually enjoy them. They are very respectful of me. Most of the time I am introduced to their family. I feel honord to be there. I pray for them that God gives me a door to speak to them. What I discuss with them never leaves the building.

    I have found that rudeness is taboo around wealthy people.

    I am reminded of Prov. 22:29, "Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men."
    </font>[/QUOTE]Uh, O.K., I hadn't realized you were so famous that telling others your profession would give any kind of hint to whom you perform your hired duties. Uh, that's sort of ridiculous, but I won't press the issue, it was only asked out of curiosity, that's all.

    Reminds me of the guy I was offering to help finish his plumbing in his new house, he didn't want anyone in the church to know where he lived. :rolleyes:

    You are to be commended and given high regard for whatever you've patted yourself on the back for. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Gib

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    Man, can you feel the love in here. [​IMG]
     
  17. Elijah

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    I am actually Elijah's wife.

    My personal thought on this is that our talents are God given and therefore should be used to His glory.
    I also feel it is a non-essential and should not be a point of contention. If the church is able to pay and the person has no conviction about it then so be it.
     
  18. Watchman

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    The members of each and every Church should decide how to spend that Church's funds; and they will be answerable to God for those decisions. I feel Karen and Thankful made some good points here.
     
  19. gb93433

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    I don't mind you asking. I am not offended, but even the non-believers that work there have agree not to talk about who they work for. I would never want to jeopardize another person. It's much like what the bank might tell you if you asked about another person.

    You do not know all of the factors involved. What people tell me in confidence is not to be shared. They hire me in confidence. The people I do work for would certainly not want people to know where they live and what is there.

    I am not famous but some of the people I do work for are. So I think you need to respect the wishes of the people I work for and the people who also work for them.

    If I told you what I did howwould that edify you any more?

    One of the men posting told me that he had someone stalk him from another board. I don't need that kind of nonsense at all.

    If you don't like my answer that is okay. But that is all I am going to say.
     
  20. Trotter

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    Churches SHOULD support their pastors monetarily. After all, a true pastor is devoting his LIFE to the care of the congregation. Any church that would not do so is not following God, but mammon.

    As to other paid positions you have to step back and take a look.

    Pianist- If there is no a person in the church who can play (really play, not hunt and peck), then the church should be praying for one who can. But until then, paying a person to come in and play could be a valid option.

    Organist- same as pianist.

    Youth pastor- if the position is a full-time responsibility it should also have a full-time pay. Part-time is called bi-vocational. It is possible to have some one from the laity to full this type of ministry, but you usually get what you pay for...

    Let me sum it up. A church should ALWAYS give their pastor some type of a salary (even if it just the use of a parsonage or a housing allowance). But if a churh expects a man to be full-time, it should pay him a full-time salary.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     

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