Unpaid pastors?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ben W, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Has any Baptist denomination ever made a particular point of having Pastors that serve in a voluntary capacity as opposed to a focus on paid ministry?
     
  2. PastorGreg

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    You mean there are pastors that get paid? [​IMG]
     
  3. gb93433

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    Some pastors serve for free and do a disservice to the church because the church does not learn to give and only take.

    No pastor should serve for free when the people can afford something. No pastor in America should go without some form of payment while the pastor works hard and spends his own money. The fact is when the people have a huge financial stake in the life of their church and its ministry they also tend to work harder.

    One time I pastored a very small church and I knew those people sacrificed to pay me as much as they did. The fact was the fist gift they gave us was more than most pastors get in much larger churches. Today that church is doing quite well and continues to treat its pastors very well.
     
  4. rsr

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    Ben, Baptists have long accepted the need for churches to assist those called to be elders.

    "The ministers of Christ ought to have whatsoever they shall need, supplied freely by the church, that according to Christ's ordinance they that preach the Gospel should live of the gospel by the law of Christ."

    First London Baptist Confession, 1646

    "The work of pastors being constantly to attend the service of Christ, in His churches, in the ministry of the Word and prayer, with watching for their souls, as they that must give an account to Him; it is incumbent on the churches to whom they minister, not only to give them all due respect, but also to communicate to them of all their good things, according to their ability, so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being themselves entangled in secular affairs; and may also be capable of exercising hospitality towards others; and this is required by the law of nature, and by the express order of our Lord Jesus, who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel."

    London Baptist Confession, 1689

    However, among American Baptists, many Primitive Baptists reject the notion that ministers should be paid a salary.

    As Elder Walter Cash put it:

    "The system of fixing salaries for ministers is corrupting in its influence. Instead of trying to please Christ, men endeavor to get their salaries raised; instead of being devoted to their flocks, they are always looking for a better paying position. Raising money for the salary of a preacher, with Arminian denominations, gets to be a grinding weight on their shoulders, as is evidenced by their trying to shift it on to others and resorting to all kinds of schemes, gambling included, to get money. The Primitive Baptists can never resort to paying salaries to get pastors, nor should our ministers ever stoop to sell the word of God at so much a sermon or by the year."
     
  5. Pete

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    Ben, they're good at hiding if they have.

    Now and then there are isolated cases in Churches.

    My parents always tell me one of best Pastors they ever knew did that position voluntarily and worked full time.

    One of previous Churches was (still is) run by couple of brothers who were (are) brickies! [​IMG]

    Now and then my parents suggest i turn pro (my phrase for it), but I'm too big a fan of "Freely received, freely give" [​IMG]
     
  6. Bro. James

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    Everything we "possess" and think "we possess" belongs to God. We will all give an account of our stewardship. "The Lord loveth a cheerful giver."

    The Apostle Paul made tents on occasion--not all churches had the means to support full-time pastors. God takes care of His people through His people--tithes and offerings--not carwashes and carnivals.

    John the Apostle got a "retirement"--exiled to Patmos. The rest were probably martyred. Many preachers of the Gospel have preached until the Lord called them home.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    Give--cheerfully.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  7. rsr

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    Ben, also not that tithing is among the teachings that the Primitive Baptists have traditionally rejected.
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    Ben, several Baptist groups in America have generally practiced not paying salaries to their pastors, most notably, but not only, the Primitive Baptists, mentioned above. Other such groups include Old Regular Baptists, United Baptists, "Duck River" Baptists, and the "old-time" missionary Baptists, such as the "Faithway" Baptists (most of whom fellowship in the Interstate and Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association). There may be varying ideas even within the groups, from opposing a paid ministry to paying ministers quite well while simply holding the church & minister should not enter into an agreement for a set salary. Even in the groups where this is the general practice, there are exceptions. For example, I know some Primitive Baptist churches that give a set amount to their pastor. The practice of a non-paid - or usually, non-salaried - ministry (which is not necessarily the same) crops up in some local churches within the Free Will Baptists, General Baptists, Separate Baptists, ABA, BMAA - and I wouldn't be surprised if even a few churches in the SBC.
     
  9. Bro. James Reed

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    We are PBs who do not give a salary to our Pastor.

    We do pay him a set amount each week, but it was set by the church before he even became our Pastor and he has no authority to negotiate for more.

    The church will decide periodically if the ministers need a "pay raise" based on the price of gasoline etc. to get to and from the church. That is basically all that the payment covers.

    We also feed him.

    Actually, the amount paid is to whomever preaches for us at a particular appointment, not just the pastor.

    We also have differing amounts of payment that we will give to preachers who come from out of town to preach for us.

    Most of us reject the idea that a minister should be a "full time" preacher of sorts. (Although I have never seen a preacher who wasn't full-time, the term is most often associated with who either doesn't work a secular job or is living completely off of his church.)

    I have never heard a Primitive Baptist preach on tithing as a practice for the church today.

    Also note that I know of no preacher who preaches for us who would take a full-time, salaried position with a church. Most would probably be insulted if we offered it.
     
  10. Dragoon68

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    Lest anyone conclude otherwise: there are Primitive Baptist churches that do have salaried ministers. There's nothing wrong with that if that's what a particular church deems best serves the Lord's work among them. Primitive Baptist, and many others, respect the autonomy of each church and should respect their decision in this matter since there is no conflict with the Word of God in either case.

    Patrick
     
  11. Bro. James Reed

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    This is true, however, the vast majority do not have salaried ministers, in the classic sense, that being those who work solely in their ministry and do not have secular employment.

    I can count on one hand the number of ministers, that I know of, across the country whose prime-paying job is with their church.

    While there are many who see nothing really wrong with a minister working only for his church and living off of what the church pays him, they still mostly hold secular jobs.

    The fact of the matter is, aside from many who feel that earning their living from the church is contrary to their beliefs, almost no Primitive Baptist church could afford to give full-time expenses to their pastor.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    Frankly I think it would be good if preachers had to earn a living like the rest of us. They might get some idea of what life is like.

    This does not mean that I believe the church should not support the preacher for expenses incurred as he fulfills his calling.

    Furthermore, I believe that chuches showld be sufficiently small that we can know every brother and sister in the congregation.

    These mega churches are becoming ridiculous. There is such a thing as starting mission churches.
     
  13. gb93433

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    With selfish words like yours who needs complainers and discouragement?

    With your amount of energy how about you spending an extra 10 to 20 hours each week helping the pastor and then you might know what his job is like. When I pastored I got up about 4:30 AM to study and went to bed about 10:00 PM. I would usually study until about noon or 2:00 PM and then go visiting or knocking on doors. A few times there were those who might say something stupid like you did. So I would ask them to spend a day with me. They would only do that once. Those who are working hard at discipling others would never say what you do. Every week I preached three and sometimes four different sermons. Then if I had a funeral that was another.

    When I was not pastoring I led one to three Bible stiudes during the week and trained people to share their faith. Been doing that for 31 years this year. I did the same thing when I pastored. The fact is that I had more time to disciple others when I worked a regular job then when I was pastoring. When I was not pastoring I never had to deal with the complainers and those who wanted to be lazy and not share their faith. Before I graduated from college I was a building contractor and was discipling people then. During one pastorate I worked as a building contractor. I started that church. For several years I worked with people in a parachurch organization and in the church discipling them. So I have never known what it was like to have a regular job. Could you tell me what that is like?

    On one occasion a man mentioned to some others in front of me about how pastors have it so nice. So one morning I decided to give him a phone call about a question I had. When I called he was not out of bed yet. By that time I had already been up about two hours. Another time I asked if he could preach some sermons while I was gone on vacation. He never said one more word about pastors doing little.

    So there's no such thing as starting mission churches? How many have you started? I started one when I was working a regular job as a building contractor. While I was working full time as a pastor I started two churches with another pastor friend of mine and replanted one.

    FYI Saddleback Church has started about 40 churches. How many have you started? How many have you helped your church to start.
     
  14. PastorSBC1303

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    This type of attitude never ceases to amaze me.....and many times the people I hear make statements like this are the same ones that will gripe if their pastor is not available to them when they have a need.
     
  15. izzaksdad

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    OldRegular,

    I could do what you do as well, if not better than you- and I don't even know what you do. However, I would like to see you and anyone else do what a God called Pastor/Preacher/Counselor/Arbitrator/Public Relations/etc. does on a daily basis. You may hold up for a while, but the demands of the ministry will swallow you up without the calling and equipping of God on your life.
     
  16. rsr

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    OK, we've gotten away from the OP and need to return to the original question.
     
  17. Bethelassoc

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    Typically, as previously stated, the old baptist denominations don't salary their pastors. Those baptist denoms include Primitive, Old Regular, and United Baptists. Our churches (United Baptists) pay an amount each week to their pastors. I pastor a church and have opted to not take payment.

    David
     
  18. Ben W

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    I think I recognise where you are comming from, my view is that all the congregation are called to serve God in some way within the church. The reason that a number of churches have failed is their reluctance to disciple the members of the church to serve in the church. We want the pastor to serve us and everyone else while we do nothing.

    It seems to me that in some way the Baptist Churches that are older that have christian service opportunities within them for the congregation are alot closer to the model of the church that was portrayed in the book of Acts.

    In any event I am not looking for a row, this is just a few thoughts of mine. [​IMG]
     
  19. Jim1999

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    I am late coming into this discussion, but I have served churches all my life. Some have offered a stipend; some had nothing to offer, and still, in others, the people were quite generous.

    When needed, I worked as an architect to provide my living and served the church part-time. Something suffered. If the church only wanted a preacher, they could become a Plymouth Brethren. They function quite well without a paid ministry.

    People often cite Paul as being a tent maker, yet it was Paul who declared that a labourer is worthy of his hire...speaking of the pastor.

    A pastor should not have to take the role of a beggar, and we ought not to hear the deacons pray: "Lord, you keep him humble and we'll keep him poor." Often that church will get what they pay for; a poor preacher!

    Let each man decide for himself what he must do to serve the Lord and in what capacity. My first church paid me five pounds a week (about $4.00 at that time) and gave me the use of a motorcar. My last church paid me $700.00 per week plus pension benefits and other expenses, despite my protests that I was teaching full time at the university. They knew something about the worth of a minister of God's things and their responsibilities.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. Pistos

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    I think before getting more in-depth if a pastor is paid or unpaid...If you are a pastor, Are you sure of your calling?...Because when a young man said, Lord I will follow you, the Lord Jesus Christ recited a poem "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

    I believe the Lord Jesus Christ meant, if you like to follow me, look at me I have nothing.

    just only a thought... [​IMG]
     

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