Unpaid pastors?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' 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. 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."
     
  4. rsr

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    Ben, also not that tithing is among the teachings that the Primitive Baptists have traditionally rejected.
     
  5. 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.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. 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
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. 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
     
  10. Chad Whiteley

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    The Interstate and Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association (also called Faithway Baptists) do not pay their pastors a salary. They believe they should live by faith, and are paid only on freewill designated offerings. I would hardly call them unpaid, most of them make much more than I do in the ministry....
     
  11. Ben W

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    I have never heard of that group before Chad, is there a website that we can have a look at? [​IMG]
     
  12. rlvaughn

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  13. Chad Whiteley

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    Sorry for the delay. I did not know anyone had replied to my post. I actually had made an attempt to create an unofficial website for them. They sell some Sunday School material (which actually almost harmonizes with my own doctrines.) But, the maintenance of another website was just too difficult.

    In any case, I have never actually been to one of their church services. I stopped by two churches in Arkansas (on off hours) and found the buildings to be run-down and in need of repairs. I spoke to one missionary-pastor, who also worked as a teacher in Mena. He was very friendly. The other pastor I attempted to contact was not so friendly.

    For some reason, I have been fascinated by this group of people. Even I do not know why. I have no idea why they have such a limited web presence. But they do publish a paper (the Voice of Faith), and have a Mississippi Riverboat ministry where they preach from a boat up and down the Mississippi.

    Apparently the churches in Mississippi and Alabama are much more well maintained than the ones in Arkansas.
     
  14. Chad Whiteley

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    BTW, If anyone is curious about their doctrinal stands, I do have their confession of faith, and can post it. But I think I would start another thread, cause it is totally unrelated.
     
  15. Preacher's Boy

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    My father and grandfather both were unpaid pastors of OLd Regular Babptist chuches for many years. They're called moderators and usually preach as well as other pastoral duties...
    Their thinking goes back to the apostle Paul haveing to earn a living while misnistering.

    My Dad, late in life, though, thought that it would be better to pay the moderator a little something and or reimburse his expenses since the time it tolld to do the job becomae a financial burden on the pastor's family. He felt more people would be able to make the committment.
     
  16. rsr

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    This thread had become off track and devolved into a debate about the propriety of pastors who draw a regular salary. It has thus been pruned and opened again to serve its original purpose.

    The original thread, with discussion, has been moved to the Theology Forum.

    [ November 01, 2005, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  17. OldRegular

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    My grandfather [paternal] and three uncles were preachers in the Old Regular Baptist Church. My oldest brother and a cousin were preachers in the Old Regular Baptist Church. I had a great uncle who was a preacher in the Primitive Baptist Church. They all worked and fulfilled a pastors responsibilities as well.
     
  18. little sister

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    I am a member of Old Regular Baptist and we don't pay our preachers. Why should someone be payed to preach what God gave them freely, but however if a preacher travels a long distance to visit us the church usually tries to give them money for gas, usually they don't want to take anything.
     
  19. gb93433

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    Some of the greediest people I have met in the business world are stingy church folks.

    Why should someone be paid when they go to work when God freeely have them the skills?

    Some pastors have to work hard to learn so they can feed learners and irritate non-learners.

    I once told a church I was pastoring they didn't ned a pastor. Thet asked me what I was going to do. I told them it was not about me but about what they were going to do. I told them if they were willing to work I would stay but if not then I would leave. I also told them I would be willing to get a regular job and take no salary if they would be willing to work as hard as me while I worked a regular job. Happily they decided I meant business and they began to work hard and learn to do ministry. It was the best thing that ever happened to them. The church is doing very well today.
     
  20. rlvaughn

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    gb, a discussion of the propriety or impropriety of paying salaries might make for an interesting discussion. However, this thread was started to inquire whether and which Baptist denominations might have a history of practice of a "voluntary" ministry. Therefore, a theological discussion would be best carried on in the thread that Stephen moved to the Theology Forum, which he mentions in the first post on this page. Thanks.
    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/3/2964.html?
     

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