Wealthy Pastors

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by MorganT, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. MorganT

    MorganT
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    In another thread I kind of got off topic so I will bring it here and start this thread. My thoughts about Pastors receiving high compensation and living rich are that they are not looking after GODs money.
    Example: The church supplies most with a Home, and utilites at least and some cars my question how can a Pastor justifiy making say $100,000.00 a yr or more.

    Luke 12:15: "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."

    The apostle Paul addressed that issue in First Timothy 6 where he directs his attention to "those who are rich in this present world" (6:17). Perhaps you don't consider yourself rich because you don't have an expensive car, a fancy house, or a large bank account. But "rich" in this context refers to someone who has more than he needs to provide food, clothing, and shelter for himself and his family (v. 8). If you have discretionary funds, you are in fact rich, and Paul speaks to you.

    It isn't wrong to have money and possessions; it is wrong to build your life around them. Paul doesn't command the rich to give all their money away and take a vow of poverty, but he does give specific guidelines to follow when dealing with material things.

    The first thing Paul says is "not to be conceited" (v. 17)–at the heart of the matter. Rich people are constantly faced with the temptation to take on airs of superiority–with thinking they're better than those who have less. Wealth and pride are twins–the more you have, the more you will tend to battle pride and self exaltation. It’s easy to believe we gained our wealth solely because of our own abilities (Deut. 8:10-19).

    In contrast, Philippians 2:3-4 says we're to be humble, not just looking to our own affairs but also to the affairs of others. Greek and Roman culture mocked humility and exalted pride–just as our society does today. That makes humility a distinctive that marks those who live for Christ.

    Here are some basic responsibilities from 1 Timothy 5 that most honor God.


    • Provide for you family (5:8)
    • Provide for widows (5:3, 16)
    • Provide for church leaders (5:17)

    Beyond those responsibilities, we are to be "rich in good works." Riches do not belong in a bank, endlessly compounding interest to provide for your security. That money won't follow you to heaven–your deeds will (Rev. 14:13). Money stays here, but the good you've done for Christ’s sake is an investment in eternity.

    Just some thoughts of mine it bothers me to see Pastors riding in Rolls Royces and expensive cars and living in huge expensive houses while there flock are suffering with poverty. I see no reference in the bible were a man called by God was getting rich and not giving back to Gods people.
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    but the son of man has not where to lay his head,
    when he is weary, and wants rest and sleep, as he did at this time. So that though he was Lord of all, as being the mighty God; yet as "the son of man", a phrase, expressive both of the truth and meanness of his human nature, the most despicable of creatures in the earth and air, were richer than he. This he said, to convince the Scribe of his mistake; who expected much worldly grandeur and wealth, by becoming his disciple.

    Gill, commentary on Matthew 8:20

     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    I must confess that your judging of pastors bugged the fire out of me.

    There are probably some pastors who make 100 grand, but in my county the average home sells for over 200,000. Living expenses are the highest in the US. So what might be extravagant in one place is an average salary in another.

    But, tell me, where do you see pastors in rolls royces and expensive houses while their people are in poverty?

    Maybe you run around a different crowd than I do.. because most of the pastors I know have nothing like you describe.
     
  4. Bro Tony

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    I'm going to have to agree with Tom on this one. Most churches here in the west do not provide a parsonage to the pastor. Most not in a rural setting no longer have parsonages in any part of the country. The amount of a pastor's salary is a relative thing. In some areas of the country a pastor making $60,000 a year in compares to one making $100,000 a year. And it may take that $100,000 to provide for their family. Where I am serving the cost of a modest home of 1500 square feet is $400,000., now that requires a mortgage payment of $3000. a month. Start adding in all the other expenses of living and you will see that the $100,000 is eaten up very quickly.

    Let's flip the coin about pastors being too worldly because of "high" salaries. Let's say the pastor does not receive compensation that is sufficient to take care of his family. The Bible says "a workman is worth his hire". Because he does not received proper compensation he must take on outside jobs, missing time with the church and his family. For certain size churches being bi-vocational just doesnt work. My point is that he has to become concerned with the things of this world just to survive and provide for his family because someone puts an arbitrary number on what every pastor should be paid by the church.

    I will confess that I never thought the day would come when a pastor in an average size church (200-400) would be paid $100,000 a year. But I also never thought an average size home would be $400,000, a modest vehicle would be $20,000, insurance $400 a month etc. Money is a relative thing and should be seen as a tool to live and glorfy God. It should never be what we seek for. And yes there are some in it for the money, but lets not judge all by what they make.

    Blessings,

    Bro Tony
     
  5. Bro. Talmadge

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    My baby brother has been a pastor for about 27 or 28 years. He has pastored at several larger SBCs and now he is at a church with 125 membership. He has always had a home provided with utilities, but salary wise he has not made that much green money. I have seen him in some bad times ocassionally. I agree, you can not look at a pastor in one part of the country and compare with other pastors in another part.I know several pastors that do make a good salary, pastoring relatively large congregations, but these old boys have families and the bills are there. As you stated about some that do not have homes furnished, I would not want to be in there shoes in certain parts of the country and try and make it on some salaries that some churches want to pay.
     
  6. gb93433

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    Pastors are so overpaid that for awhile I could not accept a newer car someone wanted to give me simply because I could not afford the additional insurance for it. Then when I quit pastoring and very little money I went to work doing what I had done before pastoring and within one year saved enough for a down payment on a home in California near the beach and bought a new pickup.

    I heard the same nonsense regularly from people in the congregation who were lazy and were basically unskilled. People are willing to spend their money on entertainment and food yet leave their pastor starving.

    My dad who is not a Christian rents a trailer space to a retired pastor for less because the man has little money. Can you imagine what my dad thinks of people in the church. I know he has told me.

    I can assure you that the average salary of a pastor in the US among Baptist churches is among the lowest of all churches in America.

    Is a church which does not provide for the needs of their pastor worse than an infidel?
     
  7. Joseph M. Smith

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    I suspect that the original poster has learned of some of the very few who make high salaries, but on the average we are not that well compensated. And when you work at being modest in your needs, even that can sort of backfire; I retired at a compensation of $55,000 salary and housing (no parsonage) in Washington, DC, in 2004, and the church raised their package over $20,000 for my successor. I am not jealous, because I know he needed every dime to move here from a less expensive area, and my home was almost paid for when I accepted that call more than 20 years ago. Still, it feels "funny" that the church never thought it ought to do better for me. I did not have because I did not ask ...

    However, let's discuss this: in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, I am told, all pastors earn the same salary! Funds are sent to the Conference headquarters and the Conference then pays the pastors. It supposedly removes the competitive spirit and allows ministers to consider calls on their merits and a sense of divine leadership without money entering the picture. Totally impractical for us local-church-autonomy Baptists?!
     
  8. Trotter

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    I used to look down on pastors who are paid well, but I have changed my thoughts on the matter.

    While many churches couldn't afford to pay their pastor well, some can. I don't think that a church can overpay a pastor, as his life is totally wrapped up in the church and the congregation.

    It is also true that some cannot have large amounts of money and stay focused on the God who provided it, but some can and do.

    Be careful to not paint with too large of a brush... you wipe out the details when you do.
     
  9. Alcott

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    Whether we like it or not, pastors/ministers/evangelists are very visible people that many look up to, some even idolize, and also many are put off or angered by. It's a case of mini-celebrity on occasion. And it's those who have the more extreme views about ministers that carry the most weight in churches or boards that are in control of compensation. If they like his looks, his dress, his voice, his facial expressions and choice of words when he speaks to them... I have seen people like that drool all over him, not only campaigning for big raises to keep him, but giving him or trying to arrange for, all kinds of perks in addition. And I have seen those who go into rage followed by deep depression if the pastor who so tickled their funny bone is forced out. People on the outside, of course, think ministers are parasites on their brainwashed congregations. What all this amounts to is: pastoral compnesation is one of the least rational and least objective business decisions in our society.

    Nevertheless, because a few ministers do approach celebrity status, at least in the thinking of those who raise them to a level of superhuman importance, it is just a comparative few who make the 'big' money and thousands in perks. That helps to push the mean compensation up nationally for ministers; but the median [half the population below and half above] would be notably smaller.
     
  10. MorganT

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    OK folks if you would look at the heading Wealthy Pastors you will notice that I was not speaking of your everyday Pastor I was only referring to the Wealthy ones which yes are few and far between and I asked what you thought of them. I am from Memphis TN were a nomal house of 1500 sq ft would cost from $50,000.00 to at best $175,000.00. If a pastor were to making enough to pay cash after one year for a new house then he is over paid dont you think.

    How about Pastor Fred Price http://www.letusreason.org/Wf27.htmif I remember correctly he drives a Rolls Royce and lives in a $1,000,000.00 home I am speaking of people like this. I know he is not Baptist but the question was not about Baptist Pastors it was about Wealthy Pastors in general I should have remembered to spell everything out plainly as I should have known there would be people judging me for asking about Pastors. So here it is Pastors that make a rediculous salary way out of proportion what do you think of those Pastors. The ones that claim to be Gods man but I would have to think twice about that.
     
    #10 MorganT, Aug 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2006
  11. LeBuick

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    I think the Pastor should prosper as the Church he leads prospers. Most ministers hold from masters to PHD's and seldom ask to be compensated accordingly. If he pastor's a congregation of lawyers and doctors, they won't want their pastor living in a shack and can barely afford a decent suite. Nor do they want a disgrace sitting in the Pastors parking slot. I see no problem with the man of God making 6 figures if he pastors a church whose average member makes 6 figures.

    As for Fred Price, Creflo Dollar and that bunch. Their ministry is prosperity so you can't compate the rest of us to them.

    Creflo was in town and I got to sit by him as the ministers aliance fellowshipped after lunch. He admitted he teaches if you are not prospering abundantly then you're not tithing with the correct heart or your prayer life is off. He said people get frustrated and leave his Church which is good, it free's up the seat for a better tither. Now you can't lump all preachers in with a guy like that.

    However, if the Church is prosperous then there is no reason the man of God should not be compensated accordingly. Most of these men could make far more money at a regular job.
     
  12. TomMann

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    I think when most of us think of overpaid preachers we're thinking of some of the big TV personalities......

    The only rule of thumb I have ever heard concerning a pastors salary was..... that he should be paid the average of what his congregation makes.

    Of course if you had one Bill Gates in a 200 member church you'd have to make some adjustments.......
     
  13. Bro Tony

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    MorganT now you have changed your original post. It was you who said a pastor making $100,000. a year made him a wealthy pastor. Now you want to talk about TV personalities who have $1,000,000. homes. Again, I would say that in todays market even $1,000,000. would not buy much of a home in some places. The one who shared from Tennesse could probably buy a 3000-4000 square foot house for $400,000. Where I serve that same house would cost you 1 mil. +.

    No one here is judging you for what you said it really seems your op is doing that to faithful pastors who will never be rich, but are considered so by arbitrary standards.

    Bottom line if the pastor is in it for the money he is a hireling. If the church does not provide for the needs of the pastor they are not acting biblical. In some situations bi-vocational will not work in churches that run 200+, if the pastor tries to work outside and take care of the church also---he can expect to have no time for his family and then you will have a thread about how terrible the preachers kids are.

    Bro Tony
     
  14. MorganT

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    Bro Tony $100,000.00 or a million makes no diffence to a man that makes less than $30,000.00 a yr I see it as the same he is wealthy in my eyes you however may be a wealthy man and not see that kind of money as much. I still stand behind both post I posted a heading called Wealthy Pastors meaning filthy rich or having alot of worldly possesions if you see no problem with a Pastor living in a Million dollar house driving a Rolls Royce then you have made your point and we can move on.
     
  15. Bro Tony

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    Morgan, I did not say I have no problem with those kind of pastors. I do think that some are in it for the money, but be careful to paint with too broad a brush. One making $100,000. in some locations does not make him wealthy or means he has lots of material items. I know a pastor I work with in Mexico and one in Ruwanda who would consider your $30,000 a year to be rich. Money is a relative matter. I state again and see if you get it this time---any man that is in it for the money is a hireling, any church that does not provide for the pastor is not biblical.

    Bro Tony
     
  16. Hardsheller

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    A pastor should receive the average compensation of his congregation.
    I'd be happy with that.
     
  17. MorganT

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    Yes Bro Tony I do understand what you are saying and its the hireling type of pastor that I am asking about what do people think of them not of a true man of God.
     
  18. Bro Tony

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    On this Bro Morgan we are in complete agreement:thumbs: .

    Bro Tony
     
  19. StefanM

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    I have no problem with this concept. Even then, though, we must realize that the average minister is still going to be making less than the average person with his level of education (i.e. often a master's degree) because the average church won't usually have the pews filled with people with graduate-level education.

    A church shouldn't demand an M.Div. of its minister if it isn't willing to pay him more than what a person with just a high school education could make. Ministers are in service to the Lord, yes, so they shouldn't be getting rich off of the church, but we shouldn't expect them to be poor, either.

    Of course, I do understand that some churches just cannot afford to pay more than what they do. I'm talking about churches that want all of the education but offer very little compensation, when they could afford to pay a decent wage. To expect someone with 7 + years of post-high school education to earn 25-30k a year is very stingy, if the church can afford to pay more.
     
  20. annsni

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    I also agree that salary is relative to the area. Here's a house just a mile from my house - I can tell you it's on a small main road to town, the road has been shut down numerous times in this area because of erosion, the village is so tough on building that you'd never get any kind of variance to renovate this place. Oh - but it IS waterfront property - about 100 yards from a sewer treatment plant.

    http://www.mlsli.com/uniDetails.CFM?MLNum=1818438&typeprop=1&start=41&rpp=20

    Now, my husband is a pastor and we live in a milion dollar house. As you can see, a million dollars is pretty easy to spend where I live (we're on Long Island on the North Shore) and we bought the house when he was a software engineer doing consulting AND had just sold a large profitable business. Honestly, we can't afford to live here anymore if we still had a mortgage but we've been blessed by some help and have just paid off the mortgage (but we SO didn't' pay a million - we've been here 15 years and we paid less than a third of that). Our property taxes are over $13,000 a year alone (typical of this area).

    Now, that said, between the two of us, we earn very little for this area (I also work for the church). What we earn would be a lot more someplace else in the country and would possibly seem high paid but COL is sick around here and we're just now making it. If we had to purchase a house now, we couldn't - starters within 10 miles of church run around $300,000-500,000.

    As for pastors driving Rolls Royces and having mansions - I agree that this is excess. What is it telling people where the money is going to? Is it going to missions to spread God's Word or is it to go to Pastor's $1000 suit?? Moderation is important, IMO - but it's up to the church and congregation as to what they want to give him.

    Ann
     
    #20 annsni, Aug 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2006

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