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Emekrus

Should A Minister Charge For His Ministry?

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Emekrus

A few months ago, as we attended the funeral of my sister in law’s husband’s father, a renowned gospel musician was invited. She ministered gloriously. But a few weeks after the funeral, as I visited my sister in law and her husband, we got discussing about the funeral and the expenses…

 

As we chatted along, we talked about the gospel musician that was invited to the funeral. And my sister in law’s husband disclosed to me that the gospel musician actually charged over a million to come and minister. On hearing that, I was very infuriated and bewildered. And right there and then, I expressed my disappointment and indignation.

 

Then as I looked up to God for a topic to post for discussion this week, the Lord impressed strongly in my Spirit to post about the erroneous ministration charges by his ministers.

 

The Unscriptural Charges of Ministers

 

Over the years, I have heard it said that some ministers of the gospel, including: Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists and Christian musicians charge huge amounts of money in order to go and minister where they are invited to. I didn’t take it much seriously until I have been able to confirm the validity of this particular report.

I have been able to confirm that ministry charges are not only the practice of travelling ministers, but also non-travelling ministers. Many a gospel ministers, including music ministers, don’t move to anywhere for ministry invitation, except a specified amount of money is credited into their accounts.

 

Then for some, they don’t accept invitations to small congregations knowing they won’t be well paid or given a large honorarium. Then on the other hand, in most local churches, to be able to access the ministers for personal ministration-such as counselling—you must have to obtain a form with good amount of money.

 

If you don’t have money to obtain the form, you won’t be allowed to see the ministers. And in some cases, during normal meetings, those members who do not have money are excluded from certain ministrations. Then recently, I also hear that people now charge to minister as Choristers in Churches, especially in a starting up local Church. All these stated cases above, are just to name but a few…

 

And as it is, these practices are increasing on daily basis, both in big and small churches. And of course, these practices do not have any scriptural basis. Hence, they are absolutely unscriptural. And any minister, indulging in such practices with eternity-with Christ—in view should quickly desist.

 

And any Christian patronizing such ministers and ministries should be wise enough to quickly desist as well. Even if the minister or ministry is valid, we do have a right and spiritual responsibility to reject their ministries; because the ministry gifts of God are not for sale. It is pervasion to charge for any ministry gift.

 

The Scriptural Due of a Christian Minister

 

“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

These twelve Jesus sent forth into the way of the Gentiles, and into any City of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely you  have received, freely give.Provide neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat”—Matthew 10:1,5-10

“And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you”—Luke 10:8.

 

From the above scriptures we can clearly see the biblical prototype of a travelling minister, and what is expected of him or her. And also what is expected to be provided for him or her.

 

Translating the above scripture to modern time, we see that the basic things a travelling minister is due for his ministration are: a shelter (any kind of shelter), Meal(any manageable Meal), and then the minister’s fare should also be provided.

 

And it is not still out of place for the local church to raise an offering for the minister’s honorarium. But that should be left to the prerogative of the local church. Apart from the basic needs, such as transportation, shelter and food, a minister need not demand for other thing.

 

After providing for at least the basic needs, the minister should be content. If an honorarium is also added above his basic needs, it is not a sin to accept it. But on the other hand, if it is not given, the minister should also be content to have had the privilege to have ministered to the people of God. And not be offended, and decide not to go and minister there again because he was not given honorarium. That’s a wrong spiritual attitude; because he is a minister of God…

 

It is true the scripture just quoted says, a workman is worthy of his meat, but his meat giver is his employer, God. Not man. Even though God most of the time uses men…

 Then for the local Church minister, he is to minister to all and sundry, with no discrepancies.

 

He is to minister freely to the poor as well as the rich. He is to minister without charging anyone a dime. Freely he has received and freely he is to give. But then he can receive honorarium from the tithe and offerings as a labourer in the word (1Timothy 5:17-18). And if someone is led of his own free will to sow monetary or material seed to him, of course, he can also receive it.

 

After all these, and the minister sees that what he receives is not enough income to meet all his or her responsibility, then let him set up a business. A minister setting up a business is not a sin. He can engage in a business that does not encroach into his ministry time (There are many of them these days).

 

Then eventually, as the business grows, he can employ people to manage the business, while he just plays a supervisory role…

 

All these are the scriptural ways for a minister to earn his due for a living.

 

If you have any question, reply or comment, you can post it below for discussion.

 

Emeke Odili

 

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Becky
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Are you paid for your work? 

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theophilus

Here is what the Bible says.

 

Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.  (1 Corinthians 9:13-14)

 

If you read the entire chapter you will find that Paul chose not to exercise this right, but we do have an obligation to support those who preach the gospel. 

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atpollard
3 hours ago, Becky said:

Are you paid for your work? 

Is serving God a "job"? :classic_wink:

 

This is a tricky area.  On the one hand it clearly seems wrong for a 'minister' to have to live like a beggar because his church (local body of believers) is stingy.  On the other hand, I have met too many people for whom "the call to serve god" (small 'g' is deliberate) is little more than a career move that involves less work than a 40 hour job.  As an young Christian, I foolishly placed those serving God on a pedestal.  Having gotten to know far too many religious con-men, I am far more skeptical of anyone charging for "God's gift" ... especially when the very poor pay extravagant sums to the very wealthy (like people living on Social Security helping a minister to buy his 4th private Jet).

 

The few times that I have been in a position to be paid for my efforts for a church, I returned the check to the offering plate.  I do not feel comfortable selling what God has given me.  (Although I have been known to work for lunches) :classic_smile:

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Knotical

It is certainly customary for a congregation to pay a pastor a living wage so that they are not burdened by having to hold down another job while ministering to the flock to which God has assigned them.  Contrast that with how many leaders in megachurches appear to be paid, evidenced by what they wear and how they live.  That is not a living wage.

 

When it comes to musicians, it can be somewhat the same thing.  There are some churches I have attended that have full-time worship leaders, who are also pastors in the church.  And they are also paid a living wage, but they do not charge exorbitant amounts for their services.

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Becky
Moderator
5 hours ago, atpollard said:

Is serving God a "job"? :classic_wink:

 

This is a tricky area.  On the one hand it clearly seems wrong for a 'minister' to have to live like a beggar because his church (local body of believers) is stingy.  On the other hand, I have met too many people for whom "the call to serve god" (small 'g' is deliberate) is little more than a career move that involves less work than a 40 hour job.  As an young Christian, I foolishly placed those serving God on a pedestal.  Having gotten to know far too many religious con-men, I am far more skeptical of anyone charging for "God's gift" ... especially when the very poor pay extravagant sums to the very wealthy (like people living on Social Security helping a minister to buy his 4th private Jet).

 

The few times that I have been in a position to be paid for my efforts for a church, I returned the check to the offering plate.  I do not feel comfortable selling what God has given me.  (Although I have been known to work for lunches) :classic_smile:

I am a PK  :classic_smile:.. Dad had a paying job and the church...not all preachers are money grabbers.  Dad's paying job was known to pay the church utilities at times. A good pastor is on call 24 7  he cant do that and have a paying job. 

 

The pedestal was never a problem.. Spoted a phony preacher about 1956 A.A. Allen . When ones dad is a pastor your  sister teacher one brother a doctor, Siblings kinda blow the pedestal thing,, :classic_smile:

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Placable37
17 hours ago, Emekrus said:

A few months ago, as we attended the funeral of my sister in law’s husband’s father, a renowned gospel musician was invited. She ministered gloriously. But a few weeks after the funeral, as I visited my sister in law and her husband, we got discussing about the funeral and the expenses…

 

As we chatted along, we talked about the gospel musician that was invited to the funeral. And my sister in law’s husband disclosed to me that the gospel musician actually charged over a million to come and minister. On hearing that, I was very infuriated and bewildered. And right there and then, I expressed my disappointment and indignation.

 

Then as I looked up to God for a topic to post for discussion this week, the Lord impressed strongly in my Spirit to post about the erroneous ministration charges by his ministers.

 

The Unscriptural Charges of Ministers

 

Over the years, I have heard it said that some ministers of the gospel, including: Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists and Christian musicians charge huge amounts of money in order to go and minister where they are invited to. I didn’t take it much seriously until I have been able to confirm the validity of this particular report.

I have been able to confirm that ministry charges are not only the practice of travelling ministers, but also non-travelling ministers. Many a gospel ministers, including music ministers, don’t move to anywhere for ministry invitation, except a specified amount of money is credited into their accounts.

 

Then for some, they don’t accept invitations to small congregations knowing they won’t be well paid or given a large honorarium. Then on the other hand, in most local churches, to be able to access the ministers for personal ministration-such as counselling—you must have to obtain a form with good amount of money.

 

If you don’t have money to obtain the form, you won’t be allowed to see the ministers. And in some cases, during normal meetings, those members who do not have money are excluded from certain ministrations. Then recently, I also hear that people now charge to minister as Choristers in Churches, especially in a starting up local Church. All these stated cases above, are just to name but a few…

 

And as it is, these practices are increasing on daily basis, both in big and small churches. And of course, these practices do not have any scriptural basis. Hence, they are absolutely unscriptural. And any minister, indulging in such practices with eternity-with Christ—in view should quickly desist.

 

And any Christian patronizing such ministers and ministries should be wise enough to quickly desist as well. Even if the minister or ministry is valid, we do have a right and spiritual responsibility to reject their ministries; because the ministry gifts of God are not for sale. It is pervasion to charge for any ministry gift.

 

The Scriptural Due of a Christian Minister

 

“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

These twelve Jesus sent forth into the way of the Gentiles, and into any City of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely you  have received, freely give.Provide neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat”—Matthew 10:1,5-10

“And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you”—Luke 10:8.

 

From the above scriptures we can clearly see the biblical prototype of a travelling minister, and what is expected of him or her. And also what is expected to be provided for him or her.

 

Translating the above scripture to modern time, we see that the basic things a travelling minister is due for his ministration are: a shelter (any kind of shelter), Meal(any manageable Meal), and then the minister’s fare should also be provided.

 

And it is not still out of place for the local church to raise an offering for the minister’s honorarium. But that should be left to the prerogative of the local church. Apart from the basic needs, such as transportation, shelter and food, a minister need not demand for other thing.

 

After providing for at least the basic needs, the minister should be content. If an honorarium is also added above his basic needs, it is not a sin to accept it. But on the other hand, if it is not given, the minister should also be content to have had the privilege to have ministered to the people of God. And not be offended, and decide not to go and minister there again because he was not given honorarium. That’s a wrong spiritual attitude; because he is a minister of God…

 

It is true the scripture just quoted says, a workman is worthy of his meat, but his meat giver is his employer, God. Not man. Even though God most of the time uses men…

 Then for the local Church minister, he is to minister to all and sundry, with no discrepancies.

 

He is to minister freely to the poor as well as the rich. He is to minister without charging anyone a dime. Freely he has received and freely he is to give. But then he can receive honorarium from the tithe and offerings as a labourer in the word (1Timothy 5:17-18). And if someone is led of his own free will to sow monetary or material seed to him, of course, he can also receive it.

 

After all these, and the minister sees that what he receives is not enough income to meet all his or her responsibility, then let him set up a business. A minister setting up a business is not a sin. He can engage in a business that does not encroach into his ministry time (There are many of them these days).

 

Then eventually, as the business grows, he can employ people to manage the business, while he just plays a supervisory role…

 

All these are the scriptural ways for a minister to earn his due for a living.

 

If you have any question, reply or comment, you can post it below for discussion.

 

Emeke Odili

 

I too am a PK, (Preacher's Kid) as was my father. In fact I trace further back to a number of clergy ancestors including a bishop (of Waltham in the UK). I've been out of the so-called Anglican Communion for 34 years now but I can tell you their clergy get paid a stipend, which is a fancy word for "living allowance". As well a free house is provided, a vehicle depreciation allowance, a travelling allowance, and a book allowance. The "church" pays for any improvements to the dwelling and around the property which usually but not always includes the "church building". There is a pension plan. The injunction given to those on a stipend and in charge of a parish is "to occupy and fufill the duties of a priest". They are thus said to have "the living" at that particular location.

 

We could argue this is not biblical, but we won't change the fact of it.

 

As treasurer for a local Nazarene congregation I set up all the allowances and payments for whomever, for whatever, and for how much according to how the board voted in line with their national and international regulations. I don't miss this demanding task, especially not the tedious requirements of meeting government financial reporting for charitable organisations. I was in effect the employer of the "pastor" and any paid staff. On that score I donated more to the organisation than I paid myself from it.

 

Truly the labourer is worthy of their hire in practising good stewardship and seeing that all things are done decently and in order, but "the fool's gold, the flesh's gratification, and the pharisee's glory" are all too tempting and so easily succumbed to by many who set out with good intentions but end up following the way of Balaam...

2Pe 2:13-15
(13)  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
(14)  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
(15)  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

Edited by Placable37
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Just Mike

I began preaching while in College. I accepted every chance to preach where ever I was invited. I never even suggested an amount I wanted. I traveled up to 150 miles away from my home. There were some places like the Rescue Mission that I went just for the joy of sharing Christ with those who were rejected by families, down and out broke and had given up on life. 

 

I have gone to places where they knew in advance how far I drove and the time it takes to prepare a message, and after the service they were so kind and gave enough to pay for gas and some extra. I can't recall a single time where Gods people were selfish. I was asked twice if I was available and willing to be their pastor. I truly loved those day where I went where ever the College had a need for someone to go preach. However I have no problems in accepting an gift given in love.

 

As a pastor I was very disappointed in the first church where I was called as pastor. I was there 42 months. Every year the church increased the yearly missions offering, the support for the SBC State Cooperative  was increased, as well the local Association, but my salary stayed the same. The church treasurer who did not attend the church,  gave his budget plan, and the people voted it in every year,  but there was never even one dine increase for the pastor.  This was very difficult as I got $65 a week and a parsonage that was 100+ years old and just the utilities ran much more than I got in my monthly pay. There was a phone allowance, and the treasurer insisted I give every phone call number to him so he made sure it was really church business. I politely said that would brake confidence for those I had to call. I got the church to agree with that, as I had a phone line put in just for our family.

 

In the four churches where I was pastor three were Bi Vocational churches. The one person I found to be difficult to work with was the Church treasurer. Three of the church treasurers felt they were to guardian    of the money and their job was to make sure as little as possible was spent as they felt bad times were coming and funds must be saved for those bad times ahead. All three of these men were older and had endured the Depression, so they feared being without, and perhaps they might loose the church because of lack of funds. If a pastor ever runs into a church with treasurers like I did, extra patience and love is required. Being creative and looking outside toe box was required by me. The church refused to have bake sales, or anything to bring in extra money as it would look like the church was in trouble, and they could not ever be seen like that.

 

When I did weddings when an envelope was handed to me I always said thank you, but there were times that there was no envelope and it was no big deal as these people were poor as the pastor was. With four little ones and I was in Seminary which was 70 miles away from our parsonage money was extremely tight. But God provided often in ways that were clear it was from the Lord.

 

Now for Funerals, most always the Funeral Home includes a gift in their list of things the family should include, like the singer, flowers,and  the pastor> Often I did funerals for non-church members. I used these gifts to buy books or for family needs. I feel that there is nothing wrong in accepting gifts, but charging for services is unacceptable.

 

For a church to ask someone to come preach its reasonable to expect that expenses the preacher incurred by him should be reimbursed. This should be discussed before excepting the invitation to come preach, this prevents any misunderstandings. I am a firm believer that a church should be willing to do the best they can and that God provides for the preacher coming,, but expectations   from both sides must be clearly stated before the event.  

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Becky
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Love your testimony @Just Mike

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