Of the Church.
Chapter 26, Paragraph 10.
“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,…”
1 Timothy 5:17,18
Pastors should be paid.
As part of the office of elder, a pastor is to devote himself to the word and to prayer for those members under his care. He is to know his congregation, keeping watch over their souls. Rather than being the cushy job that some megachurch pastors have led society to believe it is, the pastor that truly cares for his flock carries a tremendous responsibility, as he will be held accountable for those under his care.
Because of the constant nature of the work of a pastor, it is necessary and right that the members of the local church pay him. That is what “communicate to them of all their good things” means. It does not mean that you tell him what a good job he does during Pastor Appreciation Month (although that may be welcome!). Rather, it means that the pastor ought to be supported financially as much as a church is able.
Notice that nowhere in the Confession does it state that a church ought to have its own building, or dedicate funds for Sunday School, or even to set aside part of its budget for missions. While all of those are worthwhile things for a church to have, the primary purpose of the church is the “mutual edification of the local assembly, and the due performance of that public worship.” The spiritual growth of the church is dependent upon the preaching of the word, and preaching of the word is part of religious worship. If a church values its spiritual health, it will place the monetary support of its pastor as a top priority.
Caring for the church is a full-time job. It is a labor of love, sometimes overlooked and underappreciated by members. Such a strenuous ministry deserves the support of the congregation, and a vital way to support the pastor is to pay him well. The pastor looks to the spiritual needs of the church, and the church looks to his physical needs. In this way both pastor and members are mutually supportive of one another.
Questions to Consider
- Is the support of the pastor a primary concern of your church? Why or why not?