Of the Church.
Chapter 26, Paragraph 10.
“……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.”
1 Corinthians 9:6-14
Sick? Go to the doctor. Need legal advice? Hire a lawyer. Want to learn a subject? Take a class with a teacher. When it comes to needing instruction and counsel, we do not blink an eye at going to a professional. We expect them to spend time with us, instruct us, and aid us. In return we pay for their services.
It is only fitting that those who work receive compensation for their work. Why, then, is the issue of paying a pastor such a difficult one? Here are some possibilities as to why that is the case:
- It is not considered work. Earnestly studying the Bible and shepherding souls is erroneously viewed as a cushy job.
- The wealthy pastors get all the attention, and we despise their consumerism (or secretly covet it).
- It is personal. We might pay someone for their services in the secular world, but we do not always know their salary or go to their house for dinner. If we are involved in our pastor’s life, we will not only know his salary, but we will get an idea of how he spends it.
- We still equate the pastorate with a vow of poverty.
All of these reasons fail to understand how the Bible defines the role of the pastor. It is a lifelong calling, and one the Lord Jesus commands should be compensated. As Christians who desire to obey our king, we should never begrudge our minsters their wages.
There are great spiritual consequences, for better or for worse, depending on the performance of this duty (Galatians 6:7-9). The wicked and oppressive failure of most evangelical churches to support their pastors amply is at the root of much of the dearth and curse which is upon the professing church of Jesus Christ. Those who highly value the labor of the servant of God will find themselves blessed with highly valuable labour. -Samuel Waldron
Questions to Consider
- How are you helping to support your pastor?