Should Ministers Have A Secular Job?

As a full time minister, Michael Brooks article, Can The Church Afford Full Time Ministers is both scary and very challenging!! Here are some snipets…

The efficiency of allowing ministers to focus solely on ministry tasks is a valuable asset for churches. Yet, a minister’s sole reliance on the church’s financial resources creates issues. For instance, the minister lives under the reality of needing to retain and/or grow membership to retain and/or grow the amount of fiscal resources needed by the church. The majority in many situations goes toward salary and benefits. While numeric growth is desired, its necessity to meet salary obligations is a less than optimal motivation…..Paul speaks to these questions in 1 Corinthians. His take on the subject is that a worker is worth their wage, but Paul, at least, was not obligated or motivated to follow this advice, especially with the Corinthians. While on occasion Paul did accept monetary gifts it was not his normal practice. Instead, he employed a supplementary method of providing for his needs; namely tent-making. More importantly, he believed his entrance into such a financial relationship would hinder the Gospel.

Paul’s self-severance from the purse strings of the church stands in stark contrast to the majority of ministers today…..

Paul’s reason for not taking funds from the Corinthians was the Gospel. He was able to accept his financial reality without accepting financial culpability with a church that resembles many today. Paul would rather do without than handicap the soul-piercing possibility of a thoroughly gospel centered ministry.

In contemporary Christianity this reason comes across as old-fashion if not misguided. Has it become more fashionable or important to draw a salary that pays for the privileges of contemporary society, than to have the freedom to stand for the Gospel in all its permutations?

The motivation here is not belligerence, but to expose a flaw in how ministers think about their finances vis-à-vis the gospel. No doubt, many if given the option to stand for the Gospel, or be paid better and/or retain their job would insist on the former. However, many think they can have both. The truth is maybe they cannot.



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