Up front, I would like to be clear on my position. I believe a pastor should be paid for his work, within reason. The Scriptures are clear on this. I would also like to be clear that there is a difference between teaching/preaching and pastoring. Let not that man who would only instruct from the pulpit, consider himself a pastor. Preaching and teaching are done at the desk of God, but pastoring is completed when the man of God comes to the people of God to tend to their wounds while he prunes their branches. The pastor cares for the flock, he loves them, and he longs to make them beautiful for the Good Shepherd. With that said….
How many pastors are Christ-called rather than career-concerned?
The pastorate is the greatest calling that a man can receive. But I wonder,
How many men would still be “called” to the pastorate if they had to produce their living through means of a secondary source of income?
Pastoring is a calling, not a career. A called pastor cannot help but minister to the people around him, it is the work of God through the man of God. A career pastor is first concerned about his income and whether or not it is sufficient, then comes his purchased concern for the flock he has been so-called to. How many pastors have abused this call? How many pastors are abusing this call? I have met many men who held the title, the position, the ordination, and of that number, sadly, a very very few of them were truly pastors. How do we tell the difference? The difference is in the ministering, the serving, loving, sacrificing, laboring, working, striving, yes the painful laboring! Many just clock-in and then clock-out. That is not pastoral, that is occupational.
Either Christ has owned the man or the man is owned by money.
Perhaps, if more ministers struggled financially, they might depend more on Christ and thereby live by faith. And what might be gained for the flock of God if the pastor is the example of a man who lives daily through faith in Christ? The career pastor depends on his salary, but the called pastor depends on Christ. Which pastor would you want? Which pastor would want to be?