Poor Pastors—Literally?

Poor Pastors—Literally?

by Bill High

Pastors and money—it’s not a subject you hear a lot about.  But the July/August 2016 Christianity Today noted a survey from the National Association of Evangelicals on Pastors and their money.  Here are some of the interesting findings:

  • 29% had no money in personal savings
  • 33% had less than $10,000 in retirement
  • 92% worry about their retirement savings
  • 84% worry about their emergency funds
  • 83% worry about making major purchases
  • 54% worry about being able to send their children to college

On a more positive front, 61% were mostly satisfied with their compensation with 45% feeling that their financial position was better than their peers.  Notwithstanding these positive notes, 36% of pastors considered leaving the ministry altogether for financial reasons.

This survey raises some troubling questions.  Consider:

  • Do we believe that it’s okay for our pastors to live on lower salaries simply because they are in ministry?
  • Do we believe that it would be proper for a pastor to earn the same or similar salary as a business person running an organization with the appropriate people and business challenges?
  • What is the impact upon congregations when a pastor worries about money, retirement, college etc?
  • Should anything be changed?

I’ll be interested to hear your comments.

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Published January 17, 2017

Topics: Culture Commentary


Comments 1

  1. I’ll answer the first question.

    First, It is not written anywhere that pastor supposed to live poor life with lower salaries but this issue became heavy because some Christian believe that God allow his people to suffer as a symbol of faithful.

    In Tanzania especially in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika there is a colonial mentality that only thing that people need is to inherit the kingdom of God but not to work and win life. Yes I agree about that colonial mentality which walk inside them but how will they change and work and produce and then empower the minister?. So there is a need for people to especially Pastors to work and empower their own economy so as to reflect the worth of our God.

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