Those responsible for pastoral compensation need to understand it is unbiblical to “keep a pastor poor to keep him humble.”
Different passages instruct the churches to encourage their pastors through fair compensation. Many American churches undercompensate their ministers. Unfortunately, many families have had to struggle through years of financial hardships. This poverty that pastors experience is not because of God’s will for them to experience financial hardship, but it’s because church members are not generous.
Those responsible for pastoral compensation need to understand it is unbiblical to “keep a pastor poor to keep him humble.”Such a view is damaging and divisive for the church community. Paul wrote about how the church must care for certain Christians.
17 The elders who do the church’s work well are worth twice as much honor. That is true in a special way of elders who preach and teach.
18 Scripture says, “Do not stop an ox from eating while it helps separate the grain from the straw.” (Deuteronomy 25:4) Scripture also says, “Workers are worthy of their pay.” (1 Timothy 5:17-18) Notice how Paul quoted the Old Testament (Dt. 25:4) and the New Testament (Lk. 10:7) in this passage. In Galatians 6, Paul instructs: “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor” (Gal. 6:6).
Failing to provide a fair wage to our pastors damages their ability to care for their own families (1 Tim. 5:8), and the Lord will hear their cry (Jas. 5:4).
Why would anyone in the church believe that the pastor is required to work under poverty-level wages for the Kingdom of God? Do you think it is God’s will for His ministers to suffer like this when He made ways to provide for His priests in the Old Testament? The biblical pattern is already clear.
Sometimes, it is the insecurity and distrust of today’s society that corrupts the system and makes the church community uncomfortable with blessing the pastor. The local church must encourage their pastors not only by submitting to their biblical leadership (Heb. 13:17) but also by suitably compensating them for the care they take over the souls of the church.
The biblical pattern is already clear. Sometimes, it is the insecurity and distrust of today’s society that corrupts the system and makes the church community uncomfortable with blessing the pastor.
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