Salaried or Bi-Vocational Pastors?
welcome to this episode of real Christianity my name is Dale Partridge reach week I offer 15 to 20-minute answers to tough the illogical and pastoral question this is 100% listener supported audio Ministry of relearn. Org and for those who don't know our mission a tree learn.org is to educate and equip ordinary Christians to plant biblical confessional and missional house churches for more information just visit relearn. Org forward slash house
 welcome to real Christianity I'm your host Dale Partridge if you're new here welcome I have just returned from a 10-week sabbatical and I'm ready to reinvest in both of our Ministries renlearn. Org and our house church planting school at Reformation cemetery.com as many of you know you can find the show notes for these episodes on our Ministries website at relearn. Org now I was hoping to launch the new format for our show here this week but we've decided to film and record some more episodes in advance before we make them public pushing back on our launch date that I am excited for you to be a part of what we're going to do here on the real Christianity podcast I'll give you a little hint I'm going to be sharing and showing several disciplines tools and resources for you to Faithfully study your own Bible
 and I suspect these episodes were going to come out in mid-summer but you know our hope that our ministry in My Hope for you is that you know how not to just hear people preach and in and believe what other people have told you about the Bible but that you will learn to go into the scriptures and extract the truth properly and extract the truth with in context with an historical cultural view within the illogical and doctrinal parameters we want you to learn how to do that and we're going to create a new form after the show that I'll help you do that as well as hearing some of my preaching and and my Exposition process for preparing sermons for you no coming up with these Bible teachings and I do for you every week I asked for today I just wanted to simply answer a question that was some
 by young lady she asks should have pastures sole occupation be Ministry that is it should his entire income come from the church and its members or should pastors be by vocational working a secular job and serving the church in addition I think this is a really good question and the Bible doesn't give an exact answer on this topic but it does give some really great principles I'm going to open up with something that John Piper
 sad when he was talking about and a video about salaries and pastors and what they should look like and he made a good quote is that churches should not try to keep their pastors poor and should not want to make them Rich other words you know one principal at the top of this whole thing is the churches and need to really look at creating a sustainable faithful biblical way of looking at finances for pastoral leadership for other people that are serving the church in other words you don't want to force a pastor who is serving in an elder ship role in a preaching roll
 you know any serving you weekend and week out and studying and preparing and counseling and offering his services and then force him to also pick up the night shift so that he can pay his bills and feed his family I will talk about some scripture that represents that concept as well you know a lot of people say Hey you know Paul Paul is by vocational right you know he was he was out there tent-making and he was out there you know earning everything that he possibly could on his own so that he didn't want to be a burden to any of the churches that he planted a couple things I want to say that one is it Paul is an apostle and Paul also is a missionary he's not a pastor he never calls himself a pastor never calls himself an elder called himself an evangelist he calls himself an apostle and cons of a teacher but he doesn't call
 Self an elder of a church and so the scriptures that are talking about pastors being paid
 our scriptures that Paul rights as instructions to local churches on how they should operate the principles of compensating those Elders that have been appointed to leadership preaching Pulpit Ministry in the church and so you know I want to have this discussion just first in the context of the local church again I'm all about pastors being paid for their spiritual labor you know in an actual let me go back just for a second because I want to make a point before I say this Paul wasn't by vocational Paul was as Piper would say like he was one vocational essentially he was not taking hardly any money any money arguably from the local churches he would receive some gifts that came but he was not
 expecting any money to come from the local church and he worked very diligently will read a few scriptures that talk about that that to to make sure that he wasn't a bird and it wasn't taking anything he was earning his own way completely and fully he was one of vocational and in terms of the way he was making his money and then he was serving in labor and he also wasn't married he also didn't have any children so he can work as a tentmaker and as a missionary at the same time without compromising any one except himself in his own needs and the Lord would take care of him in those principal so again Paul's example
 is a bit different than his instructions for local Pastor so I think that's an important contextual element to to look at any contacts in the local church I'm all about pastors being paid for their spiritual labor by those again who directly benefit from their spiritual work you know studying and writing preaching counseling serving these are all costly like time expensive activities and a pastor needs to be compensated and I do have some concerns about salary pastors were yet fixed incomes I think that a church should be ready and eager to give to the pastor and supporting the ministry of the church and that income might be not fixed but variable and as a church gives the pastor can
 be compensated a reasonable wage for the geographic economic climate that he lives in and for example you know I think that you know a pastor of a good process for evaluating this should be maybe a pastor should make an hourly rate that's comparable to any other average profession in their congregation in there a local area so if electrician is making 60 bucks an hour the pastor should be making last when he serves the church at an hourly rate serve the congregations if you're going to pay the guy to come and install your dishwasher but you're not willing to pay the guy that's going to come and do marriage counseling there's something wrong there that process because to say that you pay those people but not the pastor is basically to imply that electrical work or dishwasher installation is more important than spiritual work which we all know is not the case
 I'm so those are just a couple of things that I'm thinking about the problem with salary pastors is that you end up becoming
 I guess trusting Less on the Lord to provide each month and forces the pastor sometimes to trust more in the institution again it's not a simple thing I just think it's something we need to be careful about another thing is that salary pastors
 it was an Upton Sinclair quote that I'm going to cut a Twist in using a different perspective but it goes something like this my version is it's difficult for a pastor to preach something when his salary depends on him not preaching it until when there's two things to say but you don't want to stand because the you might offend the people who are paying your salary you get into a little bit of a conundrum where you know Paul had that freedom well you know if you are by vocational by conviction you have that freedom again to be a little bit more bold and not have that fear I think every Pastor should be willing and bold to say the truth regardless of the circumstances but the truth is it often happens where patches aren't speaking the truth because they would don't want to offend the person of the church who is paying their a big chunk of their salary and and that's that's a real
 issue that many pastors are struggle with and so just let's look at some scripture that supports pain a pastor and then let's look at Paul's example and then I'll kind of wrap it up with just some thoughts but you know 1st Timothy 5:17 through 18 it says let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor especially those who labor in preaching and teaching so especially those who labor in there and he uses his he ground his argument and an Old Testament scriptures is for the scripture says quote you shall not muzzle an ox when it's Red's out the Grain and quote the labor deserves his wages in a laborer is worthy of his wages the idea of muzzling an ox is that you prevent the ox from eating while it's working
 and the Bible says don't do that until us a question is is God concerned with the ox right now he's talking about sorry about the pastor rides talking about the man, who you know and so I just go we don't want to ever
 stunt the work of Pastor by not contributing to the needs of his home
 while we're completely willing to contribute to the needs of all the other professions that we subscribe to and partake of and the second thing he says is the laborer is worthy of his wages so I believe that if you're labouring spiritually laboring in prayer and study you have a appointed position in the church or you're a missionary or you're a Bible teacher in your weekly sacrificing time I believe that that it's worthy of wages now does it mean that you demand at no I don't think that's the case but you do have a right according to scripture
 to receive and I've I would say that those who are receiving without contributing to the needs of these individuals in these rolls are actually robbing the kingdom of God now there's some instances where they are again maybe ignorant to that or too young and their Fates understand the concept but with the majority of us will gladly receive and and not return support and we do this all the time we do this at Church's we do this with you know the ministry that we listen to on the internet we do this with what I try to do as even a pastor myself is I try to I contribute to Desiring God and I contribute to heartcry Ministries with Paul Washer not major amounts but but why partake of their content
 and I'm encouraged by their Ministries and I want to support what they're doing and I think it's important as Christians that we do so with our local church first but then secondly with these supplemental Ministries that we listen to throughout the week of the Wii support read their books or or consume their content or just want to support their missionary work or their Bible teaching work that's going on in the world Elation 66 says one who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches another passage 1st Corinthians 9 9 through 14 says again for it is written in the law of Moses you shall not muzzle an ox when it runs out the grain he asked a question he says is it for auction that God is concerned does he not speak entirely for our sake
 as a rhetorical question it was written for our sake he says because the ploughman should plywood hope and the thresher should thrush and hope of sharing in the crop if we have sown spiritual things Paul says among you is it too much if we reap a material things from you if either share this rightful claim on to you like the electrician or like the dishwasher installer do we not even the more nevertheless Paul says we him and his group have not made use of this right
 but we endure anything rather than to put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel so he chose to not endure that to take on that right to receive income or compensation because he didn't want them to think for any reason that he was planting the church for or preaching the gospel for monetary gain but his example is different than the instruction that he gives in scripture and so you know I'll give you a couple more scriptures and will close it out here first Thessalonians 3 7 through 10 Paul says for you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us because we were not idle when we were with you nor do we need anyone's bread without paying for Paul saying hey we should work as Christians this isn't two pastors this isn't to contradict himself he says but with toil and labor we worked night and day that we might not be a burden to any of you this is a verse that's about Christian ability to work the end
 Jesse says it was not because it is not because we do not have that right but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate for we have been r four or even when we were with you we would give you this command if anyone is not willing to work let him not eat so this isn't a command telling pastors that they need to work another job to this is saying don't be lazy if you're lazy person you're not going to eat even Paul was offering that example and so but now Paul does receives you know he's received some gifts from the Philippians he received you know some gifts love offering we don't know exactly what it is but some support in some capacity basically you know we just need to be looking at this as
 as missionaries are often can you can you do maybe offer the buy vocational opportunities bit more pastors a bigger churches I think it's more difficult to be by vocational I think I'm a house church pastor and planter and I am by vocational so relearn. Org is my laboring Ministry we we also have a rental property that my wife and I managed and and so we we have some other income that comes on there and we produced podcast and courses and and sell books and some of those things that are there but to our local church our local church which is you know a handful of families like less than 10 families they do support us in some capacity and its individual eyes and we do make a small income from our local church and but we are by vocational and I think House Church Pastors in general will find
 selves out having to be by vocational because a church with only 10 to 15 families might not be able to support fully 122 Elders in a church at a full-time capacity depending on where you live but I think that's fine because of how is church would like 10 to 12 families is not 50 60 hours of work you can really do your preaching and studying and meet the needs of the church that's not small usually within you know 15 to 30 hours a week and so I think it works itself out and that capacity there but again I don't want to project and present a certain rule that Pastor should all be by vocational or they should be one vocational I think these principles are just important and we do need to be careful on how much we do offer pastors as salaries again I think that if a pastor should be able to look in the congregation and find out what the median income of a congregation and
 the life that is
 essentially modest and comparable to the average member in their church and so what's what what you might have in Mexico going to be very different than what you have in New York City and very different from what you're going to have in a small town in Ohio and so I think we just need to have principles that guide us there I'm in again I'm a big fan of a Bible K tional house church planting and pastoring Ministry of butt in the traditional church I don't think that works out is effectively adding missionaries on OfferUp missionary work in missionary life offer a great opportunity for by vocational Ministry to I think it's great to have that opportunity to serve and refuse refuse I should say is that not take on the right to be paid as a way to show the the genuine
 I guess I what's the word I'm looking for the sincerity of your motivation is not motivated to get money from somebody it's motivated to get the gospel out and if asking for payment in some capacity or even teaching on money would imply that you have an interest in being paid more than you have in the gospel being preached then I think it's worthy to say I don't want the money it's not about the money it's about the gospel so hopefully those are some good general principles in answering that question for you we're going to close up the show today and excited we're going to have a couple episodes in between the register a short little shows as we get prepared for this new format if you guys are regular listeners to the real Christianity podcast thank you so much you guys haven't left to review you guys can just
 what's the podcast app you don't even need to write anything you just have the stars but if you do write it right something write a review I will read it and I really do appreciate those things also if you guys are interested in planting a Biblical House Church go ahead and check out our ministry of reformation cemetery.com we are always enrolling for the next class and next group of men who are going to be planting those those churches I'm not no guys thank you so much thank you for listening to real Christianity my name is Dale Partridge and we'll see you next week
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